This rare Paul Runyan Little Poison putter is marked "Little Poison" on both the head and the wood rectangular grip and "Paul Runyan" on the sole. Runyan did more in the world of golf than design this club and a few others during his career. He won the 1934 and 1938 PGA and is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.
This Little Poison wood grip is covered with a spiral wrap of old Gauztex, a perforated non-adhesive "fabric/tape product" golfers would wrap onto slippery grips. On this club, however the old Gauztex has lost all its tackiness and hardened into the shape of the grip. Because it never used adhesive, it will now slip on and off the wood grip. In short, a perfectly preserved Little Poison grip is revealed by sliding the Gauztex down over the shaft, as show in the images.
The head on the club looks a little rough. This is primarily due to the fact that the black finish and thick varnish has peeled off in lots of places, and there is some bag wear to the head. But there is no abuse or significant damage. Therefore, stipping off the old varnish and reworking the color would get this club looking really sharp again. The red fiber inserts it tight, but the brass soleplate is raised just a touch and should be reset if one chooses to restore this club.
This putter is from the historic Fred X Fry collection. The 35"
pyratone steel shaft bears a tape label marked "Fred X Fry," and two of
his inventory labels are on the wood grip. Fry, the dean of American
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.