History’s Mysteries: The Demise of MacGregor Golf
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History’s Mysteries: The Demise of MacGregor Golf

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History’s Mysteries: The Demise of MacGregor Golf

Welcome to the first official installment of what we at MyGolfSpy hope will become a favorite of yours: History’s Mysteries.

It’s easy to care only about today. But historical perspective helps us connect certain dots while disconnecting others. By peering through the lens of time, we can better understand just why the golf industry is the way it is and how it got here.

Our first subject is, next to Wilson Staff, the most iconic name in golf’s long, fascinating history: MacGregor Golf.

MacGregor Golf

History’s Mysteries: MacGregor Golf

Wilson Staff famously touts more majors won than any other brand. Their total of 62 is mostly frontloaded but it is an impressive number.

But did you know MacGregor is No. 2 with 59?

MacGregor’s history dates all the way back to 1829. That’s when English immigrants and expert wood craftsmen Archibald and Ziba Crawford founded the Dayton Last Company in Dayton, Ohio. A last is a wooden, foot-shaped form used in shoe manufacturing and repair and the Crawfords made good ones. They were also quite innovative, developing a unique lathe that could make lasts faster and more precisely. That lathe would later play a huge role in golf history.

From Shoes to Golf

The Crawford heirs eventually brought in two new partners to their company: John McGregor (note the spelling) in 1875 and Edward Canby in 1886 to eventually form the Crawford, McGregor and Canby Company. McGregor was a Scottish immigrant from St Andrews and a hardcore golfer. He eventually got Canby hooked on the game, setting the wheels in motion. In 1897, Crawford, McGregor and Canby introduced its first golf club—a wood made using the Crawford lathe.

By 1910, Crawford, McGregor and Canby had become a major force in golf as well as the world’s largest shoe last maker. In fact, the company was exporting more than 100,000 clubs a year to the U.K. By the Roaring ’20s, golf blew past shoe lasts in revenue. And by the end of the decade, Archibald and Ziba’s company had made its last shoe last.

MacGregor Golf

The Market Changes

By 1927, retail golf sales exceeded pro shop sales for the very first time. Crawford, McGregor and Canby went all in, mass-producing low-cost, high-profit clubs. Record sales and profits followed and everything was looking rosy.

Until the Great Depression.

By 1932, the bottom had dropped out of retail and, by 1934, Crawford, McGregor and Canby was facing bankruptcy. Edward Canby died and the company went up for sale. Chief competitor Wilson put in a bid but the company was ultimately sold to sporting goods giant Goldsmith. A new management team was brought in, headed up by Clarence Rickey (cousin of Branch Rickey, who would later break baseball’s color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson).

MacGregor Golf

Rickey’s team officially renamed and re-spelled the company “MacGregor.” The reason was simple. The Depression wiped out retail but club pros were still moving product. Most of those pros were Scottish immigrants and “MacGregor”, quite simply, sounded more Scottish. One Scotsman, in particular, was in Rickey’s crosshairs: Medinah head professional Tommy Armour.

Rickey knew Armour from Medinah and from his days with the Burke Golf Company in Chicago. Their partnership would produce the very first Tommy Armour Silver Scot irons. And just to show history has a sense of humor, decades later Burke would morph, ironically, into the Tommy Armour Company.

MacGregor Goes KA-BOOM!

With Armour and his assistant, Toney Penna, onboard, MacGregor soon exploded. Penna played MacGregor clubs on the PGA TOUR and recruited other Tour players to join him. He hit the jackpot in 1939 when he signed Jimmy Demaret, Byron Nelson and Ben Hogan.

After World War Two, MacGregor moved from Dayton to Cincinnati. Tommy Armour was the game’s top-selling pro club while Nelson, Hogan, Demaret and LPGA original Louise Suggs all had their names on MacGregor clubs. From 1947 through 1960, more touring pros used MacGregor clubs and balls than all others combined.

In 1950, MacGregor introduced the Penna-designed MT irons. As a designer, Penna was ahead of his time. His MT irons were compact blades with a relatively thick topline. They featured a very low CG and—prepare to be outraged—jacked lofts. They were so popular that MacGregor had to stop making tennis equipment to free up more space for golf club production.

Other MacGregor firsts during the 1950s: Oversized Eye-O-Matic woods with tri-colored inserts, Colorkrom irons with a copper face, the Pro-Pel shaft, colorful kangaroo leather bags and shoes and the first all-weather rubber and cord grip.

Brunswick, Jack and the Beginning of the End

In 1958, MacGregor was sold to bowling giant Brunswick. Owner Ted Bensginer made a killing when he developed the first automatic pinsetter and started buying up companies to grow his empire.

One of the new ownership’s first moves was to shift golf production out of Cincinnati and away from its labor unions to Albany, Ga. Golf ball, basketball and football manufacturing was moved to Covington, Ga. While the move did quadruple production capacity, it also required an entirely new workforce.

The first few years under Brunswick were a mess. A new accounting system nearly killed the company, causing $12 million in losses in just three months. Salespeople saw their pay structure changed, prompting many to leave MacGregor for Acushnet.

The ship eventually stopped rocking long enough for MacGregor to sign Jack Nicklaus in 1962 to one of the first big-money equipment deals in golf: a staggering $100,000 for five years.

MacGregor had the hottest new golfer on the planet in its stable of professionals. With Jack about to embark on the greatest run of golf ever, MacGregor should have been sitting pretty. In truth, however, MacGregor was sitting on a house of cards.

The Not-So-Swingin’ 60s

“Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.”  Philosopher George Santayana

As far as decades go, the ’60s were not all that kind to golf. Over-production was an industry-wide problem and, in 1964, MacGregor was forced to liquidate 50 percent of that year’s product. The equipment glut led to the birth of off-course discount golf retailers. Those retailers would scoop up excess inventory at a bargain and sell it for less than club pros could buy it for.

As it did in 1927, MacGregor dove headfirst into retail. And, just as in 1927, club pros were understandably pissed. MacGregor’s pro shop gear was all custom made and of higher quality than the retail stuff but average golfers only saw the 25-percent premium.

At the same time, Karsten Solheim was making investment casting a thing. It was faster, easier, less expensive and made perimeter weighting doable. Penna, in fact, brought up the idea of investment casting in the ’50s but management dismissed the idea. Frustrated, Penna eventually left MacGregor to start his own company.

Moreover, Brunswick’s schizophrenic management style was taking its toll. At one point, MacGregor had five different presidents during an 18-month span. The company also struggled with quality issues at the new Albany plant, issues that would plague the company on and off for the rest of its existence.

