Here I go again…
After recently espousing the virtues of my golfing austerity, I’ve gone and given in to selfish impulses. Apparently having the money in the old paypal account was just too tempting. To be fair, you occasionally see clubs that are pretty darn unique and that you are unlikely to ever come across again. That was the case for Ian Woosnam’s Maruman Conductor irons that I snagged for what I consider to be a pretty fair price. According to the seller, these are one of two sets prepared by Maruman for Woosie to game in the late 80′s / early 90′s. They were taped up to his specs and were fitted with standard Dynamic Gold S400′s which were his shafts of choice at the time. Apparently he took both sets out to the range and selected the sister set to game right away, with this one as a backup. They have his named stamped on the back and he was a known Maruman staffer, so even though you can never be certain I consider it pretty legit. Here’s a shot of him playing what could be the sister set:
Having never held, hit, or seen any Maruman club in person, I was struck by what a beautiful and functional blade the Conductor is. It’s a classic muscleback blade design with a single step between the muscle pad and the top of the club. The topline is VERY thin, which swept, rounded edges at all corners. Just a touch of offset – enough to line the front edge up with the middle of the shaftline. This amount of offset is pretty common in 80′s and 90′s blades.
The challenge with having such a thin upper portion is that the deadweight and/or swingweight are sometimes difficult to get up to spec. The clubmaker has corrected for this by adding lead tape just above the muscle pad in long strips. Only the short irons have the tape. This will also serve to raise the center of gravity and keep the flight down.
Another nice feature of the Conductor is the sole. One area where I believe the blades of the 80′s and 90′s meet or exceed the functionality of the earlier generations is the sole design (and therefore interaction with the turf). The Conductors have perhaps the thinnest and most rounded sole of any clubs I have ever seen. Apparently, this was a concerted part of their marketing strategy – there is a “Maruman Sole” stamp on the heel of the reverse side.
Here are some specs I measured for you equipment junkies. Sorry I don’t have swingweight or lie angle.
I’m not really sure what I want to do with these yet. I may stash them in the collection for a while and try to resell em. Either way, I’m absolutely going to give them a hit or two. It’s going to be a blast to swing Woosie’s club, even if I’ll never make the ball fly like him!