JMB.mx

a blog and creative archive by James M. Branum

The Miracle Club

This page gives a bit of information about the Miracle Golf club with an adjustable loft.

I purchased mine on Ebay for the insanely cheap price of $9.99 (including shipping), but having used it a good bit now, I would say that this club is easily worth spending $50-100 on based on how much fun it is to use.

 


History

When I first started trying to figure out the history of the Miracle club, it appeared to be very similar to the “Adjustable golf club” that was marketed in the 1950’s:

Adjustable golf club ad from -May1958 The Rotatarian

International's Adjustable Club - story from Golfdom Magazine March 1958

Yet this club looks a bit different too, more of a blocky head, and more notably the different brand name. Yet the basic mechanism and options is the same.

After digging around some more, I found a clue that helped to narrow things down a bit:

TheGolfAuction.com: LOT #529: “Miracle” Adjustable Club – Six In One – Club plays as Driver, Putter 3,5,7,9 Irons

A patented product (#2,329,313 as appears on the back of the club) this adjustable club was marketed by International Golf Products of Hinsdale, Illinois. It is one of 120 patents on adjustable clubs since 1895. The concept behind this product was that one club with the turn of a knob could play the entire course. This 37″ club is equipped with a stainless steel shaft, and is identified on the back of the club as “MIRACLE”. This club which shows use does not display any significant nicks, rust or pitting on the clubhead or shaft. The marketing of this club included these phrases, “The ‘Miracle’ is scientifically designed and balanced…to help you score better” and “You’ll play better, too, because you won’t be tired from lugging a heavy bag”.

Miracle Golf CLub 

Miracle Golf CLub

This does appear to be the same club, but mine has a few differences, namely that my club doesn’t have the patent number, or the words “stainless” or “open.” Otherwise it looks like the same club.

But assuming this is the same club, then the patent number is big clue. And here is what I found:

Patent #2329313 “Adjustable Golf Club” invented by Charles V. Winter (filed 1941, granted 1943)

Diagram from patent # 2329313

This design looks very similar to the club I have, except for the shape of the head and the groove pattern, so I next looked at other patents granted to Charles V. Winter (which included an adjustable loft wood!), however, these designs looked more different from my club than did patent #2329313. So I went back to the picture of the golf club listed for sale in this link (TheGolfAuction.com: LOT #529: “Miracle” Adjustable Club – Six In One – Club plays as Driver, Putter 3,5,7,9 Irons)
and I noticed that notwithstanding the different lettering and markings, the shape of the golf club head looks like the club I have (slightly triangular) rather than the illustration in the patent application (not triangular), so I think it is now clear that my club is based on the design in Patent #2329313.

Speaking of this patent, here’s an illustrated story from Popular Mechanics that tells a bit about this club design:

popularmechanics-Feb1944

Popular Mechanics, February 1944

 

Which brings me to the question of dating. I would love to know how old this club might be. Thankfully advertising does provide some leads in this department.

First, there is this ad from Popular Mechanics in their May 1949 issue:

popularmechanicsMay1949

This club looks identical to my club, except for the different lettering and markings.

Here’s an ad from January 1950 in Golfdom magazine, that lists the manufacturer as “International Golf Products” of Chicago:

jan1950Golfdom

Next I found this ad from 1956, which I think might be from a golf supply catalog:

1956 ad for the Miracle Golf Club

The same design, same lettering… so I assume that possibly my club was manufactured after the patent expired, which I think would have been 1960 at the latest.

And then moving forward in time, I found three ads from 1976-1977, all from International Golf Products (now in South Bend, Indiana), selling “Adjustable All-in-One” golf clubs, which have the same basic design as the Miracle club but with a different brand name and a slightly more blocky head design, but I’m not seeing any clubs in this era being sold under the name of “Miracle.”

rotarian-June1976

The Rotarian-June1976

 

ABAJournal-May1977

ABA Journal-May1977

 

rotarian July 1977

The Rotarian July 1977

So… my best guess on the age of my Miracle Golf Club is sometime after 1960 but before 1976, but that is only a guess.

