join

15 Craziest Golf Club (Irons) Ever Made!

15 Craziest Irons Ever Made!

MyGolfSpy is usually a place you guys come to see the latest and greatest equipment the golf industry has to offer.  Well today is going to be a little bit different.

Today we are going to be spotlighting the crazy, the absurd, and some of the wackiest irons the golf world has ever seen.  Many of which might have even found there way into a few of your bags...even if you don't want to admit it.  Don't be ashamed though...some of these designs have actually been pioneering for the industry.

ENJOY!

Lil David Slingers

#1 - Lil David Slingers - Shocking New Leader In Crazy

We have a new "#1 For Craziest Iron Ever Made!" For years the #1 spot for craziest iron ever made was held by the infamous Cleveland VAS irons (now #2).  But unfortunately for the VAS's they were dethroned from their long held position.  It was a close race but in the end we felt like it was finally time for the super-rare and hard to find Lil David Slingers get the recognition they were due.  So for those of you who own a set and are fellow collectors of the ridiculous...today is your day to shine.

* Note: These irons were designed by Jim Flood - and were considered a controversial design and are often times very hard to find.  Jackie Gleason also owned a set.

FIND A SET!

Cleveland VAS Irons

#2 - Cleveland VAS Irons - Gets Dethroned!

The VAS irons have finally been dethroned from their previous top spot as "Worst Iron Ever Made!" Although from a phone-in interview Mr. VAS told us, "I feel robbed. I still think I deserve to be recognized as the leader in this category and will be appealing your decision.  I demand a re-count!"

He went on to say, "and as owner of MyGolfSpy you should feel ashamed since you were given a set as a gift 15 years ago and I remember you putting me in play for a few rounds, how could you do this to me?"

Find A Set!

Slotline Inertial Irons

#3 - Slotline Inertial EMAX Irons - Moving Up The Leaderboard

Slotline had a hit on their hands with their Slotline Inertial putters...they sold over 2 Million of those flatsticks.  Although the Inertial irons weren't so lucky.  Any of you still have a set of these beauties laying around?  If so send us some pics...don't worry we will keep it 100% anonymous 😉

* Note: These irons were designed by Duke Duclos.  Duclos, a former flight engineer worked on the Skylab and S-IVB (third stage of the Saturn V rocket, responsible for getting the Apollo module from the Earth to the moon).

FIND A SET!

Simmons Tiger Shark Irons

#4 - Simmons Tiger Shark Irons

Pat Simmons first wanted to say thanks and also that, "You may not know the Pat Simmons’ name, but if you’re a golfer, you know of several of my inventions. In addition to being a prolific golf club designer and inventor of innumerable gadgets and gizmos, I have led a fascinating life, as you can see by a brief look at a summary of my biography."

* Note: These irons were designed by Pat Simmons - and ex-pilot and engineer which also had a part in the Zebra putter design.

FIND A SET!

Zevo Lob Irons

#5 - Zevo Lob irons

Did you forget about Zevo Golf?  That might be because Golfsmith acquired them back in 2003.  But Zevo Golf is one of those on this list that was a pioneering.

* Note: These irons were designed by Dave (can't remember last name) - which was considered a very good designer by others in the business at the time and one that some felt did not get as much credit as he deserved.

FIND A SET!

Plop Slotz Irons

#6 - Plop Slotz Irons

* Note: These irons were designed by Don Wood - remember the Plop putters...well they are back at it again...you can check them out here.

FIND A SET!

Browning 440 Irons

#7 - Browning 440 Irons - Good Iron But Don't Hit Out Of Rough!

These irons actually performed quite well and had many copy cats of it down the road to prove it...including another iron that made the list at #12 Slotline Lowpro iron and the Titleist Super Slim irons.  Known for launching the ball from a nice crisp fairway lie but it jumped the shark when it came to hitting it from any kind of fluff.

* Note: These irons were designed in Belgium by the Belgium-Browning company.

FIND A SET

Ping Zing 2 Irons

#8 - Ping Zing 2 Irons

You might be wondering how the hell did a Ping iron make the list...but look again...this one definitely deserves to be on the list for Wackiest Irons.  But just because it was wacky did not mean it was not a hellova seller.  Like many of his other unconventional looking but super functional designs for the time this one flew off the shelves.

Although they did have issues with the shafts actually wrinkling due to the configuration of the shape of the toe on this iron...crazy little factoid.

* Note: These irons were designed by Karsten Solheim...sure most of you knew that though.

FIND A SET!

Nicklaus The Bear Irons

#9 - Nicklaus The Bear Linear Dynamics Iron

FIND A SET!

Fila Latitude Irons

#10 - FILA Latitude Irons

I will let the then Chariman of FILA Golf tell you a little bit about these 1994 released set of irons...and take you back in time like you were there for the original launch:

"Never before have so many game improvement features been built into one club. Fila Golf has developed this new iron using a patented design feature. This technology is a shank-proof hosel.  Placing the hosel behind the face eliminates the occasional `shank,' creating forward-face progression. Forward-face progression creates a hitting surface 20 percent larger than standard and 5 percent larger than over-sized irons.

Latitude Irons also give the golfer an added patented design feature of dual skids on the sole. These skids are tapered from the leading edge toward the rear of the club head, raising the sole above the ground without raising the leading edge off the ground.  With the help of computers, we designed a unique shape we call the `Bull Nose' which extends the toe weight out far enough to balance the head without creating an elongated appearance. Extra weight added to the toe keeps the center of gravity where needed and also keeps the club head square at impact, resulting in straighter shots."

