Author Topic: MacGregor Response  (Read 5925 times)

reflog74

MacGregor Response
« on: January 24, 2010, 12:40:11 PM »
You've probably already talked about this putter, Mr. Long, but I must have missed it.  What's the story behind the making of this putter used by Jack to win the Masters in 1986?

John

rollyourball

Re: MacGregor Response
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2010, 12:20:59 AM »
John,
It's a fun story to tell, but I probably don't have room here in one post. We were experimenting in the lab at Macgregor with a concept that required a really deep face. To get that deep face I scaled the the CNC programs we had written for the standard size Smoothie putter line. (We wrote CNC code by hand on a teletype in those days) So the 32% scale factor produced this big aluminum putter. The concept we were trying was killed by the USGA, so I ended up with some big flat face aluminum putters in my office.
Jack comes to the plant (a rare visit), I hand him one and he asks if it is a joke! I say no, he hits few putts on the carpet and then says to send him a few to try. He calls back about two weeks later and says, "you know that big putter is pretty good". So I go talk to the company president and he decides to make it into a product. It was a super high inertia putter, very forgiving, and we never dreamed Jack would actually use it.
But........he did! Ha!



sandbagger

Re: MacGregor Response
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2010, 01:10:46 AM »
 Now this is puttertalk! Gettin the  :popcorn: ready! 8)

reflog74

Re: MacGregor Response
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2010, 10:55:43 AM »
Clay,

Thank you for the reply and insight.  This is the kind of "behind the scenes" stuff I, and I'm guessing many PT members, love to hear.

Looking forward to more of your history!  Thanks for sharing it.

John

rollyourball

Re: MacGregor Response
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2010, 08:17:07 PM »
Well it fun to talk about all the gory details of those times. For those who like the real nitty gritty.... The putter was a 356 T6 aluminum investment casting. It had a hole in the toe and heel where we epoxyed in a lead slug. The lead slug was the same type we put under the soleplate of wood woods. ( Yes, we were still making wood woods in 1986) A brass disc was punched out of soleplate brass, counter sunk for a wood screw, and a short soleplate screw was threaded into the lead slug. We started out with only epoxy on the brass cap but the polishing got it hot and the brass would fall off.  The lead slug was deep enough away from the sole that heat didn't hurt the epoxy holding it in. They were degated, polished, the vibratoried. After that the faces were milled flat on an old Series 1 Bridgeport CNC. (You just didn't see that in those days)
The very first production run of 800, 200 per model, had my signature on them. "D. C. Long" was in my hand writing. Later it was plugged and Pat. Pending was put there.  Those didn't have screws in the brass plates, except for the one Jack won the Masters with. It had my signature and wood screws in the brass plates. The first run wasn't painted black either. But again Jack's was at his request.
So the Masters putter itself was really a special part. Probably only 3 or 4 made just like that. Jack filled the back cavity with lead tape as well to make it swing about D3 or so. Production models were about C8. We made them light because people thought they were heavier than they were due to the size.
The original putter is currently lost. Jack has all of his old stuff except that putter. Thinks the kids might have loaned it by mistake. So if you ever run across a black M615 with wood screws in the toe and heel plates and "D.C. Long" on it, Call me!!!

sandbagger

Re: MacGregor Response
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2010, 08:29:11 PM »
Thanks for the follow up Clay! I'm sitting here straining my brain, trying to fomulate a qualified question that will illicit more responses like this! lol 8)

reflog74

Re: MacGregor Response
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2010, 11:28:49 PM »
Clay,

How many were sold AFTER Jack's win?

John

rollyourball

Re: MacGregor Response
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2010, 12:06:46 AM »
Well, we had a forcast of 6000 for 1986. He used it starting in Jan. and played terribly all Spring, but we had sold 20,000 just before the Masters. Internally it was a big big success even before the tournament. We were scared to death he was going to stop using it and kill the sales because he was playing so bad at the time, Ha Ha! We thought we had really sold some putters as we had sold 1200 pro line putters the previous year.

Anyway, Monday morning after the tournament we booked 5000 before noon. We sold about 150,000 that year only because that was all we could make, and about 350,000 over the next two and a half years before it was replaced with a mid sized stainless model, the Response LT. Jack continued to use the LT or a Nicklaus version of it for almost 10 years.

The Macgregor plant in Albany was 250,000 sq ft, and 6 weeks after Jack's win all you could see inside there were aluminum putters! You couldn't find the other clubs there were so many putters in work.

That's the kind of fun that will keep you coming back!

Clay

reflog74

Re: MacGregor Response
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2010, 09:42:29 AM »
Beautiful!!  Must have been a ball!

