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The search for the perfect persimmon driver is challenging but  rewarding.   When asked for advice regarding what to look for, I usually  recommend trying out as many different models as possible and making sure to hold on to “the one” when you eventually find it.   Because each persimmon driver is unique, you may never be able to replace a lost or broken club even if you can find the exact same model.

The first persimmon driver that I fell in love with was a MacGregor Toney Penna SEOM from 1957.  The look, feel, and performance were all perfectly suited to my game.  Since then I’ve added a few more to the rotation but it always comes back to the Penna.  A couple months ago I found what appeared to be the same model in great shape for a very good price so I decided to invest in a backup.   However, when the new club arrived, I found that it just wasn’t the same.  At first glance it appears to be the same.  But the details are off – here’s a list of what appears to be different:

  • Subtle differences in head size and geometry
  • Old: “Toney Penna” decal on crown; New: “Toney Penna” stamped
  • Different screw sizes in the insert
  • Different shaft bands “Pro-Pel Action by MacGregor” and “MacGregor Pro-Pel Action by True Temper”
  • Different weight (old is much heavier)

Here are some images of what I mean:

So… perhaps somebody knows something I don’t?  The fact that the shaft bands are different must mean they are from different years?   Maybe one is a knock off? Just goes to show – treat your gamers with respect because no two are the same and a lost or broken club is unlikely to be replaced easily, even with an “exact” copy.



6 Responses to “The Same But Different”

  1. Avatar of tim tim says:

    The one on the left looks to be refinished with a decal and reshafted since the screw is missing from bore through. This model of SEOM Penna was a special order, the special order model had the TP stamped in the crown with no model number. The pro pel shafts were not made for all clubs till 1958. In 1957 Pro Pel shafts were only on special order models.
    The shaft with the shaft band molded in the shaft was original special order. The older model you have posted was most likely reshafted with a newer Pro pel shaft.

  2. I think you are right! The previous owner must have added some lead under the sole plate as part of the refinish because the old one is much heavier. However, when I bought the “old” one it came w/ 2, 3, and 4 woods which all felt very light. Those ones may not have been refinished and I remember the band under the shaft label looked brown in color, more like the “new” version.

    Just goes to show – every one is unique! Thanks for the input.

  3. Avatar of Anton Anton says:

    just from the pictures the old one looks like older growth wood while the new one looks far less dense. that should explain some weight difference right there. should feel different too i would think.

  4. Avatar of Turfrider Turfrider says:

    I’m curious, what is the real difference in weight between your old and new penna? Or what weight have you found optimum for your driver? That pt1w I picked up from you comes in at 13.8 oz. and seems to be just about right for me. On another website I noticed that johnny miller won at oakmont with a 1959 pt1w that weighed 13.4 oz. he says his driving distance was 270yds.

  5. I’m not sure what the actual difference is. I will measure and get back to you.

    Edit: – OK I measured them: The “old” one came out at about 13.1 oz. The “new” one was 12.1 oz. I’m not 100% sure my scale is accurate but the relative difference should be accurate. Interestingly, I also measured the balance point i.e. the spot on the shaft where you can support the club horizontally using only one finger. It was 13” up from the sole on both models. So if the weight difference was only in the head then the balance point should change (but it doesn’t). It would be reasonable to assume therefore that some of the additional weight is in the head but some is also under the grip or in the shaft but more towards the grip end. I plan on getting a digital scale to measure more accurately. The scale I have been using is an analog scale I stole from my wife who uses it for cooking.

    • Avatar of Turfrider Turfrider says:

      I picked up my digital scale at Harbor Freight for around 20 bucks. I questioned whether it could be that accurate given it was so cheap. I put a package of spaghetti noodles on it – 16 oz on the nose. So far so good.

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