FIND A SET

Ray Cook Titanic Irons

#11 - Ray Cook Titanic Irons - Back in the Scotty Cameron Days

These irons which I don't know who actually designed were called the Ray Cook Titanic irons and were made back when Scotty Cameron was a putter designer for the company.  Their president at the time said this about the newly released irons, "Titanic irons are the first long irons even God and you can hit." Now that is a bold statement that should of had you guys flocking to purchase these beauties.

They also said this, "Because titanium is 40% lighter than steel, yet incredibly strong, the Ray Cook design team was able to create club heads substantially larger than standard oversize irons and add significantly more mass in the heel and toe. The result is the easiest-to-hit long irons ever." Hmmm...are you wondering why all irons aren't made out of titanium then?

FIND A SET!

Lowpro Slotline Irons

#12 - Slotline Lowpro Irons - The Browning 440 CopyCat

Like previously stated the Slotline Lowpro irons were for the most part an exact copy of the Browning 440 irons.  So we thought if it was as crazy looking as the original it had to be on the list but a little further down.

FIND A SET!

Nike Slingshot Irons

#13 - Nike Slingshot Irons

Love it or hate it the Nike Slingshot irons made the list.  Yes it has some smoother lines compared to some of the other clubs on the list...but you put that "PowerBow" as Nike says on any of those other irons and it is a dead ringer for this list of crazies.

FIND A SET!

Spalding Exectuive Irons

#14 - Spalding Executive Irons

These were actually a pretty good iron for the time and I think Trevino had something to do with this design...but not sure.

FIND A SET!

Stan Thompson Ginty

#15 - Stan Thompson Ginty Irons

You might remember the popular Stan Thompson woods with the unique sole design.  Well these irons which were designed out in LA by Stan Thompson were made to capitalize on that same concept.  But as you can see could cause some serious digging issues.  And if you did not have the exact lie to match your swing could cause issues with the toe or heel diving down at impact.

* NOTE: Stan Thompson was an interesting guy and a well respected designer.  So what did his famous "Ginty" patent actually mean?   "It means the Son of a Scottish brood that keeps getting into trouble only to easily find his way out of trouble!" For more info on Stan Thompson click here.

FIND A SET

Others You Would Like To Include?

Hope you all enjoyed a look back at some of the craziest irons ever made.  If you have any you think we should include or have any additional info about the clubs listed feel free to post your comments.  I think all the readers as well as the golfspies would love to learn as much about these past designs as possible.


About MyGolfSpy

As the “Consumer Reports of Golf” our mission is to educate and empower golfers. Our goal is to help you get the most out of your time, money and performance.

MyGolfSpy is the only major golf media outlet that accepts ZERO advertising dollars from the biggest golf companies.

#PowerToThePlayer

View All Posts

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Subject (required)

Your Message (required)



Comments

{ 117 comments… read them below or add one }

Mel June 11, 2016 at 12:43 am

I’ve owned a set of VAS, Zings, Slingshots and the Spaulding Execs (for vintage golf days). My only wacky set now are some Macgregor MT Splitsoles in very gd cond which were bought at a Thrift store. Are these considered weird?

Reply

Glen May 28, 2016 at 10:32 pm

Just bought a set of Nicklaus Linear Dynamics N1 Golf Irons at a thrift shop in Vegas. Needed a set of clubs to play for a few days and found these. Much cheaper than renting. Got the 3 – PW for 3.99 a club, bought the 5- PW first, played two rounds and went back and bought the 3 & 4. Could not beleive how well I hit this clubs. Currently play AP2’s coming out of the bag for a few rounds and if the linear dynamics keep performing like they did in Vegas the AP2’s will be taking a long rest. Play to a 4 – 6 cap.

Amazing how so of the old stuff works better than the hyped up new stuff!

Reply

Clare Juhl August 2, 2015 at 4:46 pm

I have a Simmons Great White Shark putter with a 7 ” blade. I love it but was told it is no a legal putter. Is that so? Thanks. Clare

Reply

Jerry Wesch July 20, 2015 at 1:26 pm

How about Hogan Magnums and Magnum Plus irons – big cavity backs from the 1970’s. I played a set of Mags for years until I got to where I could not swing fast enough to bend the stiff shafts. Sold them to a guy 30 years younger who also loved them. Went to graphite (Vulcan Backfire hollow irons). When I eventually found a set of Magnums with regular shafts, I bought them but had been addicted to the graphite.

Incidentally, Vulcan (Chicago suburb club makers who made some of the earliest hybrids) made a full set of hybrids – 3-SW. You have not lived until you hit good hybrid wedges! Still use them.

Reply

Bill Bee July 19, 2015 at 2:00 pm

The RB880 s by Northwestern are also knockoffs of the Browning 440 s.
Both are really great.

The Sounder irons could be on the list—-and are the best irons I ever had (have).
They preceded hybrid irons by 20 years or so.

Reply

Mark July 13, 2015 at 3:35 pm

I have a set of clubs with Belmont Power on them. Does anyone know anything about them?

Reply

D June 23, 2015 at 5:19 pm

I was wondering if anyone had ever tried Slotline Classic Copper golf clubs. If so, are they any good?

