Hugh Philp was born in 1783 and died in 1856. In 1819 he was appointed the official clubmaker to the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews. His reputation as an outstanding clubmaker was quickly established, and he became renown for his work during his lifetime.
in 1897, Harper's Weekly published the following comments about Hugh Philp, : "It was Hugh Philp who first departed from these primitive models of the
stone age and began to make golf clubs that looked as though they were
intended for some gentler work than the crushing in of an enemy's skull
or the manufacture of broken flint for road-building. Philp had an eye
for graceful lines and curves, and his slim, elegant models remain
to-day things of beauty, though their usefulness has long since
departed…. The few specimens that sill exist are acknowledged 'old
masters' and are only to be exchanged against much fine gold." (Harper's Weekly, October, 2, 1897)
Decades after his death, Golf Illustrated acknowledged Philp's continuing reputation as the finest clubmaker the game had ever seen: "The Prince of putter makers, by common consent, was Hugh Philp, who
flourished at St. Andrews more than 50 years ago. This genius made such
beautiful and perfect wooden putters that he has come to be regarded as
the Amati or Stradivarious of Golf, and a genuine 'Philp' to-day is
worth untold gold. The long narrow faces of these clubs and their
perfect balance are well known to connoisseurs." (Golf Illustrated, Oct. 6, 1900)
Today, Philp clubs remain highly sought after, and his putters still command "much fine gold"! The genuine Philp putter offered here is an honest example‚ used and entirely original top to bottom. The 36 1/4" hickory shaft, sheepskin grip, whipping, lead, horn, pegs, name stamp, and finish, are all original. The head itself, which measures 2 1/16" wide, 1" deep, and 5 1/2" long, has an attractive shape.
There is small crack on the sole that extends out from under the lead. The crack was likely created when the molton lead was poured into the cavity. There is also some weathering/wear to the wood along the top line of the face. This would have occurred during the course of being used during the 1840s and possibly thereafter. Somebody loved using this club. No doubt it served its owner well.
Honest original Philps like this one do not come up often. Everything on this club was formed, fashioned, and built in the small shop of the game's Master Clubmaker located next to the 18th at St. Andrews over 180 years ago.
TCA2 v1 p54-58