All three of these putters are from the Fred X Fry collection and bear his inventory labels on their shafts.
Fry writes on the inventory sheet for the Eliptical putter head, with the three circular lead inlays in the face, that he acquired this club sometime in 1938 but "forgot" who it was from. He thought it might be home made. It's possible that is true, but judging from everything about the club—the grip, shaft, ferrule, trim ring, the workmanship of the head and of the lead, the auctioneer believes a professional clubmaker created this club. The workmanship and lines are beautiful.
Fry's inventory sheets for the other two putters tells their story in more detail.
The aluminum putter with the unscored smooth face was the original "Jitter Bug" putter handmade by Fred Wetmore of San Francisco, California. This unusually shaped head has lead the extends into the head at the outer end of the toe and heel. The grip appears to to consist of a round leather grip that wrapped in some kind of strong paper. The paper was apparently used to hold two long wooden dowels in place, one running down the front length of the grip and the other down the back length of the grip.
The Jitter Bug putter with the scored face was also hand made by Fred Wetmore, but his second effort. Like his original Jitter Bug putter, this one also has a unique grip that is flat down both sides and is much thicker at the top, front to back, than it is halfway down the grip where the grip thickness evens out.
While hand made, both Jitter Bug putters are well made. If you like one-of-a-kind clubs, this lot should bring a smile to your face. Wetland gave these clubs to Fry in 1939 and 1940 respectively.
All three putters are in nice condition. As mentioned, all are from the Fred X. Fry Collection, and their shafts bear his
inventory labels. 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 inventory sheets will be included with this lot.