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The Ownership Carousel

In 1978, Brunswick sold MacGregor to the Wickes Corporation. Wickes was a world leader in lumber sales and owned Snyder Drug and Red Owl supermarkets. Several of Wickes’s top brass were golf nuts so MacGregor seemed like the perfect toy.

Unfortunately, Wickes was swimming in debt. In April of 1982, Wickes sold the company to Nicklaus and Wickes VP Clark Johnson. Thirty days later, Wickes filed for Chapter 11, at the time the largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history.

Nicklaus had been heavily involved in MacGregor throughout the ’70s. He brought Jack Wullkotte, his personal club maker, back from Toney Penna in ’74 to oversee operations and he hired David Graham as chief designer. Together, they designed the VIP irons, which Graham used to win his two majors, and the Jack Nicklaus Limited Edition irons. Jack won two majors with those.

Clay Long was also part of the MacGregor team during those years. Chi Chi Rodriguez used Long’s oversized CG-1800 irons to win a bunch of Senior Tour events. And Long is best known for the Response ZT putter Jack used to win the ’86 Masters. The company figured it might sell about 6,000 Response ZTs but, by noon the day after the Masters, MacGregor had orders for 5,000. The company sold 150,000 the first year and 350,000 over three years. It was the single biggest seller in MacGregor history.

Amer and Irrelevance

MacGregor was making money again but Jack’s golf course business was in a jam. Specifically, the St. Andrews project in New York was becoming a money pit and Jack needed cash fast. So, in 1988, he sold 80 percent of MacGregor to the Amer Group from Finland for $8 million—the same Amer that would also buy Wilson Sporting Goods. Three years later, fed up with what he felt was lousy retail product, Jack sold his last 20 percent to Amer.

Amer’s stewardship of MacGregor didn’t make it through the ’90s. There was talk of folding MacGregor into Wilson but, in 1996, Amer sold MacGregor to Masters International Ltd. for $20 million. Two years later, Masters sold MacGregor to business maverick Barry Schneider for $42 million.

To his credit, Schneider made sweeping and long overdue changes. He phased out low-end lines, which accounted for millions in revenue, and focused on returning to MacGregor’s forged premium roots.

“I don’t want to be the biggest, just the best,” he was quoted as saying at the time.

Schneider and The Shark 

The Schneider years were a roller coaster for MacGregor. Big TV ad campaigns alternated with big cutbacks. Message and marketing consistency was long gone as MacGregor ran through eight ad agencies in 15 years. Schneider tried dumping the company in 2000 but found no takers. Two years later, he went all in again with a $10-million ad budget, in-store marketing, college team sponsorships and more than 1,200 demo days nationwide.

In 2003 Schneider brought Bobby Grace Putters into the fold and, by 2006, the company thought it had found its savior in Greg Norman. Even when the Shark was under contract with Cobra, he had MacGregor’s legendary Don White grind his irons for him. Within two years, Schneider was out and Norman was named chairman of the board.

“I underestimated the strength of existing brands in a consolidating industry,” Schneider said at the time.

Norman had big plans for a turnaround, dumping the low-end MacTec line and reviving MT irons. And there were plans to resurrect the VIP line in 2009. Unfortunately, the real world intervened in the form of a near-global financial collapse. By spring, the writing was on the wall. The chairman jumped overboard and signed a deal with TaylorMade. And in yet another example of the cosmos having a sense of humor, the former Goldsmith-MacGregor company was sold to golf retailer Golfsmith for less than $2 million.

The 112-year-old industry icon was now a store brand.

Golfsmith To DICK’S

“We have great respect for the history and tradition of the brand,” said Golfsmith VP David Lowe in the May 22nd issue of Golf Digest. “We’re going to make product that is consistent with its history.”

Golfsmith’s heart was in the right place. It assigned R&D to its partner, Jeff Sheets Design. The result was one last gasp, the 2010 MacGregor VIP forged cavity back. A titanium driver with a 360 cup face and a series of hybrids, fairways, wedges and putters followed. But the die was cast. MacGregor was a store brand and real golfers don’t buy store brands.

Golfsmith filed for bankruptcy in 2016. Ultimately, DICK’S Sporting Goods snapped up all its assets.

Where does that leave the MacGregor brand? That’s a good question and one we posed to David Michaels, DICK’S Senior Manager of Business Development. His answer was simple and straightforward.

“I’m not sure of the current situation of that brand.”

As John Cleese might say, this is a dead parrot.

What Killed MacGregor?

As with most business failures, you have the usual suspects: scattershot ownership, rudderless management, late-to-the-party innovation and ineffective marketing. Take your pick. They’re all valid. But the real reason is much simpler.

All businesses ebb and flow but the ones that last constantly challenge themselves by asking, “What business are we really in?” Seems simple enough but it’s an easy question to get wrong. MacGregor thought it was in the business of getting people to buy the golf equipment it made. However, it was most successful when Penna and company were developing golf equipment people wanted to buy.

There’s a difference.

By the ’90s, Callaway, TaylorMade and COBRA were making golf equipment people wanted to buy. They were new, exciting and innovative. MacGregor was viewed as being none of those. Even though it was the first company to design a driver using a computer in the early ’90s, people stayed away in droves.

“They were using something called the Cray Computer,” says Bob Winskowicz, founder of SQAIRZ golf shoes and a regional sales manager for MacGregor during the Amer years. “It analyzed what happened when the ball and club met at impact. What they saw was the clubhead expanding significantly and the ball compressing to about half its size.”

MacGregor used that information to develop the Mad Mac.

MacGregor Golf

“It had these gears on the top of the head and ribs at the bottom and they were connected internally,” Winskowicz tells MyGolfSpy. “The computer showed stress points and those stress points meant a lack of energy being transferred to the ball. Fast forward to today and Callaway is marketing the same thing with Jailbreak. Their rib technology delivers more ball speed.

“MacGregor did this back in the ’90s.”

But, by then, it was too late.

History’s Mysteries: Time Passages

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  Winston Churchill

MacGregor Golf is dead and buried but a few folks do miss it. Every April through July, I screw around with new irons that catch my fancy, hoping to find a new magic bullet. But, like clockwork, August comes and I go back to my one true love: the 2002 MacGregor V-Foil VIPs. They remain MacGregor’s last hurrah.

