Specializing in Fine Antique Golf Clubs and Historic Memorabilia

Lot # 28: P.G., Regd 547101, 1909 Unusual Hexigon Pattern Golf Ball

Category: Golf Balls

Starting Bid: $1,500.00

Bids: 1 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed




This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "Summer Golf Auction 2019",
which ran from 7/3/2019 12:00 PM to
7/20/2019 8:00 PM



Formed with a surface covered in various sizes of octagons, this highly unusual ball is marked "P.G." on one pole and "Regd 547,101" on the other pole. This rubber-core ball is the creation of Sir Ralph Payne Gallwey, the inventor of the roller golf club with its roller head. Gallwey was also known as an exponent of the bow and arrow versus club and ball form of golf, so you might say he was just a little 'out there'...

According to the March 25, 1909 issue of Golfing, Gallwey "has made extensive studies with regard to the use of projectiles in the warfare of ages in which firearms were yet unknown, and is the possessor of many delicate and powerful models of engines which were employed for discharging these early missiles. These models he has put to noble use in a variety of tests applied to the flight of golf balls, and the results of his experiments ... are sufficiently startling."  The article continues on to explain how he tested rubber-cored balls, gutties, deeply marked balls, smooth balls, knife cut balls, variations in the number of nicks to a ball, and more. 

To sum up PG's results in part, Golfing reported, "Indeed Sir Ralph Payne-Gallwey's experiments would seem to indicate that the balls we employ at present are marked both too deeply and too closely.  He himself suggests that the ball should be surrounded by slightly raised lines, intersecting one another at intervals of about a third of an inch.  Such a formation, it will be observed, wouid be a modification of the "dimple" marking.

On November 11, 1910, Golf Illustrated (p145) reported that Sir Ralph had produced his own ball! "The P.G. Ball. A year or so back Sir Ralph Payne Gallwey, the well-known sporting baronet, of Thirkleby Hall, Thirsk, made an exhaustive series of experiments to test the comparative merits of the different markings on the cover of a golf ball.  As a result he claims that a reticulated [marked like a net, ed.] or "melon" marking is the most effective and the "P.G." ball is the practical exponent of this theory...."  The article goes on to praise the qualities of the ball and then ends by noting, "We should mention that Sir Ralph Payne Gallwey hands over the profits from the sale of the ball to a charity."  

The PG ball offered here is so rare, the auctioneer has never seen another and believes this is the only example to ever come up at auction. A true gem! and it shows very little wear.

One final point.  "547,101" is a British design registration number that dates to 1909.  The auctioneer, however, was unable to locate an actual registered design. It appears that Sir Ralph applied for his design registration, received the design registration number which is provided when the application is submitted, but then never spent the money nor the effort to completed the application, most likely because he could see his ball was not selling well....

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