Article No.2 – Evolution in design of wooden club heads
Golfers are continually seeking Drivers that unlock their hidden potential and magically give them extra yards off the tee. The coefficient of restitution (C.O.R) value of hot-faced clubs is a modern angle on the story of wooden club head design.
In the 1880’s heads became shorter and fatter and changed from being what is termed Long-Nose to Transitional. The result was larger sweet spots and longer shots. It was also discovered that if the face curved or bulged outwards slightly this led to less severe hooks or slices (a blessing to all!). By 1900 the Bulger driver dominated the market and club heads has assumed proportions that would remain relatively unchanged for most of the 20th century. Although head shape had stabilised, there was still great experimentation with different materials, ranging from paper mache to all sorts of plastics, as manufacturers sought alternatives to solid wood, both for performance and economic reasons. You would be forgiven for thinking that the dawn of metal woods was in the 1980’s. In fact around 1910 a hand grenade manufacturer and keen golfer named Mills combined his interests and produced thousands of clubs with solid aluminium heads. Perhaps the first truly hot-faced drivers, of which only a handful survives, are those that had thick steel coil springs invisibly implanted directly behind the striking face. When used, spectators and opponents alike must have loudly exclaimed “COR!”
Long Nose Club 1880, Transitional Club 1890, Bulger Club 1895