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Building A Club Arsenal with My Dad’s Callaway Big Bertha Irons…

I started looking yesterday into getting my dad’s irons built so that I can use them. My dad wasn’t short, but he wasn’t tall, either. I’d peg him at about 5’8″, about 4″ shorter than my 6’0″ (172 cm and 182 cm respectively). Also, I have a bit of a quirk with my swing. I like to stand upright. A lot like Jim Furyk but without the ungainly loop he has in his swing. This isn’t to criticize, of course, I have deep respect for the man. His swing was somewhat odd, though. The upright stance and my above average height (golf clubs are built for a 5’9″ make (175 cm). Long story short, I need my irons to be an inch longer than standard to use them successfully. So, right off the bat, I know I’m adding an inch to the current length.

I also assumed I’d need new shafts on the clubs. My dad did not have a hard swing by any measure, so I figured he had medium flex shafts on the Big Bertha irons. This is partially why I never bothered to build them up in the first place. Custom frequency matched steel Rifle shafts, with the loft and lie adjustment, plus grips… well, you’re looking at about $600 by the time it’s all over***. Beside that, my old Slotline Inertial irons were the cat’s pajamas – I did have those custom-built with the aforementioned Rifle shafts (6.5 – extra-stiff). They were also starting to show considerable wear in the grooves. That, and I haven’t swung them but a few times in the last eight years, they were in desperate need of new grips.

So, if I am getting back into golfing (and I am), the question was how much was this little adventure going to cost me?

Well, I decided to take the ass out of assumptions and look at what I had. Now, being fair, I had my Slotline irons built in the late 90s. I was still in my late 20s, for God’s sake. There’s no chance, after eight years off, I’m going to need the extra-stiff steel shafts. Medium wouldn’t do, either. Even at 51, I’m a fit 50. I’ll be swinging hard again in no time.

Miraculously, my dad bought the wrong shafts for his irons. He bought stiff graphite shafts. They’ll be perfect for me. I won’t need to buy new shafts. I’ll just need a 1″ adapter plug epoxied into the end of the current shafts – about $3 per club plus labor. After that, it’s new grips (Golf Pride, tour velvet, the industry standard, of course) $7.50 per club plus labor, and I’m good. I’ll get out of this for less than $150!

I’m going to hit a snag, though. My dad couldn’t hit a 3 or 4-iron so they’re missing from his set. Now, I never liked my 3-iron much anyway, so I’ll go with a 7-wood in its place. The 4-iron will be a problem, though. I think I just might keep my 4-iron from the Slotline set in my bag. I loved that club and used to hit it a ton – 210-ish. On the other hand, and this is important, my dad left me a second, backup set of Tommy Armour 845 Silver Scots. They’re beautiful. I could break the set up and put the TA 4-iron in my bag… I don’t think I will, though. I think I’ll leave the 4-iron in a TA bag and give that to my daughter this summer.

That way, grandpops lives on a little bit for my daughter, too. In fact, that’s exactly what I’m going to do, now that I think about it. Writing this post made that decision easy.

So, $150 for my set, maybe $130 for Bella’s… and we’ll be good to go. Thankfully, from back in my avid golfing days, I’ve already got everything else she’ll need for a full set, bag and all, out in the garage.

I’m going to get out of this A LOT cheaper than anticipated.

***There’s another technical problem that I didn’t bother mentioning earlier about the loft and lie with the Callaway irons. To do so would have made for an unnecessary extra paragraph or two trying to explain the intricacies of the issue. The Callaway irons have the old bore through the hosel. They’re also cast. This means they don’t bend well for loft and lie. On the other hand, I did set my old 5-iron next to the new Callaway 5-iron and a few of the other irons they’re identical to my set… I’ll have everything checked, but it looks like I’ll get lucky there, as well.