Byron Nelson won 5 Majors, was the first to win 50 PGA Tour events, and
he set the current record for most consecutive Tour victories when he
won 11 straight. A MacGregor staff pro for over 20 years, Nelson endorsed and used MacGregor golf clubs during the height of his career. However, the irons made for him, to his specs, were marked 'Personal
Model" and never offered for retail sale. Available here is one such
10-club set, and this set is special.
The heads are stamped "MacGregor" on the sole, and "Byron Nelson, Personal Model," on the back of the blade. The set consist of a 2-9, 11 & Sand Iron. As mentioned, MacGregor Personal Model clubs were never offered in MacGregor catalogs. They were assembled to the specs of the MacGregor staff member. All the heads and specifics of this set were custom made to Lord Byron's personal specifications. A quick look at the sole reveals significant cambering that sets these clubs apart from every other stock MacGregor iron set, and that is just one feature. Even the grind of the heads themselves is different from the typical Armour models that were produced by MacGregor across the years.
It is not known if Nelson ever used this set, but it's still a valuable rarity with no mistaking who was behind their design and who they originally were made for. The clubs were produced sometime between 1957, when MacGregor introduced the Pro-Pel Action shafts used in these irons and 1962, Nelson's last year working for MacGregor. This time frame squares, to the auctioneer at least, with the shape and design of the heads which definitely appear more modern than MacGregor's 1950s Silver Scot 945 and 985 split back blades. What's really neat is these heads do not look like the heads on any other MacGregor iron set.
The set was assembled with Macgregor's Pro-Pel Action 1 firm shafts, cord grips, and even shrunk-on grip collars. The hosels are pinned to perfection. The face scoring is clean and even. The copper and black shaft bands are all there and they sparkle. The ferrules and grips are just like they were over 60 years ago when they were installed on the clubs. All the irons from 2 to 9 have a consistent 2.5 swingweight, with just a touch over or under. Call it a tight D2/D3 range. The 2-iron measures 38 1/2” in length. The clubs show no significant use and are gorgeous! Check out the last image - The clubs still have their old MacGregor cloth head socks!
The consignor, who is not a golfer, inherited these clubs from his father who worked at MacGregor from the 1950s to the early 60s. The father certainly was in the right place at the right time to have a chance to acquire such a set. More great classic MacGregor clubs from this same consignor are coming up in this auction.