It’s hard for 100-year-old brands to be thought of as innovative or cutting edge, even if they are. Once the market decides you’re not innovative, you’re not innovative. It’s different now but in the 1950s through the 1990s, breakthrough innovation came from upstarts who had nothing to lose. Mainstays like MacGregor were too invested in the status quo. Their innovations wound up a day too late and a dollar too short.

MacGregor’s foray into metalwoods is a prime example. MacGregor owned the premium woods market from the Crawford Shoe Last days until 1988 when the first metalwoods showed up on Tour. Then it didn’t. In just nine months, MacGregor’s woods production dropped from 1,200 per day to 50 per week.

MacGregor did introduce golf’s first cast titanium driver, the T-920, in 1992. That, however, came a full year after the force of nature that was the Big Bertha, so no one cared. Callaway didn’t go full titanium until the Great Big Bertha in 1995. That year Callaway sold more than 250,000 GBBs. MacGregor sold only 2,500 T-920s.

Today, nearly all innovation comes from the big companies, simply because they have the R&D juice to do it. The New Age Ely Callaways of the world simply don’t. You can debate whether that’s a good thing but it certainly behooves the Big Five and the others to remember Santayana’s and Churchill’s warnings: Learn from the past or repeat it.

And remember what business you’re really in.

History’s Mysteries: Your Turn

We hope you enjoyed this installment of History’s Mysteries and our take on MacGregor’s downfall. Please let us know your recollections of MacGregor and, if you have any suggestions for future deep dives into golf’s historic brands, clubs or events, please let us know.

(Note: The worldwide web has been a tremendous help in researching this article. For an even deeper dive, we recommend Robert Rickey’s History of MacGregor: 1929 to 1979, and Adam Schupack’s seminal piece for Golfweek.)

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John Barba

John Barba

John Barba

John is an aging, yet avid golfer, writer, 6-point-something handicapper living back home in New England after a 22-year exile in Minnesota. He loves telling stories, writing about golf and golf travel, and enjoys classic golf equipment. “The only thing a golfer needs is more daylight.” - BenHogan

John Barba

John Barba

John Barba

John Barba

John Barba





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      Tim Hubert

      2 years ago

      No logical person is outraged at “jacked-up” lofts … we just don’t see the need for them. My first set of clubs were 1988 Wilson Staffs (3-PW) and were probably “jacked-up” from earlier sets but the 3 iron was 21* and PW was 50*. Now, “jacked-up” 8 club sets are 4-GW or even 5-GW2 but still cover basically the same lofts … 21* to 50*. If you’re playing a 32* club, who cares if it’s marked 6 or 8?

      Reply

      John K.. Atchley

      2 years ago

      A couple of years ago I bought a set of forged blade irons 3 – PW plus SW, GW and LW, called Chicago Classics by Evans Design. Bob Evans was a consultant for Tommy Armour and Hogan, and became Director of Tour Operations and Director of Production for MacGregor Golf. He joined Rife Putters in 2007. Evans and a partner had a small company in Clearwater, Florida from 1987-95 that produced excellent irons forged in Taiwan. The ones I have are very similar to Mizuno MP-33 irons. They are great feeling irons as good as any forged blades currently in the market in 2022. My set was put together with Rifle lite stiff shafts by Brendan Horton, the pro and club maker I go to at Olney Golf Park in Olney, Maryland.

      Reply

      Donald N Sweeny III

      2 years ago

      Great article. I played Wilson Staff tour blades in college 1969-1973. The 1 iron looks like knife to me today. Still have the woods also. Those were the good “old “ days.

      Reply

      steve perry

      3 years ago

      i really enjoyed the history of such a famous name in golf as macgregor. my first set i ever bought was a muscle back set with aluminum shafts in the 7o’s. then i had the golden bear irons and woods with the round sole, i played a lot of good golf with those. i have a brand new set of v-foil forged muscle back irons in my closet that are untouched and gathering dust, they are beautiful and maybe someday i will use them. the golf equipment game seems so competitive and changing as told in this story. thanks for the information.

      Reply

      Christopher Griffin

      3 years ago

      Well written, great name of the 80’s. I worked for Wilson so we fought McGregor for shop space exp in bags. Once Amer took it over was clear the two brands could exist under the same roof. I ddnt know Greg was involved as I left the industry. The halycon days you failed to mention was Jack winner the Masters in 1986 using that large alloy putter. Sales the next day/ weeks went ballistic! Those were the days!

      Reply

      Andrew D Horne

      3 years ago

      I have a set of tourney pub hand ground by Don White with the players initials SB stamped on the back. Wondering whether it is possible to find out who they were issued too?

      Reply

      JOE ROSATO

      3 years ago

      I was fortunate to find this good article after recently coming into possession of vintage MacGregor woods. . Bob Toski ( the Mity Mite ) 1,3 and 5. They”re in pretty good condition. The 1 wood needs a sole plate but face plate is in perfect condition.. I’m pretty lucky because I also came into possession two sets of the Tourney VIP V- FOILS !! The second set didn’t include the wedge and 8 iron.. Only golf nuts, like me, feel they are valuable.. I still use the irons !!

      Reply

      Imafitter

      3 years ago

      Once a company is sold, that’s usually about it! But it is all about marketing, and if you aren’t the sharpest, you’ll be left behind. Callaway is marketing and was very successful, as was Titleist. TaylorMade has been sold, as has Cobra, but they’re still holding on. Nike depended on Woods, but no one cared what he played. Ping is different. Family owned, highly into R&D, and solid. Do players playing certain brands make a difference…NO! No one buys Cobra one-length because of Bryson, Tiger was a failure with Nike clubs, no one buys TM because of Rory or Dustin, and Phil doesn’t sell Callaway. Consumers are very smart and they buy what THEY like in comparing equipment. And they do it with marketing and word-of-mouth. My opinion of the best of the best is PING.

      Reply

      Jack Moore

      2 years ago

      I bought a set of McGregor mt irons and woods in the 1970s the woods had aluminium inserts being a great nicklaus fan I also had an iron master putter. Last year I bought a 1-3-5 persimmon wood set they have never been hit and on the toe of the woods it says DX By Nicklaus I will never hit them Round about 1980 I bought a Tommy Armour McGregor driver probably the best driver I ever owned. Just to finish I must tell you I live in a town called IRVINE AYSHIRE where in 1962 Sam Snead opened the new Wilson Sporting Goods factory while in SCOTLAND to play in the 1962 OPEN at TROON won by ARNOLD PALMER that was the first of the many opens I have been lucky to attend seeing JACK and ARNIE as a 15 year old boy was the greatest present I ever had. MANY THANKS for the memories

      Reply

      Steve H.