Reply

Nick February 27, 2015 at 1:08 am

I recently tried an old Jack Nicklaus 7 iron made by MacGregor many years ago. The chrome
is fantastic, but the club is as stiff as an old water pipe and is accordingly harsh. I wonder what Jack thought of them.

Reply

peter maller October 13, 2014 at 4:37 am

Would the F2 wedges still be legal if the crank were a few inches further up but still keeping the same angle please.

Reply

tommy September 14, 2014 at 9:52 am

I had a friend who worked for Gary Player and he sent me his brand called “iGNITORS” Those were fairly strange and not particular long! but fairly forgiving.

Reply

paulj September 13, 2014 at 10:33 am

More on the tr600!!!! The woods were the strangest looking things. Seemed like big headed design with half the head chopped off – to produce a bigger face!!! But they seem to work though. I gave those up quickly only because they were really odd looking.

Reply

paulj September 13, 2014 at 10:29 am

Why is that I have the Tiger Shark 7 iron and the Spalding Exec XE 5 iron in my golf collection??? I think this is the web site for me :-)

I also have a set of Browning TR600’s. Anybody know anything about them? Decent? Oddity? (Cavity back blades???) When I was starting golf, I went to the shop and these were the clubs that I hit the best (compared to cavity backs) and bought them. I think Browning was leaving the golf business then and they were discounted – last set in the store. Used them for about 10-15 years before I switch to 845’s.

Reply

Daryl Heslop January 28, 2016 at 4:54 pm

I have a full set of Exec XE irons. I love them but I’m mystified with the hex screw in the bottom of every shaft! What is it for weight transfer? remove head from shaft? Do You have any idea? I would appreciate any help you could offer! Thanks,

Reply

TwoSolitudes August 22, 2014 at 5:27 am

I had a VAS 5 iron. Cleveland was giving them away for free if you send in some coupon from golf digest. So I sent it in and got the iron. It was fun to have and I actually hit the thing really really well. But the funky look kept me from ever thinking about buying a whole set.

Reply

Rob August 13, 2014 at 4:04 pm

I learned the game on a set of used Spalding Exec’s-still have them today. I play with several timesa year. Great set. Love them oldies.

Reply

Dennis June 4, 2014 at 4:45 pm

I just had a guy show me a wedge that is a small diamond shaped club with about a 3/4″ hollow core in the back that goes up to the inside of the face of the club. It is called a hollow wedge, but you can putt with it as well. It was made by Salt Lake City Specialties. Anyone ever hear of anything like that?

Reply

bud June 1, 2014 at 4:22 pm

Say what you will but I own a set of Ray Cook Titanic irons. They play as well as any other set
I’ve owned. Perhaps they were a little ahead of their time (3-PW). If it works for you use it. Just remember, It’s always the indian and not the arrow.

Reply

Dave April 29, 2014 at 5:20 pm

I still hit my Ping Zing 2!! lol

Reply

JR April 26, 2014 at 6:00 pm

I just found a set of 10 plops slotz. 2 iron – sw. Let me know if anyone is interested.

Reply

Cam Davidson March 14, 2014 at 7:43 am

Ping zings fucking rule!

Reply

Cam Davidson March 14, 2014 at 7:42 am

Ping zings rule!

Reply

Gary Johnson January 17, 2014 at 11:14 am

I had a few customers back in the 1970’s who ordered custom irons and would request the same number on the sole of their heads. These ‘gentlemen’ used them to win large amounts of money on the course from unsuspecting victims. I would hand stamp #7 on all irons. The player would then ‘conveniently’ cover the top of his bag with a towel so that no one would see the length of the irons. When he would get ready to play, he would hold the club so that the sole was visible to everyone.

Reply

Rhett Hoth January 17, 2014 at 4:21 am

In the mid to late 80’s, my father had Spalding make him a set of custom irons. All of the irons were labeled as a 7 iron, with the real number of the club micro stamped on the face’s upper toe.

When my father would shot a 215 yard iron into the hole, his fellow golfers wold ask him what club he used. He would hold up the club so they could see the “7” on the bottom and with a big grin say ” I hit a 7 iron”. He was a pro at having fun when he played golf!

R.I.P. Bob Hoth

Reply

Tommy January 11, 2014 at 3:06 am

What about the old Bullet Driver that was hollow in the center (like an inverted “U” shape)? Eventually banned because it was “too straight”. I have a set of Lynx Parallax irons that were my father’s. He traded a set of classic Burke PunchIrons to get the Lynx. I’m surprised that nobody has mentioned the Wilson Fat Shaft irons for ugliness. Every iron ever made is ugly as hell when you hit it off the hosel.

Reply

Mikey B August 21, 2013 at 3:10 pm

My first set of irons were the Tiger Sharks.The ball seemed to jump off the face.I still have them.My second set,still in play,are the Vas+.I love them.I hit them a mile high and they feel great.When I hear them called”the worst irons ever” it makes me wonder what the heck Im missing out on.

Reply

Dennis Woody July 22, 2013 at 10:36 am

I think a list of the craziest irons made should definitely include the Jerry Barber Golden Touch irons made over 40 years ago. A set of wedges were introduced several years ago claiming to be “New” and the best thing since sliced bread, but they looked strangely similar to the Golden Touch irons. Really a zany=looking set of irons.