Before moving on, I should mention that one false lead I found while  trying to ID the Miracle club is an interesting design that was patented in 1974. See: “Golf Club having adjustable head means” Patnent # 3,840,231 – Oct. 8, 1974, invented by Donald D. Moore of Akron, Ohio , who I have learned passed away in 2013.

Thanks to obituary, I found out that, besides golf innovations, Mr. Moore had a pretty extensive history in inventing  (see Obituary of Donald Douglass Moore, January 12, 2013). And with a little more research, I learned that since Moore’s death, his old company Universal Golf Clubs has continued on and is making a new a version of this club, with features that are more in line with modern club design (especially the perimeter weighting, etc.)  I would love to get one of these new clubs some day (which cost around $200), but cost-wise it is hard to beat my $10 “Miracle club”

 


How to play golf with the Miracle Club

First I must note that I am a novice at golf. I’ve been playing quite a bit lately (1-2 hours per day of practice at the range or at my favorite 9 hole course) but I am still a novice, so your experience may be different than mine, especially as I tend to focus on accuracy rather than distance at this stage of my training.

The Miracle club has a single shaft length (I have the medium length version), but has the means to adjust the loft angle based on the following options: P (putter), D (Driver), 3, 5, 7, and 9, however, there is nothing to stop one from going at even great loft angle (I often go one notch past 9, which I call “11” to substitute for a wedge).

Here’s my thoughts on each of the settings thus far:

  • P – I don’t like putting with this club. It can be done but it has very little “feel.”
  • D– This is basically a 1 Iron, to be hit off of a tee. I have not had good results from this setting, so I normally go with 3 if I’m driving.
  • 3– This is a great substitute for a 3 iron, a fairway wood or even a hybrid. Good for hitting off the tee or grass.
  • 5– Fairly comparable to my regular 5 iron. If I can hit the sweet spot, it does well.
  • 7 – Possibly my favorite setting. It is a good 7 iron.
  • 9 – This works well as a 9 iron or as a pitching wedge.
  • 11 – Not marked as a setting but this one notch over from the 9. I use this as a substitute for a sand wedge, but with less success.

For myself, I think the Miracle Club can easily substitute for all of the irons, a hybrid, and maybe a wedge in one’s golf bag, but it would be hard to make up for the driver(s) and a putter. And of course one must adjust stance/ball placement/etc. given the single shaft length of this club, but that can be a positive if one is trying to build a consistent swing.

Lastly, while I haven’t tried the “Adjustable All-in-One Club” (also made by International Golf Products during the 1950’s-1970’s), the notch markings appear to be identical to the Miracle Golf Club, so this info might be useful for that club as well.


 

The Miracle Club for Left-handed shots?

I assume that there might be some left-handed Miracle clubs out there but I have yet to see any on the used market. That said, it would be easy for a left-handed player to simply rotate the head all the way around (I’ve tested this and it can be done) and have the same functionality. Of course the notch markings wouldn’t be present, so a dab of paint or a sharpie marker might be necessary to indicate where the appropriate notch settings might be.

And as an added bonus for right-handed folks, this club is a super handy tool for situations where the only way one can hit the ball (given obstacles) is a left-hand shot. All a player needs to do is to twist the head around and then take the shot left-handed.


Travel Tips

If one really wants to pack light for golfing while traveling (and you don’t want to buy a more modern adjustable club), my suggestion for using the Miracle club would be to:

  1. If you can pack 3 clubs: Pack the Miracle Club, a driver, and a putter. With this you can do almost anything.
  2. If you can pack 2 clubs: Pack the Miracle Club and a putter, and ideally try to find some lower par courses (i.e. Par 3’s, executive 9 holes, etc.) so that you won’t miss having a big driver. And if packing space is at a premium, this might be a good time to make use of a collapsible travel putter.
  3. If you can only pack 1 club: Use the Miracle Club but lower your expectations for putting and/or practice putting a lot before your trip so you’ll be ready to go.
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