Wednesday, April 1

First Set of Golf Clubs: Recalling Lloyd Mangrum Irons, Lady Ben Hogans and More

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST SET of golf clubs?

I've spent part of the morning trying to answer that question for myself.

I started playing golf at the age of 12 at Desert Aire Golf Course, a public 9-hole course in Palmdale, California.

Lloyd Mangrum Golfcraft Irons
I'm pretty certain my first full set of golf clubs included a used set of Lloyd Mangrum irons. They had black shafts made of glass. After doing some research, I've determined the model name was Golfcraft (see photo).

The irons were castoffs from somebody my dad knew. I played with them during my first two years of high school. Then I acquired a used set of Wilson Staff irons. They were blades, of course. I loved them.

My woods? That was a mixed bag as I went through adolescence. They included Hagens, Hogans and MacGregor Tourneys.

To be honest, I've rarely owned new golf equipment, playing mostly with used woods, irons and putters for decades. My current set includes Adams woods (from my brother) and a used set of Ping i3 irons. It's never been more convenient to find used golf clubs at online golf stores such as Golf Avenue.

A few years ago Julie Crichton, a writer and avid golf fan, told me about her first set of golf clubs. They were Hogans.

Julie's brother had reminded her one day when they talked on the phone.

A set of Ben Hogan
Princess clubs
"He began to tease me," Julie said. "'Sister, your first set of clubs were Lady Ben Hogan Princesses in a baby-blue bag.'"

They were hand-me-downs from her grandmother.

"I adored the Lady Ben Hogans and used them well past their prime into the '80s," Julie said, "though, of course I had them all regripped and replaced the miserable blade putter with a Bullseye."

At that time, Julie still had the clubs stored in a closet as a keepsake.

She added, "My grandmother did, after all, win a few Emporia Country Club ladies championships with them back when the greens were sand."

A reader named Peter commented, "Modern super fancy golf clubs may be high qualityquality and super game improvementbut nothing is better than clubs which remind us of people we appreciated."

I couldn't agree more. I still have some vintage golf clubs in storage. I just can't part with them.

Sponsored by Golf Avenue.

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