Reply

Dilly April 29, 2013 at 4:55 pm

I actually have a set of 440’s I bring them out every year or two when I am hitting the ball poorly.
I am on my 2nd set….I used to lovem and had friends that bought as they loved the ball flight and were also a great set of chippers. I also had a set of Ping Zings too.. My partner had that set of Cleveland VAS and believe it or not we had a partner that bought a used set of Slingers
lots of memories here

Reply

Howie February 15, 2013 at 10:11 pm

I just picked up 6 thru 9 of the Browning 440 Plus irons at the Goodwill…can’t wait to try them out. I don’t want to pay the asking prices for individual 440 Plus irons on eBay, so I’ll keep my eye out for them at the thrift shops and G-W. And…you see the Spaulding Executive irons at the Goodwill stores all the time. Just saw a full set of them again today.

Reply

andy February 5, 2013 at 4:06 pm

i used to work in a golf shop in ohio and we had the worst set i ever saw. vicunas. any info on this garbage?lol. i think special t golf was the only people dumb enuff to handle these.

Reply

billbo August 21, 2013 at 9:36 am

My dad has played a set if vicunas for about 40 years!

Reply

Steve Divnick January 29, 2013 at 8:49 am

I would love to have you include my “Whole-In-One Adjustable Telescopic Golf Club” in your mix…definitely fits the criteria of unusual clubs. It adjusts to every loft in a full bag, plus half lofts. The shaft collapses to 18 inches so it is great for travel…sure beats the cost of checking a golf bag these days.

We have been making them since 1992…ship them all over the world…to soldiers, traveling execs, private pilots, cyclists, retirees that want to walk but can’t lug a full set, and many other categories. About half of our sales are with personal names or corporate logos in the back and given as gifts.

You can check it out at http://www.adjustablegolfclub.com

Steve

Reply

Jerry Wesch December 12, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Great list! My wife says I never met a strange-looking golf club I did not want to own and play with. I have not 1 but 2 sets of Browning 440 irons. I tried to restore them by getting some original Browning grips (brown rubber with the Browning deer logo in gold) and exchanged several e-mails with Browning in Belgium – would not sell me any. The strangest set I play with at the moment is a matching set of 3 through 15 fairway woods made by Protactic Golf in Chicago (part of the remains of Northwestern Golf, I think). The 15 wood is only a little longer than an 8 iron (in my 70 yr old hands) so I put a 9 iron through sand wedge in the bag and away we go… They are straight and land incredibly soft. I use them in Central Texas when the fairways are hard and the greens harder (late summer and all winter).

Reply

Imtaee December 11, 2012 at 1:17 pm

That’s great. I owned a set of Nocklaus N1 irons (the pro versions of the bear irons?). Really enjoyed them. Man crush on Nicklaus led to this purchase. I don’t know how people could justify any of the others.

Reply

Frankie November 25, 2012 at 10:23 pm

What about Goldwin?? The 300XXL Driver was so light…awesome clubhead speed !!…but they had a very proprietary, strange-sized grip.

Reply

Neil Gordon December 25, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Goldwin was a San Diego company, years ahead of its time. I’m from SD, so I had a set. My golfing buddy borrowed my old set, including the driver and had one of his best rounds ever. He could not believe the smoothness of the Driver. Of course Drivers and putters are like women. What you like is what you like.

I gave the set to my nephew, and he loves them. He re-gripped them and beats the Taylormade hand-me-downs of his friends. Of course, it is the “Indian not the arrow” to some extent, but he does well.

Reply

James November 6, 2012 at 12:14 pm

I know this is coming way after the article was published but I have a set of irons that are branded Fairway and the model I believe is Spider. They are similar to the Nike slingshots as they have a “powerbow” looking thing on the back of them. I cannot find any information on this club, maybe they were a golfsmith thing from early 2000’s?? They definitely aren’t the prettiest of clubs but I did enjoy playing them. Can you come up with any info on these?

Reply

Jaymo September 20, 2012 at 11:54 am

What a lovely trip down memory lane, nostalgia is a wonderful thing.
I had a set of Tiger Sharks(the ‘short irons’ hit the ball miles).The follow up ‘Great Whites’
weren’t as good.
I’m a sucker for the odd things, I also had a Power Pod(big mistake).
In the late 70’s I also had a set of Unique irons which were great apart from the plastic covers covering the cavity back constantly falling out.
.

Reply

Gary September 18, 2012 at 10:49 am

Here’s one for the books…Tommy Armour EQL one length irons. All Irons for men were 37″. Made from 1989-1994 and originally sold for $680.

Reply

Leo April 23, 2012 at 10:04 am

Man, some of my favorites on this list. The Executives were the bomb back in the day. I had some Staff FG-17 and my friend’s dad had the Executives. Decided it was time for me to get some cavity back irons. Couldn’t decide between the Slotlines emax and the 845s. Bought the Slotlines new. Went back 10 years and got the 845s used. Just got Calloway X20s last week.

We had hybrids back in the 80’s. They also made a set made entirely of woods. Driver to 15 wood.

Reply

Jerry Wesch July 20, 2015 at 1:16 pm

I have a 3-15 wood set that are fun to play with. Protactic Golf in Chicago.

Reply

pete April 9, 2012 at 11:27 am

The Ping Zings were the worst! maybe EVER

Reply

mark March 10, 2012 at 11:56 pm

Still playing my cook titanics with the 1 iron. I’m a scratch golfer, and to date have found nothing that is better. The new club are really pretty, but no better than the original slotlines which I used to have….