      3 years ago

      Thanks for the wonderful history of MacGregor. I was a Pro Golf rep for Spalding in the 70’s and 80’s. The reasons you documented for MacGregor’s demise are pretty much the same ones that caused Spalding’s bankruptcy-very poor management by outsiders who never understood the unique golf business. I hope you may look into Spalding’s 100 plus year’s history sometime. Rather than clubs, it would be a golf ball history.

      Reply

      Jackie Santopietro

      3 years ago

      Fun read!!!

      Reply

      TOM

      3 years ago

      I remember Jack, David Graham and many other turning pros in an old McGregor television ad (sometime in the early 1980s), when Jack, at the end of the commercial, says, “Actually McGregor works for us..”

      Reply

      Jeff Williams

      3 years ago

      Great article. Having been a component supplier (grips and shafts) for over 45 yrs I have witnessed the growth and demise of many golf companies. The demise of many companies is when they are taken over by a much larger company. The new owners want to bring in their people and ideas on how to run the company. Believe it or not, the golf industry, by today’s standards, is a very small industry. It is unique on how it operates. You have to learn how to adapt to the market conditions because they change on a dime. When you have five new presidents, as MacGregor did, in five years it is headed for failure. Look at all the current CEO’s and presidents of golf companies and note how long they have been in the business! It is a process and it takes time.

      Reply

      Joseph Greenberg

      3 years ago

      I “inherited” (“borrowed/stole”)my dad’s Silver Scot ColorKrom irons and almond-inserted persimmon woods in the early ‘60s, not to mention his iconic Ironmaster putter (which should have been mentioned in the fine MGS piece and i still have). Not long after, i went to work for Harry Pezzulo, a Chicago golf pro and good friend to fellow MacGregor teaching pros Tommy Armour at Medinah and Hubby Habjian at Onwestia. Each Tommy Armour new model head would arrive with Tommy’s , Harry’s or Hubby’s name stamped on the muscle back or wood crown. As a teen, i was thrilled to become a fitter for all 3 of these great pros, a much easier job when every shaft was True Temper steel and every grip was leather off a spool.
      After years in the golf business, there is no name that deserved more reverence and was treated so poorly. Golfsmith produced some nice forged irons and i did acquire a 8802 style Hoylake forged blade putter that i still use when my old stroke needs smoothing out and nostalgia calls.
      As for the business side, i can’t recall a brand absorbed by a big box retailer that has flourished, much less survived. Maybe it’s time to go back to the future: customized manufacturing.

      Reply

      CG

      3 years ago

      Scored an albatross with MacGregor V-Foil 3 iron. Good times!

      Reply

      iANdUNCAN

      3 years ago

      great stories and great people…. the golf business is very tough for investors….
      good investments return cash to their owners or if the company retains the earnings to grow the company, the enterprise becomes worth more. Investments like golf club brands/manufacturers require big amounts of capital to pay the best players and for R&D. They then don’t really grow they just stay the same. So they never return cash to the investors… they just stay the same – if they’re lucky. Each brand has had its time in the sun, and then they generally disappear. Its been the case with them all, even Wilson and Callaway have struggled at times. Titleist may be the only exception – it has the ball business (by the balls :-)) and a shoe business with footjoy. Callaway has been smart and tried to diversify. Nike found it too hard. Adidas sold TaylorMade and closed ADAMS. And all the rest. Its tough – but golf business people try hard !! (all just my opinion… but I’ve seen them all as an investor and golfer).

      Reply

      Sam

      3 years ago

      MacGregor was the epitome of persimmon woods in the 40s and 50s. The craftsmanship was second to none. There was an elegance with a Model 69 wood and power when striking a golf ball. While the 40s and 50s were before my time as a person, let alone a golfer, I have become an admirer of MacGregor persimmon woods, certainly the pro-line woods of the early/mid 50s. I am fortunate in owning several pieces/sets of 693s, 945Ws, M43Ts, M85W/M85TW, M09T LFF, Toney Penna TP Specials. These woods, most of which have been restored, are the cornerstone of my persimmon wood collection. Occasionally I take a driver and a few balata balls out on the course for a spin. There is simply nothing like hitting a balata ball on the screws.

      Reply

      Gordo

      3 years ago

      I still and always will have my MacGregor JNP irons. Absolutely the best scoring irons ever. My son had them for years and gave then back to me several years ago and I gave him my VIP oversize clubs. When I bring them out everyone asks “Why?”. I let them chip with the 7 iron…no more questions. They are the forged in USA 850 stainless SG model clubs with square grooves – I know they are “illegal” as of this year but, I am too old to care and use “legal clubs” for money games. For enjoyment of golfing JNPs go in my bag from time to time. MacGregor will always be THE Greatest name in golf – as my dad always pointed out!

      Reply

      Eric Beckerman

      3 years ago

      I have two sets of JNP irons. The SG model (which I bought new in 1993), and a set of V groove clubs I bought off of eBay for $100 a couple of years ago. The V grooves are still legal.

      My second set is in my parents garage in Florida for 3 or 4 rounds a year. The V grooves are still my regular irons. Ive hit every new iron in the pro shop. I have yet to find any club that feels like the JNP. I believe they were the last club MacGregor made for Jack while he was still a PGA tour player. Incredible clubs

      Reply

      Thilo

      3 years ago

      Very good new format and wonderful article!

      I would like to read next about the Nike club exit, what was really behind it in detail, maybe some Nike execs could give more detail now that some years have past. There must have been more to it than just the desire to focus activities on apparel and a shrinking/consolidating golf equipment market.

      Reply

      Mike

      3 years ago

      Hey, great post. Yes, I’d love to know the real inside story about that. I think Nike clubs, for whatever reason, always had a bad rap. I personally don’t know why. Some of their clubs were incredibly innovative and were really good. Part of it I think was some type of passive-aggressive anti-tiger attitude. I can’t think of any other reason.

