Jeremy Ellwood delves deep into the memory bank to serve up a selection of classic golf equipment from the past. Remember all these?

Sometimes innovation hits the mark, and sometimes less so. Much of this classic golf equipment from the past was launched to great acclaim back in the day, but not all went on to achieve greatness or immortality

Ping two-tone golf balls

These lively little numbers were scorned by better players back in the 1980s, but are now a much sought-after collectors’ item, especially if you have the right colour combo. Time to rummage in the practice ball bag and log on to ebay?

Adams Tight Lies fairway woods

These ‘upside down’ clubs quite literally turned the fairway wood world on its head back in the mid-1990s.

TaylorMade Nubbins putter

The top manufacturers have served up pretty much every material known to mankind by now in their putter face inserts, but TaylorMade remains the only brand to have offered us an insert seemingly crafted from discarded table-tennis bat rubbers.


The ping pong-esque face insert of TaylorMade's Nubbins putter

The ping pong-esque face insert of TaylorMade’s Nubbins putter

Fat Lady Swings putter

This basic-looking mallet was much favoured by Nick Price during his PGA Tour hey-day. Hugely popular for a short period of time

Nick Price holed 'that' putt at Turnberry in 1994 with a Fat Lady Swings

Nick Price holed ‘that’ putt at Turnberry in 1994 with a Fat Lady Swings

TopFlite Z-Balata

The discerning choice of balata cheapskates and would-be tour pros everywhere during the 1990s. Sadly they were balata by name but not by nature.

Wilson Invex driver

This ahead-of-its-time, odd-shaped driver was used by John Daly to win the 1995 Open at St Andrews, but pretty much no-one else.

John Daly letting rip with his Wilson Invex driver at St Andrews in 1995

John Daly letting rip with his Wilson Invex driver at St Andrews in 1995

Cleveland VAS irons

Pretty much the ugliest premium-brand irons ever crafted, but a Major winner nonetheless in the hands of Corey Pavin at the 1995 US Open. Much-loved by shankers everywhere as the hosel was set back in the head.

No beauty contest winner - Cleveland's futuristic VAS irons

No beauty contest winner – Cleveland’s futuristic VAS irons

Penfold Commando/Tornado balls

The 1980s ball of choice for anyone happy to make a significant distance versus cost trade-off. Highly playable around the greens and very popular with serious pitch and putt campaigners as a result.

MacGregor Response ZT 615 putter

This ridiculously long-bladed putter enjoyed huge sales success after Jack Nicklaus rolled back the years to win the 1986 Masters with one.

Jack holds his MacGregor Response aloft after birdieing 17 at Augusta in 1986

Jack holds his Response ZT aloft after birdieing 17 at Augusta in 1986

Ping Eye irons

We couldn’t miss out the godfather of perimeter-weighted cavity-backs. The Eye and then Eye 2 irons were in Ping’s range for well over a decade between them and spawned more copycat cheapie clubs than any other design before or since.

Ping Eye & Eye 2 - the kings of perimeter-weights cavity-backs

Ping Eye & Eye 2 – the kings of perimeter-weighted cavity-backs

  • Tony Capeling

    I had the Mizuno Mx 900 irons and changed to the Mizuno JPX825 irons as an upgrade. I did struggle with JPX825 for two seasons and was not improving my game at all (playing off 21/23) Being a big fan of Mizuno irons I went to my club pro and I was fitted for the Mizuno JPX ez forged irons with graphite shafts. I bought the irons for a xmas present to myself. I am 62yrs of age, have a disability in my right arm, but these are the best Mizuno irons I have played with. I love them, my yardage as increased, the ball flight is straight, I can actually move the ball. I play once a week in the winter off the yellow tees with a group of members and after winning few times they have reduced my handicap from 20 down to 14. Happy days. Looking forward to the start of this season.