GOLF HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF CANADA

A (Broken) Iron Without a Pin

The metal heads of wooden-shafted clubs are held in place with a pin, passing through the hosel and the cone at the end of the shaft, and peened at each end to rivet it in place. We are all familiar with this, and it is almost universally true. But apparently not quite universally. In all of the hundreds of wooden shafted clubs from which I have removed the heads, this is the only one I encountered that didn't have a pin. As always, see the individual pictures and their captions if you want all the details, or skip if you don't want details. Comments and questions are welcome.

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So, I was playing a round at my home course. I teed up a ball, and took a swing with this Burr-Key-Bilt, Majestic, 'Chromium Plated' mid-iron. There was a resounding metallic 'ding', almost like a bell... and the head landed about 12 feet in front of me. The ball, by the way, landed left of the green, almost pin high. The club head had snapped right through the heel. Here's the head, from the back, just the way it broke off.

And here's the face side of the broken head.

This isn't the first time I've broken a metal head on the tee. A couple of others broke on me, a year or two ago. Those were both 'rustless' heads, made of some dull grey metal. I can't recall the maker, and I seem to have lost the rest of the heads... but here are the hosel pieces of those two. Both were held in place with pins, in the normal fashion (you can see the holes for the pins in the hosels).

I wanted to take off the remaining piece of this broken club, so that I could save the shaft to be re-used. I had the very devil of a time getting the hosel off the shaft. I spent a full hour trying to find the pin - sanding, experimentally punching, then filing, grinding. Eventually I gave up and cut the hosel to pieces to get it off - sawed round with a hacksaw and broke off the end, then cut a groove with a Dremel tool and broke of the remainder.

And the was no pin! So I spent an hour looking for something that didn't exist! I've taken the heads off hundreds of wooden shafted clubs, and in all that, this is the very first one I have encountered that had no pin, no rivet - it was just pushed on and glued.

Ken Leedham, GHSC. If you have questions or comments, please email info@ghsc.ca.