John

MoaningM

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Re: MacGregor Response
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2010, 01:55:23 PM »
Clay, fabulous stories, as John says this is what it's all about, you are part of golfing folklore and the picture of Jack holing that putt on 17 holding the putter up as the ball drops, will live forever.

Probably a daft question but can you remember what you were thinking as you watched Jack rolling in those tramliners?

I asked a question a while back about the most memorable putter per decade, and the Response really would take some beating during the 80's.

rollyourball

Re: MacGregor Response
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2010, 12:45:10 AM »
I can't think of another putter that got more press and was so attached to a single water shed event in the 80's than the Resonse. I'm sure the Anser won more tournaments and money, but it was doing that in the 70's as well.

Of course I remember exactly what I was doing and thinking that afternoon in 1986. (So do alot of other people too) I was doing my taxes home alone and watching the tournament over my sholder. At some point I wasn't doing the taxes anymore. I remember thinking that if that shot on 16 had just gone in the hole he might could win.(Seve hadn't hit in the water yet) Then after 17, I was scared to DEATH he would 3 putt 18. That lag to a foot from 60 feet was the best putt I've ever seen. I can tell you this, the next day at work I was hoarse from screaming!

rollyourball

Re: MacGregor Response
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2010, 12:56:42 AM »
Here are a few of my collection. I don't many but these are the original production batch of 200 615's. The necks were easy to break in that first run so there can't be many of these left in one piece now. The dawn of oversize!

rollyourball

Re: MacGregor Response
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2010, 01:16:37 AM »
Here is a good close up of the original sole engraving.

The other photos are of the original hand made prototype that became the Response putter. The very first one. Pretty rough I know. You can see I cut the cavity in the center of the blade to start with too. Oh well, live and learn. It was so solid it didn't matter. You couldn't not hit it solid.

 Here is a link to a nice write up a friend did a couple of weeks ago, has a few words about the Response. 

http://bit.ly/8nxb2r

sandbagger

Re: MacGregor Response
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2010, 09:24:50 AM »
 Great stuff Clay, keep it coming!

FairwayFred

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Re: MacGregor Response
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2010, 05:40:50 PM »
That is a great story Clay!  I have had so much fun talking to Don White about past MacGregor projects and working with players like Jack.  He speaks very highly of you. 
Ari Techner
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Random61

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Re: MacGregor Response
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2010, 03:05:26 PM »
(Its been a while since the last post of this topic so I thought I would try to respond here rather than creating a new topic)

Mr. Long-

First off, thank you for the wonderful invention of the Response ZT putter.  I got a chance to read through this post and learned much about the putter that has had a direct impact on my short game.  It is very, very rare when I have a three putt and my best put ever was over 40 ft using a Response ZT!

Though I may be new to this forums, I have been collecting putters for years now. I own over 50 putters and own four Response ZT MI 615 putters. I keep one of these putters for collectors value and game the other three because I just putt the best with them. So again, thank you for making me look like a master putter among my fellow golfers. 

I do have a few questions though if you have a moment:

First, two of them I own are starting to show its age; do you have a preferred refinishing service I should use?  Second, do you know where I could get a head cover for these? Its size makes it hard to find one and I want to avoid as many dings as I can!
Third, I know in 2006, Nicklaus Golf made 1,000 of these but as is my understanding, none have been reproduced since.  Any chance we will see them made again? 

Thank you for your time and work to the golf community!

Cheers,
Random61

rollyourball

Re: MacGregor Response
« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2010, 02:15:28 AM »
Random61,

Sorry its been a while since I checked messages. First refinishing is tough. If you have one of the first made it is a vibrated finish (gray like an old Ping). If you were to revibe it it would ruin the milled face and turn it gray too. If you have a later model it is painted black. The black paint was baked on at the time of manufacture so I don't think you can strip it off easily. Probably best method would be to sand blast the paint of and then have repainted black, being careful not to blast or paint the face. I have no sources for type of work today. Maybe a body shop. The aluminum has to be primed before painting too.

Nicklaus made 500 numbered reproductions in 2006 ( I designed them), you can still find them for sale on e-bay from time to time. They are not real expensive and are milled from a solid block and heavier like today's standards. (the originals were cast 356 aluminum) The reproductions are much better parts than the originals. if you like to use them i highly recomend you get one.

Head covers are non existent. The originals didn't have one. The reproductions do come with one but the cover is looks like seal skin. (wasn't my call) sorry. Maybe I'll make a 25th commerative edition next year? I have to make something for my 10 year in Personal Edition Putters. Very gald to know someone is still using the Response ZT after so many years, it really is a great putter.

Random61

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Re: MacGregor Response
« Reply #17 on: March 23, 2011, 02:45:21 PM »
Thank you for your response!