      Reply

      Clay Long

      3 years ago

      I can tell you Macgregor was a fun an interesting place to work for a long time. I started there in 1980 when it was still one of the big 4. At that time a golf companies manufactured their own products. You had to have a factory full of people that knew how to golf clubs from scratch. There was a tremendous amount of know how involved not only in design but the actual making of the product. The barriers to entry were considerable.
      That all changed as we moved off shore. Soon anyone with a sketch and a few dollars could have clubs made for them in Taiwan and then mainland China. You didn’t really need to know how to make anything.
      The landscape changed and the old established companies found themselves having to ditch their core competencies for a whole new way of acquiring product. None of them really made it, certainly not to the status they had held previously.
      Macgregor had too many owners and presidents over too short a time. A function of not making money but a formula for failure. I was there 12 years and we had 6 presidents. The longest run was 4 years and was by far the most successful. If you look at successful competitors like Titleist, Taylormade, Ping and Callaway you see a different story in terms of stable longer term leadership. If fact, even when some of these companies were going through rapid leadership change they showed weakness. Of course no one wants a bad leader to stay around.
      Macgregor was a great company and brand. Had great people that ate, breathed, and slept the company, wirked their tails off to make it successful. But in the end, it was a changing landscape that was its ultimate undoing. As it was for all the old great brands. But I loved it and still have green and white flowing in my veins.

      Reply

      Jim F.

      2 years ago

      I worked for MacGregor in Cincinnati in the early 70s, assembling, loading & unloading trucks, etc. Clay Long’s comments are “dead on.” Once manufacturing & assembly moved offshore, everything changed, seemingly overnight. And like Clay, I still have green in my veins.

      Interestingly, I see where someone in Henderson, Nevada has resurrected MacGregor again. They have a website and it looks like they sell quality products. I’d be interested in knowing if this is a reputable company and if what they sell is the “MacGregor quality” I saw in the 60s & 70s.

      Reply

      Alan Sinram

      1 year ago

      Clay was responsible for many more innovations than just Response Putter and CG 1800. The reverse Draft iron in my opinion was a great golf club. Clay was one of the few designers in the business that could design a very playable golf club that looked great to a good player. I sold and played many under par rounds of golf with Clay Long Designs.

      Reply

      MGoBlue100

      3 years ago

      Great work, JB! Fascinating read; stuff I never knew. Keep ’em coming!

      Reply

      BrickHouse

      3 years ago

      Loved the story. The first set of woods I bought instead of finding what Dad had put into the closet were four Tourney woods in 1976 at a driving range. They had aluminum inserts so had the feel of a wood but hit like a metal wood long before those came to be.

      Reply

      Nick

      3 years ago

      I love these kind of articles, hope to see more in the future.

      Reply

      Brad

      3 years ago

      Loved the article. I’m fascinated by the brands I grew up with that have disappeared. I played some of my best golf in the 80s with Powerbilt Citation woods, Haig Ultra irons, a Ram Wizard 600 putter and Black Max ball. I’d love to read about brands like Ram, Northwestern, Faultless, and Arnold Palmer”s company (still have a set of The Standard woods and irons). I’d also like to see clubs that were a bit innovative such as the Browning 440s or the Ginty,

      Reply

      Mike M

      3 years ago

      Great article John. Looking forward to more of these.

      Reply

      David Patterson

      3 years ago

      Great article!…For an installment idea. What happened with Nike’s golf products!? They had Tiger in their stable and were all the rage….then disappeared very quickly?

      Reply

      mywong23

      3 years ago

      As one who always wondered what happened to MacGregor clubs and balls… I appreciate the history lesson. I admit to a shorter attention span, these days…. But I am glad to have read your article. :)

      mike wong

      Reply

      golf4frek

      3 years ago

      A very interesting read I enjoyed it very much. Took up golf in the early 80’s. My first set were Lynx USA’s I enjoyed them greatly and could hit the two iron a mile.. Not real sure of the history of Lynx, maybe that would be a good company to do an article on. Thanks again for the info on MacGregor..

      Reply

      Brandon

      3 years ago

      Pretty sure Lynx still makes clubs after a long hiatus.

      Reply

      Mike Grebe

      3 years ago

      Ii always had a thing for Wilson Staff Irons in my younger days but MacGregor woods were the very top line. When I was 16 I bought a set of early 60s . MT Tourney woods from a lady that said they were her sons but he left them when he moved out.. The driver was absolutely the prettiest piece of persimmon I ever saw and the 3 and 4 woods, which I still have, weren’t far behind. About 10 years later I busted the insert in the driver’s face and instead of getting it fixed I went to an early 50s Tommy Armour driver which I hit till I was convinced metal woods ere tsuperior.. Persimmon had such character and top line MacGregors were a status symbol.

      Reply

      David

      3 years ago

      I was a Wilson Staff guy. The MacGregor had too thick a top line for me. But the persimmon woods were choice.

      Reply

      James R.

      3 years ago

      Great article… What is the deal with this guy’s ? https://www.macgregor-golf.co.uk/

      Reply

      Tom Aguirre

      3 years ago

      Great historical piece on MacGregor golf clubs, but how could you leave out Johnny Miller?

      As an amateur, Miller started playing MacGregor clubs. For years he used a set of irons made just after WWII. The 1-7 irons were stainless steel 915T Tommy Armours.. Miller shortened the hosels, reground the blades then adjusted the swing weight with lead tape. Miller stated that he was pretty sure his set of clubs were the oldest ones that had ever won championships. His manager talked him into signing with Wilson for more money after 1974 and Miller said the performance of his Wilson equipment never matched the venerable MacGregor clubs he had used for years. Miller called the switch to Wilson one of the biggest mistakes of his career. One thing Miller mentioned about his modified MacGregor clubs was the sweet spot was dangerously close to the hosel, but with his precise swing, this was never a problem.

      Reply

      Tony

      3 years ago

      Great article … thank you … look forward to more like this ;-)

      Reply

      Garen Egg

      3 years ago

      Played Wilson Staff FG-17 ‘s for 20 years, had a Mac Gregor persimmon driver for 20 years and had a few sets of Mac irons that were lovely and well tuned , great nostalgia for me now

      Reply

      Dr Tee

      3 years ago

      Great article–a walk down memory lane ! My first full set of clubs purchased in 1961 was a set of used MT Colokrom irons with red and blue wrapped leather grips. Literally every one at my home course, Winnetka GC on Chicago’s North Shore, played either MT’s or Wilson Staff. As my game improved and I began to play competitive high school golf and Illinois junior golf I added the DX Tourney Woods. By then I guess they were having quality issues and two sets of heads either cracked or delaminated causing me to jump ship to Wilson. I still have both the Macgregors and the Wilsons and bring them out ceremoniously once a year for a round to celebrate the golden era of clubmaking. Of course, I’m an avid member of a Forged Head group on Facebook that anyone interested in the most beautiful clubs ever made should follow.