Reply

joro November 21, 2011 at 10:38 am

Cleveland VAS was really great Iron. As a designer, the design is perfect and although they look funny, they were a great club, ask Cory Pavin.

Reply

Emerson September 25, 2011 at 2:28 am

The Ginty, fueron palos adelantados a su época, las maderas Ginty parecen las antecesoras de las big bertha de callaway, el material del que estaban hechas no podía aguantar las inercias, pero el diseño ya era adelantado a su tiempo

Reply

keith September 22, 2011 at 8:22 pm

I have been playing golf over 40 years and have owned many brands of clubs. My Nike Slingshots is the best set I have ever used. Upgraded my driver from R7 to Razr Hawk, but will never surrender my Slingshots.

Reply

Steve September 22, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Wow…. what a trip down memory lane….!!

I will admit to having a hankering for those slick lookin’ Zevo Lob’s tho…. lol..!!

One of my buddies gave me a Tiger Shark wedge… the one with 3 different alignment lines, concave dimples on the face instead of grooves, and a funky dual bounce sole configuration. Fugly yes… looks kinda like a pancake spatula at address… but effective…. unbelieveably so..!!

Might need to get a full set of Tiger Shark irons to match the wedge!!

Reply

Chuck Hathcock September 22, 2011 at 10:17 am

How about the Spalding Exec SE. They all looked like mini woods. Bought a set for $25 as to help out a young lady with cancer. Even tho I play with graphic shafts I really like the way those play.

Reply

max Kenngott August 11, 2014 at 9:51 pm

I have a set of Spalding exec XE love them- I don’t play more than 5-6 rounds a year now, but they are so consistant , I could go a year between swings and still play the same- got them back in 1980- ish.

Reply

AlanNU September 22, 2011 at 8:34 am

I can’t believe to Ping Zing 2’s are on the list. These were great clubs. The Zing2’s were the first set I bought when I started playing golf. I still have them and as a matter of fact I still use a copper Zing2 sand wedge 54′. It is my Go To club…my favorite. Every time I take it out of my bag for some new modern wedge, I go back to it a few weeks later.

Reply

Chris August 16, 2011 at 10:22 pm

Slotline Inertial E-Max irons laying around ? No sir, they are in my bag and are still being used after all these years. They are nearly in perfect condition. Laugh if you must, but the design works. Just came back from the PGA Tour Superstore after reading this site last night. It was if I walked into the store from a time machine. The shelves are full of the latest and greatest “technology” (hybrids, woods the size of a frying pan, dozens of shaft offerings), in 20+ years people will be laughing at those funky sticks as well. Basically, the new irons are all the same cavity backed design tweaked for the metal content and painted pretty for your golf bag.

Reply

dan June 24, 2013 at 10:05 am

I have a old slotline cigar putter I still use,,no loift at all,looks like a big tootsie roll,but puts great,,friends still get amazed at how it puts,,,

Reply

daniel February 27, 2015 at 6:19 pm

have a putter,,that comes in a case,,like a pool stick,,on thecourse when its time to put,,i take it out,each piece screws together to form the putter,,,,,,,putts really good,,,,

Reply

Lars-Olof Nilsson July 28, 2011 at 11:28 am

There is nothing crazy about the Slinger! Different, yes, but they are the only ones where you can really aim at the target! The top of the club head is horisontal and is easy to set up perpendical to the target. You cannot do that with any other club. They are also perfect in a steep slope due to the curved bottom of the club head.
I am still playing with my set every week! Bought a used set of 3-SW with a sticker decal some 35 years ago and added a 2-iron with stamped lettering later on a trip to Chicago. I just love them!

Reply

Johnny July 22, 2011 at 11:55 am

I have a set of Fila Solerno irons/fairway woods that I haven’t been able to find anything about on the internet. I’m not sure how rare they are, but you’d think there would be a trace of them somewhere. Anybody know anything?

Reply

LK Nona July 7, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Here I’m going to date myself a bit…Back in the late 70’s there was a company called Unique..The iron set design was oversized head with a deep cavity that was covered with a hard plastic…

Reply

MDE3 April 18, 2015 at 5:42 pm

I owned two sets of Unique irons…starting in 1976. The pro-shop who had them could not find a buyer. They kept slashing the pricing. I traded in some Titleist “Acushnet” blades for them…I had only paid $99.00 for the set of Acushnets (used)…they gave me $139.00 in trade value, and wanted another $100 for the Uniques…They were some of the easiest to hit irons I have ever owned…out of the 40 – 50 different sets I have had. I became a +2 handicap using those irons, and a lot of people scoffed at them early on…till they saw me hit them.

Reply

ES June 18, 2016 at 7:57 pm

I bought a set of blue-backed Uniques back in the early 80’s. Got them for $200.00 which was a really great price – other pro shops were asking $450.00 for a set. Recently I bought another set (I keep an eye on E-Bay for them) so I could have extras & other club sets for friends that come into town. Still, the Uniques are the best irons I have ever hit! My golf team partner talked me into getting “new technology” Ping G-20’s a couple years ago, & I can not hit them nearly as well.

Reply

Geoffers July 7, 2011 at 9:50 am

Pretty or not (that’s the clubs), I have played Fila Latitude irons since they came out. I’m 65 and still playing to seven with them. I love them so much I have four sets, just a case a club breaks. Used to play traditional blades with the odd shank. It wasn’t the shank that bothered me, it was waiting for it to happen that was the problem. Knowledgable folk say it’s all in the mind. What you supposed to do, cut your head off!!! Shank no more, draw, fade, straight, you name it, my Fila’s do it. Remember all the other clubs, good to read.