I've taken your advice and since your posting, I've been looking for a 2006 reproduction but the only one I have found to date has been a Jack autographed one going for around $900 on eBay.  I'll keep trying though.  It would be great to see this putter put into production again! 

Again, the Response is that great of a putter and I hope to get my hands on the Nicklaus 06 edition.

Cheers!
Random61

rollyourball

Re: MacGregor Response
« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2011, 02:27:39 PM »
You should be able to get one for a lot less than that. Call the company, Nicklaus Golf Equipment Co. in West Palm, 800 322 1872 and see if they have any left, they might. I know they are planning a 25 anniversary issue this year too.

Clay

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Re: MacGregor Response
« Reply #19 on: March 31, 2011, 12:30:02 PM »
Great stories here.  With the 25th Anniversary coming up in a couple of weeks it is neat to take a look back to '86 and the putter that created a sensation.

rollyourball

Re: MacGregor Response
« Reply #20 on: March 31, 2011, 12:39:18 PM »
Well it was a wonderful and fun for all of us a Macgregor at the time for sure. I understand that Jack is going to play the par 3 tournament at the Masters next week with a replica anniversary issue Response putter. Pretty cool I think!
Clay

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Re: MacGregor Response
« Reply #21 on: April 06, 2011, 09:34:32 PM »
He did:


rollyourball

Re: MacGregor Response
« Reply #22 on: April 07, 2011, 03:27:03 AM »
I have to get one of those photos for my wall here in my office. That is so cool! It is still thrilling to watch the replays of '86. I always tear up when i see it and these shots are specal too.

CL

reflog74

Re: MacGregor Response
« Reply #23 on: April 07, 2011, 08:49:21 AM »
Clay,

You just got a very nice plug on TGC for your new Nicklaus driver.   :)

What's the scoop on this one?

Thanks

John

rollyourball

Re: MacGregor Response
« Reply #24 on: April 07, 2011, 12:35:20 PM »
I didn't see it, but I got a call from the East coast a 5:45 AM telling me about it! HA! Must be the ML4 driver he is using. Its the newest Nicklaus driver and it has turned out to be very very good. No screws or adjustability just a perfectly balanced super hot COR face. It has a modern classic shape (as I like to call it) and really does look good on the ground behind the ball. We decided to move away from the more stretched back or square type shapes of the past few years. It is wider than an older shape but looks classic now. It also has an aerodynamic skirt shape but you can't see it at address. It has a cup face precision forged front section and is all plasma welded together. Sound is good too at impact.

The numbers really came together on this one. When the CG position, face flexability, loft, lie, look and sound come together in a certain way good things happen to the ball. Its like the difference between being talented and gifted. Every so often one really comes together better than you expect and this is going to be one of those. Last one was probably the 440 done in about 2004 maybe. All the drivers we done have been good but sometimes one just exceeds.
You will never see an ad or any promotion for this club, but if you ever get a chance to hit it on a monitor in a shop you'll see what I am talking about.
Clay

reflog74

Re: MacGregor Response
« Reply #25 on: April 07, 2011, 12:38:48 PM »
Clay,

Yes, that's the driver they talked about.  Thanks for the detailed explanation.  Will definitely give one of these a try.

Congratulations!

John

scottsinps

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Re: MacGregor Response
« Reply #26 on: April 08, 2011, 06:27:42 PM »
Clay:

I have two Response Putters... one is an MI 640 that has D C Long written on it, and the other is a black Jack Nicklaus signature 20th.  What are the dates of these?  Also, were the 20th putters numbered?  If so where?

Scott

rollyourball

Re: MacGregor Response
« Reply #27 on: April 08, 2011, 08:07:54 PM »
The 640 with D.C. Long on it would be out of the original 800 made with my signature on them, pretty rare. It should be silver or a vibratory finish as we call it. That was out of the original production order before the PGA show in Jan. 1986. The 20th edition was a revised tool with a thicker neck and heavier than the original models (which were about C2 - C8) It was made following the '86 Masters and the 20th stood for 20 major championships. Those were first produced most likely in the sumer of 1986 which was as soon as we could retool and get them made. As you say they were black like Jack's putter.
The 20th putters were not numbered. We must have made 200,000 of them.

There was a 10th anniversary numbered edition made by Macgregor in 1996, I don't know how many were made of that, and a 20th anniversary edition made by Nicklaus Golf in 2006 of which 500 were made and numbered. I remodeled that one on the computer. It has same dimensions but is milled from a block, is 340 grams and has stainless steel threaded weights in the heel and toe instead of the original lead slugs covered by brass caps. Really a much better part than the original 356 casting. This new 2011 25th anniversary edition uses the same head but they are only making 86 of them. (maybe I can get a proof)

Hope that helps.

Clay