      Reply

      Last MacGregors I owned were Muirfield blades. Had a set of MTs before that. Really nice clubs. I bought a set of woods 1-4 that were supposedly owned by a pro at Bethpage. Nearly unused. For what I paid who cares but they are really some great looking pieces of furniture. When Norman had the company I watched an exhibition. One of the players was Aaron Baddely another Aussie. He had a set of irons that were blanks but had the MacGregor script on the hosel. Great history, some bad decisions,

      Reply

      Moody River 49

      3 years ago

      Well researched article, I was the owner of Sheets Design Group, we always had some interesting items laying around our digs ( AKA Golfsmith R&D). We did a great job redesigning the MacGregor’s, Jeff was a terrific designer along with David. Golfsmith management decided no go (marketing killed it).

      Reply

      Glen Stainton

      3 years ago

      A very interesting and well written history. I enjoyed it immensely. Thank you.

      Reply

      Joel Gumina

      3 years ago

      The first set of clubs I purchased was MacGregor Golden Bears at a department store. Having been introduced to the game in 8th grade I was hooked and those bears played well enough for me to make the golf team as a freshman in high school – OK I was the last guy on the roster but never enjoyed golf as much as I did then. Over the years I had a soft spot for MacGregor clubs – how many of you recall the RPM Parabolic Groove irons? Yep, I had ’em. Held onto a set of V-Foil irons until just this year when someone in my household said it was time to give up on my “inventory”. Sent off 15 sets of irons, numerous wedges & putters. Oh, there were lots of drivers fairways & hybrids to boot and while I enjoy my Mizuno game improvement irons now in the bag I do miss taking the V-Foils out to revisit the great round at Arcadia Bluffs back in the day!

      Reply

      Bill

      3 years ago

      I remember as a young caddy and player at Punxsutawney Country Club a member would lend me golf clubs to play in special events. It was a very nice set of MacGregor golf clubs. I loved the irons and especially the wedge.

      Reply

      AndyMac

      3 years ago

      Really enjoyed the article. I caddied in the 70’s at an old Open course and the long time head pro was a MacGregor man. I still have a set of VIP irons that I used until ’96 (TA 845’s replaced), and a persimmon driver with perfect grain dyed in red., hangs on a wall in my basement. The Tourney golf balls sucked though!

      Reply

      Matt G

      3 years ago

      Enjoyed the article. Just bought Wilson Staff CB Irons from PGA Superstore. They look great and Perform as good or better than Callaway, Ping, Titleist … They’re also 25% was expensive. A great formula for future success.

      Reply

      Rob Evans

      3 years ago

      Starting in 1974, I spent 40 years as a high school golf coach at a small rural school in Indiana. My players were brought up on a public course and definitely NOT country club bred. Can’t tell you how many kids showed up as junior high golfers with MacGregor Jack Nicklaus Golden Bear clubs, usually bought at K-Mart. You know the clubs, Jack Nicklaus in script, with Golden Bear in gold paint with the Bear on all 4’s to the right. Got where I hated to see these clubs as so many iron heads broke right next to the hosel. I’ll bet I saw 30 or 40 through the early years. And this was before club repair became available.

      Reply

      Ed

      3 years ago

      Great article. I just dusted off my first set of clubs — CG-1800s from the mid “80s. Hard to believe Chi Chi (or anybody) won with clubs like these. Think I’ll give them a try this week.

      Reply

      Mike Reed

      3 years ago

      Some research club makers might be: Peerless – The Standard (I have a set)…Lil David Slingers…Powerbilt…whatever happened to these?

      Reply

      Tony

      3 years ago

      I had a set of ‘Powerbuilt’ Frequency Matched graphite shafted irons — expensive ! I don’t know what they were matched to, with or against but after a couple of years I couldn’t hit them straight and had a local club maker check them out for me. Every single shaft had a different bending characteristic … they were rubbish. Went back to tour heads with cross-wound carbon shafts and my love of blades was rekindled.

      Reply

      Barney Adams

      3 years ago

      1977. Golf City in Louisiana won a lawsuit against golf manufacturers ( and the PGA) essentially saying they could no longer refuse to sell pro line clubs to retailers. Eventually became THE. business game. changer

      Reply

      Ballzo

      3 years ago

      Still play MacGregor. IMO still a great iron compared to todays offerings. I rotate between playing Pro-c’s. Pro-m’s and a set of Mactec M685’s. Great shape, great soles and forged feel. No plans on changing my bag here for a while.

      Reply

      Scott D

      3 years ago

      Thank you for this article. I really enjoyed reading it. It reminded me of the article you guys did a while back on the Burke/PGA/Tommy Armour golf club company and it’s history. I agree with the other readers who say “More articles like this, please!”

      Reply

      Eamonn

      3 years ago

      I echo the congrats above John, a wonderful article.

      A request for same for Golden Ram please, the last great irons to be forged in the USA of course. Am sure I’m not alone in still playing the Golden Ram Tour Grinds, in my case the frequency matched 1990. edition.
      Tom Watson signed my 3 iron at Sunningdale, not long after his near miss at Turnberry. In his own words., “That’s a great club”.
      The 4 – PW are still in the bag with original FCM 6.5 shafts (another all time great in my view); the 3 iron – they’ll have to prise from my dead hands.. Thanks again!

      Reply

      NRJyzr

      3 years ago

      Eamonn, you are obviously a person of excellent taste :)
      I also have my share of Ram Tour Grinds, of various vintages. Ram might be an interesting story, as well, though they lack the longevity of MacGregor, Wilson, etc.

      Reply

      Eamonn

      3 years ago

      Ahh, great to hear from a fellow devotee. Yes likewise NRJYZR, I’ve got various sets from Vibration Matched through to FX Tour Grind and TG-898 – all great clubs (we’ll not mention the nickel TGs).
      Also noteworthy are the Adams A-Tours that Tom Watson co-designed,, based on the Tour Grind profile from address.
      I see your point on longevity, but they did shine brightly in a halcyon time – at least 7 Open Championships – Watson obviously, Seve in 1979, Price and maybe Player in 74?
      And we haven’t even touched on the Ram Tom Watson wedges!
      John – surely worth an article, whaddya think? I’d love to hear more from the legend himself,, Mr. Watson… that really would be something.

      Charlie DeVerna

      3 years ago

      Great read JB..thanks

      Reply

      Bill

      3 years ago

      In 1953 my dad bought me a set of MacGregor Tourney irons so I had a regular set for playing on our high school golf team. I still have the set. Over the years i’ve toyed with the idea of having them reshafted and regriped. This article has provided the motivation to do so. I know I’ll get a kick out of playing with them.

