How to Flatten a Persimmon Driver

With the increasing realization that the idea of having woods that have the correct lie angle for those moving (ever so wisely) toward flatter swing planes, I made a custom 131 photo pictorial on how to flatten, re shaft, refinish, re whip, and re grip a vintage persimmon. I left no stone unturned, with detailed descriptions on each step to successfully do this yourself. I have done about 5 of them now… and don’t mind doing one or two a month. Labor of love stuff… but we can’t work on Titanium clubs, because they break if you try to bend the brittle things… and everyone should learn to at least hit a flush persimmon even if only for a training club. Tiger uses one to practice with even in the modern era.

I do all my work painstakingly by hand, not with machinery or a crew of employees in an assembly line. Feel free to download the file… if you decide to take on the project, there is a donation box at the end if you think it’s worthy. It probably took me longer to do the documentary than it did to do the club!

If you can’t sleep at night until you have one… I don’t mind doing one or two a month, but because this is far from a full time thing, and my limited time and resources, I will be on the pricey side. I highly suggest you give it a go… the worst thing that can happen is you end up with a piece of firewood for the winter!

1 Like

Great explanation step by step Lag, can’t wait to give it a go as soon as I have some spare time.

Wow Lag - that tutorial was simply wonderful! I can’t believe that is going to be the club I am going to be playing in just a few weeks - it looks fantastic! I am going to print out the pictures in colour and put them in my golf bag so if anyone starts talking about equipment I can show them how mine was made :smiley:

Thanks so much,


What an amazing process!And a super doc you created. Pure craftsmanship Lag. I totally agree with having a flatter swing plane really helps players hit more fairways. I’ve always had a natural flat plane and I think this has always gave me a small edge. Hogan and Trevino were two who hardly missed a fairway and they were flat.

Arnie… - That Titleist persimmon head is georgeous. One of the better older models I’ve seen. I bet that was made in the early to mid 80s. A classic head and that grain! Like a Texan! Enjoy it, and when I finally get to London and you got that in the bag, I’m gonna make you play the back tee boxes.


Have you ever tried bending the shaft with a plumber’s pipe bender Lag? A conforming club is permitted to have a bend in the shaft within the bottom 5 inches from the sole and I can’t imagine the shaft performance changing. There’s a chance you wouldn’t even need to pull the shaft out.


Great document… very well done. Can’t wait to get working on flattening some persimmon fairway woods so I can ditch the hybrids that right now look like the toes are an inch off the ground!




Ralph Maltby’s “Golf Club Design, Fitting, Alteration, and Repair” book (I have the 2nd edition from 1982) has a chapter about changing lie angles of persimmon woods. It’s one of the briefest chapters in the book and it’s a very big book. :slight_smile:

He uses a bending block to bend the shaft just above the wooden neck area (it looks like he bends it within the whipping section) but he mentions the bend being no more than 2 degrees flat or upright. You are correct that the shaft doesn’t require removal but I don’t know how this works when making the significant changes in lie angle most ABS students are probably requiring.

Maltby states that ideally the woods would be custom made to the appropriate spec.



I do know about that technique of bending the shaft… it’s talked about in Ralph Maltby’s books… but personally I don’t like the idea of the shaft being bent as it would seem to add an element of uncertainty that doesn’t need to be there. With the shaft rotating, the very real element of toe dip, and and as a hitter working toward holding shaft flex, it wouldn’t be my first choice as an option… but in all honesty, I have never hit a shaft bend version either…

I like the idea of my shaft straight, and just lay it in there flat, with a nice progression coming off my long irons.

I went out today and got in 7 holes… still a little tentative with my elbow situation, but I did hit a drive with my flattened black MacGregor Toski with a custom gamma fire insert, and hit it to a place on the 9th today I had never been before.

I have 4 personal drivers now… two Penna’s the Toski and a Hogan… 8 - 9-10 - and 10.5 degrees, all tipped X100’s all 43 inches, 14 ounces, and D-6 to D-8

Whaddya know,… I have Maltby’s 4th edition holding up my computer monitor - and here I was in the shed last night at 2am bending shafts seeing if it was possible.

When we flatten our clubs, be they persimmon or forged blades, I assume the shaft is directed more towards the sweet spot of the club head, away from the hosel a little. Is this correct? If so, what does that do for our feel and mechanics? Anything, nothing?

the flat ones…

Hogan Pro Model Speed Slot

Tony Penna

Tony Penna

50’s MacGregor Toski

Teddy, the shaft does move a bit more toward the sweetspot, which feels great…
I had the new sweetspot on the third ball, and never looked back…

Flattening also should theoretically increase the swingweight. Ever measured before and after Lag? Is it noticeable?

When I put in a new shaft and grip, and add extra epoxy and all that, I am sure it changes lots of things (dead weight, swing weights)… Sometimes I add weight or lead under the sole plate, or in the case of the Hogan, I drilled two holes into the back of the club and poured melted fishing weights into the rear, then epoxied over them to hold them in place.

It’s nice to have an organic product you can mess with, manipulate to your liking.

But I have never checked a before and after, because I am changing out shafts, and grips, and trying to get the club to a specific spec.


Flattening a club by 3 degrees adds about 1 swingweight.

So you have to go a long way before you notice it.

Cool NRG - I’ve heard one swingweight point change isn’t noticable, but two starts to be, so the 5 - 6 degrees many flatten their irons here by may lead to a noticeable increase.


That sounds about right, you probably won’t notice 1, probably will notice 2. And it definately does add swingweight, i have checked before and after a bend.

I have a 9 page PDF on Swingweight, i tried uploading it but i couldn’t, if anyone wants a copy let me know… or can advise how to upload?


NRG, if you post a reply, look at the bottom of the writing window after the buttons SAVE PREVIEW SUBMIT, you’ll see Options and Upload Attachments. Click on it and a window should open for you to choose where to get the file from and upload it.Very interested in seeing that document. Thanks.


Tried that it says

“The extension pdf is not allowed.”

send it over to my email, and I’ll upload it onto the server here…