- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: Collector Books; 1 edition (September 9, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1574322648
- ISBN-13: 978-1574322644
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.8 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #490,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Vintage Era of Golf Club Collectibles: Identification & Value Guide Hardcover – Illustrated, September 9, 2001
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This book helps fill a large gap in understanding a great era of golf, 1919 to 1942, the period of change from the hickory or wooden shaft to steel and innovations in production and designs by great designers - many of who not only designed clubs but are amongst the greatest golfers ever. The book introduces the metal and pyratone covered metal shafted clubs of 1919 - 1942 and the slow retreat until 1932 when very few clubs were made with hickory shaft.
About the Author
Ronald John served six years in the U.S. Air Force and earning doctorate and post doctorate degrees in special education and clinical psychology. His passion for sports has been rechanneled since 1996 because of back fusion surgery and firm doctor's orders into studying the history of golf and golfing equipment and collecting post-WWI clubs.
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The book also identifies unique designs, which is where one will gather the best value, though the pictorial representations are not supported by any text other than the simplistic descriptions and approximate values.
Sadly, it lacks any degree of information. It appears to be more of a catalog of someone's collection than a reference work. Although there is a great deal of individually identified (cataloged) clubs, there are far too many instances where it reads more like an auction bulletin, with descriptions such as "Drivers, pyratone shafts 1923 - 1942 approximate value $55.00 each" to describe a page full of images that are all too small to allow the reader to identify any of the single clubs represented on the page. This is also a problem in other areas of the book such as the grips section.
Other than the main chapter headings ("Metal Woods"; "Custom Clubs"; "Wood Heads, Steel, Pyratone, or Wood Shafted Clubs"; "Irons and Full Sets"; "Composite Materials"; "Fancy Face Woods"; "Fancy Face Putters & Irons"; "Utility Irons"; "Practice Clubs"; "Putters"; "Adjustable Clubs") the individual club listings do not appear to follow any order. The listings within each chapter do not follow any date order, and the dates are mixed from within the "era" of the titled subject matter: from the 1920s through the 1940s. On one page the reader can find clubs represented from 1920 and 1930, where the next starts with 1940 ending with1920. It appears that the order was controlled by the graphic designer with no thought given to the usage of the book as a reference source.
Unfortunately, if you were looking to this book as a reference to learn more about any individual clubs you'd have to look through every page listed in the index under the manufacturer's name as the main chapter headings are the sole order. As example: a particular Spaulding wood might be in listed the "Wood Heads, Steel, Pyratone, or Wood Shafted Clubs" chapter because of the type of shaft utilized in its manufacture, whereas a different Spaulding wood could be listed in any one of the "Metal Woods", "Fancy Face Woods", or "Composite Materials" chapters.
In closing if one is expecting this book to compare to The Golfworks series of "The Golf Club Identification and Price Guide" they will be disappointed. If they are looking for a coffee table pictorial of a good deal of the clubs that were manufactured before ones cataloged in The Golfworks price guides.
This era began in the mid-1920s and lasted to around 1940. Many collectors have overlooked the unique designs, styles, ground breaking advancements and unsuccessful patents of these depression era club makers.
Ronald John's wonderful book has a wealth of full color pictures depicting many of these styles and designers. Of particular note are the beautiful "fancy face" woods, odd patented designs, and the early versions of now common clubs like sand wedges and offset putters.
Another useful feature of this book is the detailed valuations that are indicated for each club. In comparisons against prices on eBay I have found John to be surprisingly accurate, especially for exceptional examples of the various clubs shown.
Ronald John has provided a valuable service to collectors by producing this book documenting an era of clubmaking that is clearly under-appreciated by collectors and historians alike. Over the coming years it will likely have an effect of helping to increase valuations of the vintage classics produced during this time.
interest in the history of the golf club and fantastic photos of the evolution
of same- get this volume!!!
Great service from Amazon and Amazon Seller!!!
Washington Spitfire-Vancouver Washington