      Reply

      Steve S

      3 years ago

      I hope that the folks at Wilson read this and learn how to avoid a similar fate. My sense of it says they won’t.

      Reply

      Gary

      3 years ago

      As a kid MagGregor and Wilson Staff were THE clubs to play. I bought some MacGregor irons in the 80’s from Roger Dunn shop in CA. They were a set of cheaper retail clubs. I think I bought them because the name had history. Even now, when I see Wilson clubs or bags I remember the old days value. It’s the power of impressions made on a young man and recalling their former glory.

      Reply

      markdeg

      3 years ago

      John – thank you for an informative, well written and researched, engaging article. These timeless truths you expose apply to any business – not just those related to the golf industry. Always have admired those who have the vision and creativity to innovate i.e. shoe lasts to golf club heads . Cool! Hope to read more of your writings in the future. Possible subjects for consideration ; 1) The rise and demise of the wound rubber golf ball. I believe Goodrich provided some radical innovation in that process , and 2) Faultless Golf , its history , innovations , and what role did Trevino play in the company and its products. thanks

      Reply

      TD George

      3 years ago

      In 1957, at age 14, with my very first paycheck ever, I bought a set of MacGregor Tommy Armour irons with the copper faces for $135. They were amazing, 1 foot and 3 foot birdie putts became commonplace.. I was unbeatable.
      I used them until I was 35.
      A club pro who wanted my irons gave me a deal I could not pass up.
      My game has never been the same…

      Reply

      Ryan

      3 years ago

      There is a set on eBay right now, you could get em back!!!

      Reply

      David

      3 years ago

      I love Macgregor, and still have the VIP 1025Ms. I loved the MTPro-Ms as well, but they were mostly unplayable.

      Other brands that are interesting, but not as historic that you could cover in a smaller piece: Nickent and Scratch.

      Reply

      David Hinton

      3 years ago

      Enjoyed the read. I think an article on Spalding, their relationship with Bobby Jones, the Top Flite ball, Strata, and their ultimate demise would be similarly interesting.

      Reply

      David

      3 years ago

      I also love the 1025 V-foil MacGregor irons. I played them for years. I even own a backup set with original grips for those times when I pull my old set out and need a replacement just in case.

      As a blade, they are about as forgiving as you can get. Even the Maltby rating agrees. If they had a more rounded leading edge I’d probably still be playing them.

      But now that I’ve read this, I might put them back in the bag for a go!

      Reply

      Andy Locke

      3 years ago

      Thanks for the great article and history lesson. Enjoyable read.

      Reply

      Regis

      3 years ago

      First clubs I bought were MT s. Forged irons and persimmon woods. Black and red wrapped leather grips. I’m tearing up as I write.
      Great Great piece. Only question/disagreement I have is that Titleist was always sold exclusively in pro shops and for that matter Ping ,at least initially .Idea was they wanted their customers to be properly fit at least for lie and loft. Mail Order/On line sales changed the market. Heck I’m old enough to remember as a kid you went to a tailor shop or shoe store to buy nice clothes. Even national chain stores had tailors available. Now you order on line. If it doesn’t fit or you don’t like it, send it back.
      Not sure which system is preferable

      Reply

      Bruce Baum

      3 years ago

      I am still using a MT Tourney D4 from 1958 in persimmon for my tee offs. A little battle sacred etc. and all the guys look and say WHOA, where did I get it? I bought it in 1958 at the Inwood Country Club on Long Island. It is old but I still get a kick out of it. I hit it 225 to 240 and for my age I don’t think I can do much better with a Big Bertha.

      Reply

      Mike

      3 years ago

      Yeah, you most certainly could. Worth a trip down to your local professional fitter.

      Reply

      Woody Stillwagon

      3 years ago

      Back in the day, the 1950s as a caddy, there were three major club makers. ie,
      Mac Gregor, Spaulding and Burke. What happened to Spaulding and Burke?

      Reply

      Tee

      3 years ago

      Thoroughly enjoyed reading this article. I’m relatively new to golf and enjoy learning about it’s history. I look forward to reading about the companies that once had a major impact.

      Reply

      Michael Harmon

      3 years ago

      The VIP V-FOILs are MY favorite all-time irons, as well. I have three sets. A mint MB, a combo set I go back to again and again, and a full CB set. Absolutely the most gorgeous forged irons ever produced. And talk about “butter”? Hit the sweet spot with these and Mizuno’s got nothing on them in terms of feel. (And I love Mizuno).

      Reply

      Tracy

      3 years ago

      Have you ever hit the TN 87’S? The holy grail of blades! IMHO

      Reply

      Joseph Stilwell

      3 years ago

      I miss the MacGregor name and greatly regret their passing. I’m somewhat amused at some of the new clubs touting a forged club design with a three or more piece iron. They’re great clubs, but hardly true forgings. I still have a set of MacGregor 1025CM irons which I’ll play from time to time. But I will never part with them, because they are one of the most beautiful designs I’ve ever seen. I enjoyed the article.

      Reply

      TC

      3 years ago

      My first set were hand-me-down MacGregor Colorkrom copper insert irons. I struggled with them until I got my first set of PING Eye2 irons.

      Really enjoyed this article. Would love to see a similar treatment for Titleist.

      Reply

      Vas

      3 years ago

      GREAT article. Thank you! I absolutely loved my MacGregor VIP CMs…

      Reply

      Kirby

      3 years ago

      So the real winner in this story is Masters International Ltd. who made $22 million in just 2 years! And then sat back and watch it tank. A nice write up, thanks for doing it!

      Reply

      Alf.S

      3 years ago

      Traditionally Mc is the Irish spelling and Mac is Scottish and in both cases it means son of. It does raise a paradox of a woman with the name Jane MacGregor translate means Jane son of Gregor.

      Reply

      Dale Owens

      3 years ago

      Interesting article John.

      Reply

      Jerry

      3 years ago

      Fabulous article! I also love reading of golf history (especially equipment & courses). I got in the MacGregor train for a while back when Norman was on board with them. Loved the old V-Foil wedges with that big hump of a sole! Well done! More of this, please! Thanks!

      Reply

      BT

      3 years ago

      Wonderful writeup of a golf legend. I have a set of early ’60’s MTs and matching woods. I had them refinished and nowt hey just live for the memories. Keep these stories coming, please!