Reply

A J Price July 5, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Here’s a set of Slotline irons currently for sale on EBay…

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=330561978331&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

Reply

drb June 17, 2011 at 8:15 pm

some years ago-I bought a trial 7 iron thru golg digest-some years later a friend of mine bought a used set at a second hand store–any way I think it was made by simmons or slotline?? I may be way off – they had a a plain face -but the back was a series of round holes -like a honey comb design –does any one remember these what were they called and who made them–my friend died so I cant ask him–anyway thanks

Reply

Roger May 18, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Don Wood has the patent for the Plop Slotz Irons. He also worked at Zevo when the LoB Irons were developed. I wonder how much influence he had on those? The VAS are ugly, but they work. Corey Pavin won the 1996 US Open Shinnecock with a purple set.

Reply

James May 11, 2011 at 6:43 am

Had a set of McGregor Irons called Doctor Rx, they felt good hit in the middle, they reminded me of a Pringle potato chip…

Reply

Nicky T April 5, 2011 at 2:46 am

This is easy ! The Power Pod driver !

Reply

mygolfspy March 25, 2011 at 7:29 am

You got a hellova deal on those Burnz.

Reply

drewmeister March 24, 2011 at 7:54 pm

The Browning 440’s took my game from the 150’s (Wilson clubs) to the low 70’s. Ugly or unconventional, I felt a more confident with them and Stan Thompson fairway woods. Matched them to Wilson Pro Staff low compressions and I was a happy camper.

Reply

Golfer Burnz March 24, 2011 at 12:05 pm

I just found a set of Slingers at the thrift store for $10. I remembered them from this article. The set I found is 2-9, but the 5 iron is gone. The stickers are silver, but the Slinger logo is a black heavy type face and says “pat. pend.” beneath. Wish the 5 iron would have been there. Nabbed them just for the pure ugliness.

Reply

Gary Melanson March 17, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Just found and bought a set of Lil David Slingers. They’re awesome. Now I need some crazy Loudmouth pants and a pink ball.

Reply

mygolfspy March 18, 2011 at 10:15 am

You find them on eBay Gary? You should shoot me some pics of your new set. There are a couple different models of this iron. One with the sticker decal and one without. Love to see them.

Reply

Gary Melanson March 10, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Great list of wild clubs. All that creativity has led to the great clubs we have today. They say you learn from your mistakes. What’s fun is to find one of those old sets, regrip them and beat your friends with them!

Reply

DDick March 7, 2011 at 7:28 pm

Those “Slinger” Irons were the brain child of Jim Flood.
Jim also marketed the first Graphite Shafts sold under the “Aldila” name.
Jim passed away recently–he was a great innovator do you remember the “Basakwerd Putter”
We will miss Jim and his innovation !

DDick

Reply

Mr. Sweetnuts February 5, 2011 at 10:35 am

I had never seen the Fila irons before now. I actually like the looks of those babies!

Reply

Chopski February 3, 2011 at 9:50 am

Tommy Armour TI 100 need to be on the list, they were twice the size of any other iron produced ever.

Reply

clam fist February 3, 2011 at 9:38 am

Great trip down memory lane.

Reply

R Daughtry January 22, 2011 at 7:35 pm

a beginner could really benifit from the Nike slingshot, they are easy to hit

Reply

Neil Gordon November 12, 2010 at 9:01 pm

OK. I’ve got some irons sets you have up (Fila, Cleveland, Slotline, and the Tiger Shark). I don’t think I paid more than $300 for all four sets combined- I’m a Salvation Army searcher.

I’ve got a crazy iron “set” that is one telescoping iron with a blade that changes position to vary the loft. It is the Super Stick. I actually travel with it and use it at the driving range, so I don’t have to rent clubs. The range is for form anyway.

I’ve got a set of graphite “Samurai” ironwoods years ahead of their time lying around in the basement, I think. They are exactly like the Cleveland Ironwood set you see now, but it was made y..e..a..r..s ago.

I’ve got other odd clubs, a clear/see thru 5W, 68 & 73 degree wedge (of course, they may not be considered crazy. It is more of a you gotta be kidding me), an Integra 650 cc driver (you have to dig a ditch before you swing), etc. I collect odd golf items. What the hey. There are worse things.

Reply

mygolfspy November 15, 2010 at 7:59 am

You have any pics of the Samurai irons Neil…would love to see them. If so send them to contact(at)mygolfspy.com

Reply

tony robyn August 27, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Can anyone ballpark an estimate on the value of a set of Samurai clubs?

Reply

Neil Gordon December 25, 2012 at 6:51 pm

I got an incomplete set at the Salvation Army for $15. I “completed” the set off of eBay for around $100. I just searched eBay right now and saw a set for $139. I saw a set go for well over $300 (I think it went closer to $500, but I just would not swear to it). But, they were NOS (New Old Stock) and with Ohio State grips and headcovers; so a diehard Buckeye fan.

