These three early coated steel shaft putters from the Fred X Fry collection are interesting clubs, but the one with the red head is a true one of a kind. According to Fry's inventory sheet, which corresponds with his inventory label on the shaft, this putter was made by Robert "Bob" Edgren, a man of considerable national fame and name recognition during much of his life.
Fry describes this club as follows: "Made by Bob Edgren in 1928 and used by him for several years. Head of Red Fiber - Lead in bottom. Black steel shaft. Given me in 1939. Price $50." Edgren, who lived on Monterey Peninsula near Fry, had been in bad health for a few years leading up to 1939 and would pass away later that year. Fry attached great value to this club ($50 in 1939!), and part of the reason for that was because of who gave it to him, as detailed further down.
This club is attractive in all respects and well made. Those 6 small screws low on the face? Edgren screwed them through the six lead sole weights that extend up into the head, to hold them in place. Bingo! The other bit of great thinking is he made the head entirely out of fiber. It was strong and rigid, yet offered a softer feel than metal. It would not wear or dent and ding like metal so it always looked good. Fiber face inserts came to be used in vast quantities of wood produced in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. Edgren was just alittle ahead of his time.
Robert Edgren (January 7, 1874 – September 9, 1939) was a nationally syndicated American political and sports cartoonist,
reporter, editor and Olympic athlete!
He was hired in 1904 by Joseph Pulitzer as sports editor of The New York Evening World. The position gave him a national readership, as his writings and Miracle of Sports cartoons were syndicated widely.
According to an obituary found online: "Mr. Edgren began his newspaper career in San Francisco in 1895, when he
joined the staff of the Examiner, the original W. R. Hearst newspaper.
From the Examiner he was transferred to the old Evening Journal in New
York and appointed political cartoonist. During his Spanish adventures,
his drawings, 'Sketches from Death,' printed in the Journal and other
Hearst papers, were chiefly war atrocities.
"They were so extreme
that Mr. Hearst wired the cartoonist: "Don't exaggerate so much."
Angered, Mr. Edgren proceeded to collect 500 photographs to prove the
accuracy of his work.
"The pictures were subsequently displayed before Congress, and caused considerable excitement."
His obituary also records, that in addition to a daily column and sports cartoon,
he was executive
editor in the sports section when The New York Evening World was the leading authority
in the field of sports in America. The position gave him a national
readership, as his writings and "Miracle of Sports" cartoons were
Also included with this lot are two additional putters: 1940 Wilson
Ghost putter with white steel shaft and fork hosel, and a Bristol putter
with a solid wood "Little Poison Paddle Grip" patented in 1928.
The three putters in this lot are from the Fred X. Fry Collection and both the Edgren and Wilson putters bear Fry's inventory labels on the shaft. Fry, the dean of American golf club
collectors, was busy building his
collection forty years before the Golf Collectors Society (now The Golf
Heritage Society) was formed in 1970. Collecting with
great passion, Fry amassed around 450 clubs, mostly putters. He
cataloged, displayed, and cherished his treasures. A number of national
magazines ran articles about his collection of putters between 1936 and
1963. For more on Fry, and to view some of the articles, Click Here.
All three of the putters in this lot are in outstanding original condition.