      BT

      Reply

      Lou

      3 years ago

      Great read! Fond memories! My 1st irons were my Dad’s hand me down MacGregor MT’s. I carefully repainted the logo and everywhere there was writing. I learned to play golf with MacGregor clubs. I think Dick’s could do well re-inventing the name. Dick’s is no fly by night company. They are a big seller of golf merchandise and are well respected. Their Tommy Armour brand is high quality without the high price of TM, Callaway, etc. Their Maxfli is a very good ball. A little more advertising and they’d be a bigger seller.

      Reply

      ScottC

      3 years ago

      I second that Rob! Who knew Dayton was the birthplace of Macgregor golf. Growing up the MT’s were the popular club along with Wilson Staffs at Kiityhawk and Community golf courses in Dayton. Thanks for a great story John!

      Reply

      Thomas A

      3 years ago

      I remember seeing those VIP irons in Golfsmith in 2010. They looked so nice. I was just getting back into golf and was right to think they weren’t right for me. But they were only $300. Still kicking myself.

      Reply

      Steve O

      3 years ago

      I hope that Wilson Staff reads this and really understands the relevance to their own brand.

      Reply

      Keith Bubalo

      3 years ago

      Loved your article on MacGregor, brought back a lot of fond memories when I was a young high school golfer looking for the “magic sticks”.. When I made the cut to play varsity golf as a freshman my dad said he would buy me a pro set of clubs.. Had my heart set on MacGregor VIPs, but the shop we went to didn’t have them in stock.. Great memories.

      Reply

      WYBob

      3 years ago

      John: an excellent article that brought back many fond memories. My suggestion for your next deep dive into historic golf brands is The Ben Hogan equipment story. In many ways, its history parallels that of MacGregor from the mid-1950s through the early 2000s. From my teenage years starting out as a caddie through the last decade as a player, if you wanted high-quality forged irons it was either Hogan or MacGregor (and later Mizuno). I still have several sets of Hogans and one set of MacGregor V-Foil M675 that I pull out and play from time to time. What would be an interesting addition to your MacGregor story would be the connection to Katsuhiro Miura and the irons he crafted for Nicklaus, Olazabal, and others under the MacGregor brand.

      Reply

      Mark

      3 years ago

      Put 1970 Hogan Round Sole irons in my bag to play on Mr. Hogan’s birthday, August 13. I’m a 14, but these blades are amazing.

      Reply

      Skip Guss

      3 years ago

      Had the unreal privilege of having Mr. Wullkotte make my golf clubs for many years out of his Lake Park location. The BEST club-maker…by far…in the history of this game. Thank you, Mr. Wullkotte…for everything you did for both Wayne Smith & me!!!!

      Reply

      Jason Stearns

      3 years ago

      Loved their clubs they are classics. Played the JNP irons for many years. I wish they could recapture some of the magic because I would purchase them. I have in my basement a set of the VIP from 2002 and I take them out every so often to remember what it was like. Maybe Dicks or Golf Galaxy could do something special for golfers that loved this brand so much.

      Reply

      Alex Sharpe

      3 years ago

      Great story! It was a walk down memory lane for me. My first set of clubs in the early sixties were MacGregor. I still have the copper faced irons but not the woods. What fabulous clubs.

      Reply

      chuck harvey iv

      3 years ago

      I played macGregors when I first turned club pro in 70’s. I like to see them come back.

      Reply

      chuck harvey iv

      3 years ago

      I played macGregors when I first turned club pro in 70’s. I like to see them come back.

      Reply

      Mark Smolens

      3 years ago

      Once a year I drag out my dad’s old Tommy Armour MT irons he purchased in 1950 at Koganei Country Club near Tokyo (they were $50 cheaper there than he could get them at the PX in Manila). The six iron has the same loft as my current 8 iron, but when you hit one on the sweet spot. . . pure golf bliss.

      Thanks for the retrospective

      Reply

      Héctor Fernández

      3 years ago

      This is one of the best golf articles I have read in a long time. Well done!

      Reply

      Sage

      3 years ago

      This was a great read! Loved it.

      Reply

      Allen Hearne

      3 years ago

      I love articles like this. Learning the stories behind names, brands and products I grew up with, but really knew nothing about. I look forward to more.

      Reply

      Rick

      3 years ago

      I can remember when as a child and a caddy I would go into the pro shop and drool over the Wilson Staff and MacGregor MT irons which could be had for $125 a set 2-pw.

      Reply

      Michael

      3 years ago

      That was a blast from the past. And thanks for the info on Tony Penna. I used to have some of his persimmons, wish I still did. As I get older I appreciate the tech in a 460 head, thank the gods for a bit more stability that perimeter weighting provides, some tungsten too, please. But, in my heart, forged and wood, and an 8802.

      Reply

      François

      3 years ago

      Hi from Paris, France, where MyGolfSpy’s fans are growing up step by step
      My last experience of Mac Gregor is in Japan : the brand is still alive there and it’s a premium one, like Xxio
      Not the same story…

      Reply

      Rob

      3 years ago

      What a great piece of writing John, and what looks to be a great series, looking forward to more of these.

      I grew up in Dayton, OH and had no idea it was the birthplace of such a major force in golf. Everyone only talks abut it being the birthplace of the Wright Brothers who invented something called airplanes!

      Reply

      4eyedbuzzard

      3 years ago

      I grew up caddying at the Dayton muni in the 60’s. $3 a bag + tips for 18. You could make $20+ on a good weekend – more if you carried doubles. They would let us caddies play the inside 18 for free on weekdays during the summer. Oh, and don’t forget Charles Kettering, a prolific inventor, most notably for the electric car starter. The Dayton suburb is named for him.

      Reply

      Dave

      3 years ago

      Great read. I started I golf in 1970 and grew up with MacGregor woods and irons. I was still using the irons I the mid eighties when I was playing off scratch. I always wondered how they got it so wrong.

      Reply

      Jeff Williams

      3 years ago

      Great article. Having been a component supplier (grips and shafts) for over 45 yrs I have witnessed the growth and demise of many golf companies. The demise of many companies is when they are taken over by a much larger company. The new owners want to bring in their people and ideas on how to run the company. Believe it or not, the golf industry, by today’s standards, is a very small industry. It is unique on how it operates. You have to learn how to adapt to the market conditions because they change on a dime. When you have five new presidents, as MacGregor did, in five years it is headed for failure. Look at all the current CEO’s and presidents of golf companies and note how long they have been in the business! It is a process and it takes time.

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