Reply

daniel February 27, 2015 at 6:22 pm

when I got my samurais,they were expensive,,but you can get them ocassionally on ebay,,picked up a 6iron for 15$

Reply

dan June 24, 2013 at 10:00 am

I still have a set of samurai woods and irons,,and still use them,,had a pro hit my 7 iron once,,it flew his 7iron,,he was amazed,they hit great,,but graphite wears down over years and breaks,and when that happens,,its hard to find a replacement,,,,

Reply

DANIEL June 2, 2014 at 8:50 am

I still have the samurai irons,2-pw and woods,driver,3w,5w,7w,,and still use them. I have had many pros in proams hit them and fascinated by how the ball comes off the club face so fast,,good distance. the only problem I have had{although the have to be at least 30+ years old},is graphite cracks. my 5w distance matches my friends new drivers in distance off tee,,they are amazed,

Reply

daniel February 27, 2015 at 6:13 pm

I have the entire set of samurai woods and irons,,,driver,3wood,5wood,7wood,,irons,,2-pw,dont believe they ever made a sw,,,,and I still use them,,,my fellow golfers are still amazed at the distance I get,,if you want a picture of the set,,let me know,,ill take one and send to you,,,

Reply

daniel August 21, 2013 at 6:30 pm

I have the whole set of samurai irons,2-pw and woods1,3,5,7,,still use them,,i have had pros hit them,,and be amazed at the distances over their irons,,,i would like to find another 5wood,if anyone knows where or who has 1,,i

Reply

daniel February 27, 2015 at 6:24 pm

neil,,do you have a samuarai 5 wood,,,hard to find,,,id like one

Reply

Steve Moisan November 2, 2010 at 2:15 pm

What a great list! It’s obvious that the maker of the Slingers spent SO much money on R&D that he had to use STICKERS instead of stamped lettering.

Here’s a few other zingers:

The original Lynx Parallax

Jerry Barber Golden Touch shank-proof irons (BeCu, ideally)

Powerbilt TPS with the “Goalpost Alignment System”

And I agree with a previous poster’s suggestion of the Spalding Cannon ADVANCE

Reply

BigDashFan October 25, 2010 at 11:24 am

And add on Sweet Spot Golf Drivers and the Mac/Burrows Driver. You had to turn those over to see the ugly, but the cone in the bottom was down right wacky!

Reply

mygolfspy October 25, 2010 at 11:50 am

Those might both make the driver list 😉

Reply

BigDashFan October 25, 2010 at 5:01 am

What about Giant Irons, I remember seeing those on an infomercial a few times.

Reply

golfjapan October 24, 2010 at 8:30 pm

All are memory refreshing ….. have been in golf clubhead design , manufacturing 25 years , familiar with the designs !
not just the American side , some of Europe and some from Japan makers also wacky !!!

Reply

steve almo October 24, 2010 at 10:33 am

Pat Simmons of Tiger Shark fame (and others) is the most underrated club designer of all time! His stuff was marvelous and all original. I speak with Nat Rosassco, former owner, of NorthWestern golf at least every 7 to 10 days and he holds Pat Simmons as one of the best club designers of all time as well.

I was the Sales Manager of Stan Thompson golf company for several years and worked very close with Stan. He also was one of the best designers in the golf biz. The Ginty was the first modern Utility club. Sold millions of those over the years. Great stuff.

The Spaulding Executive was just too far ahead of it’s time…great club!

But, the #1 weird club goes to the Slinger…your #1 choice. What a mess that design was! Just terrible…and never sold thru…as well it shouldn’t.

The Browning 440 was a marvelous club…as you say off the fairway!!! But, in the rough the club went right underneath the ball. They introduced the Browning 500 Series to counter that effect…….But, they waited too long and by that time…the party was over!

Steve Almo
President
Geek Golf
http://www.geekgolf.com

Reply

Jerry Wesch January 18, 2014 at 7:47 pm

Great collection! Never met a set of strange clubs I didn’t want to try.

I have a set of Browning 440’s and a set of Browning 500’s – I was in the midst of restoring them but Browning would not sell me original grips! Too bad. They are for sale…

Reply

Shallowface July 10, 2014 at 1:01 pm

I have a set of both the 440s and the 500s, and there is no difference in face depth. The 500s have less offset than the 440s. Perhaps you are thinking of the Browning 440 Plus which had more of a standard face depth. Regardless, both are great sets. Look at many of today’s hybrids. Shallow faces (not as shallow as the 440 of course) and less offset than many of the long irons they replace. Those are the reasons they work. Oversized high center of gravity heads and huge amounts of offset are what killed long irons IMO. Long irons with shallow faces, little offset and perhaps slightly softer shafts can be quite playable.

Reply

Ian October 24, 2010 at 8:07 am

I’ve seen several of those uglies up close over the years so this was fun to view.
I remember a set called “Canon” I think, possibly a Spalding brand. They looked like a full set of hybrids but only lasted a short period of time. Circa 1985-ish if memory serves.
Anyone hear of them?

Reply

Ernie April 29, 2012 at 7:24 pm

I think you are talking about the Spaulding Executive XE irons,ahead of their time,I played a set for a couple of years then sold them, looking back I wish I had’nt.

Reply

Neal October 23, 2010 at 10:10 pm

Great collection… I remember many of them in the past 30 years… often thought of buying some of them, but luckily, I didn’t…

Reply

terry lynn October 23, 2010 at 8:59 am

I’ve purchased dozens of iron sets in the last few years (Big Bertha,FTI, Taylor Made, Cobra, Nike V series) NOne of these work as well as my Ping Zings

Reply

T.K. November 8, 2013 at 12:26 pm

I agree…Love my Ping Zings !!

Reply

Paul Murphy October 23, 2010 at 8:24 am

Hey, what about Shakespeare and fiberglass. Not sure if the “Black Knight”, Gary Player’s endorsement sucked allot of buyers into buying….LOL

Reply

J-Bizzle October 23, 2010 at 7:33 am

What about the Porsche irons? I seem to remember them being pretty wacky. Or maybe it was just wacky that a German car company decided to start selling $1500 golf clubs that sucked.

Reply

A J Price October 23, 2010 at 6:07 am

I didn’t know until I read this article that evidently FILA was the designer of the original “face forward” iron design; speaking of which, I would’ve thought the F2 Face Forward Irons would’ve made the list (http://www.intheholegolf.com/store/f2is.html).

Finally, I think a distinction needs to be made between the “wackiest looking” and “worst” irons made. Some deserve to be on the former, but definitely not the latter! Case in point: The article makes the statement that “…The (Cleveland) VAS irons have finally been dethroned from their previous top spot as “Worst Iron Ever Made!” I don’t think Cory Pavin would have won PGA tour events and endorsed them if this had been true. And if the Nicklaus Bear irons were used to win the US Amateur, they shouldn’t be on a “worst irons” list either.

Reply

mygolfspy October 23, 2010 at 6:11 am

Corey Pavin says, “If I won’t paid to play them ugly ass sticks they would have never been heard of ;)”

Money put a few of these clubs on tour…although that does not mean they were worth a penny.

Reply

Tom Baker June 4, 2015 at 12:43 pm

What can you find out about Wilson x 70 irons. They are a blade from the early 80`s. I have a left handed set that I got from a guy on the senior tour, Bob Carson, who also owned a golf course in Titusville FLA. I bought them new. Someone suggested to me they were a prototype club for Johnny Miller, but were never marketed. I was told they only made a few hundred sets. Make sense as I do have a Johnny Miller PW which looks just like an X 70. I play them still and love them. A very easy to hit blade. Kind of reminds one of the Hogan radial but not near as wide on the soul. Can you help me find the history of the club? I am surprised no one ever mass marketed them. Great looking blade and the low COG really lets one hit it high.

Reply

Blu Magoo October 23, 2010 at 6:03 am

and they wonder why they went out of business. Some crazy lookin clubs

Why didn’t you include the 1st set of Ping Irons? Those were real whacky.. bent shafts and roughly milled heads. Ugly…. but worth a kings ransom

Reply

davepenny October 21, 2010 at 5:14 pm

Great post thanks mgs but i agree with dj ,The doctor rx has to be on the list

Reply

fozcycle October 21, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Happily, I can say that I have seen these over the years, but none of them ever made it into my golf bag.

Reply

mike October 21, 2010 at 1:22 pm

i knew a guy who was a 4 handicap, and he used the spalding executives. he is a cleveland iron man now, but he still owns the spalding executives

Reply

skip October 21, 2010 at 9:27 am

What was wacky about the Bears? No copy for them. :-(
Their original design was a smaller headed Tony Penna model – Innovator, they became the n1 and then the Bears came out when oversize irons hit the market.

I played them for years, they were solid, and they looked really good at address for their time period.

& Bubba Dickerson won the 2001 US Amatuer with a set of Nicklaus Bears!

Reply

P-Gunna October 21, 2010 at 7:51 am

Very cool article!

Zevo was a great brand and I played a Zevo Zv2 hybrid for almost 6 years because it was so easy to hit and had incredible feel. I finally gave it to a friend of mine who is a beginner and he says it is the only club he can hit reliably.

Reply

cheymike October 21, 2010 at 7:30 am

*chuckles* Maybe its a good thing I took a 30 year golf hiatus. It kept some of those out of my bag I’m sure.

Reply

C. Evans October 21, 2010 at 3:58 am

I see that a few from my list made it. I still think there were others that deserved some consideration.

Reply

DJ Owen October 21, 2010 at 12:16 am

You’ve forgotten the worst offender. MacGregor Doctor X.

I had the Bears. they were a good iron, that looked good at address, and were easy to hit. However my 6 iron had twice as much offset as any other iron in the set

Reply

mygolfspy October 21, 2010 at 6:21 am

Oh I didn’t forget about those…they almost made the list.

Reply

Bob October 23, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Ever hear of Belmont (internal, removable sole weighting)?
What about Pax (Paul Goydos promoted them)?
Purespin (diamond face)?

Reply

Justin October 20, 2010 at 8:32 pm

Lots of wackiness. I can’t remember who made them, but I remember reading about an iron that was adjustable so its loft could be wildly altered. I’m not talking a couple of degrees, but for one shot you could make it a 5 iron and the next (with a quick adjustment) it’d be a PW. It was in “A Disordly Compendium of Golf”… I can’t find my copy (actually haven’t seen it in a few months…) but I know it was in there.

Reply

Jake October 23, 2010 at 8:04 am

I have one of those! I tried to hit it once…not a good idea! lol!

Reply

Julio Manalo March 4, 2015 at 6:27 pm

I’d like to include the Wilson Reflex irons and PGF Slammer series.

Reply

Brock September 1, 2014 at 10:39 am

Those were first made around the end of the 19th century during the hickory era. It had a good locking mechanism, and was made for poorer people who could not afford a whole set. They got so popular at the time that it scared club makers badly (Every set was pretty much custom built then), and Golfing associations banned the club from play.

Reply

Leave a Comment