Bearing an "R Forgan" stamp and Prince of Wales plume on the crown, this 1890s splice-neck Robert Forgan putter sports a fabulous pistol grip if ever there was one! When the putter is addressing the ball, the top three inches of the grip angles sharply back towards the golfer, and the front of the grip below the angled portion is flat to accept the golfer's thumbs. To the auctioneer, when actually holding this putter and taking a stroke, the grip fits that hands extremely well and feels fabulous! It really does.
This grip is identical to the grip illustrated in and covered under Lawrence Gray's 1911 British Patent 26,976. According to his patent the angled end of the shaft could be formed as part of the shaft or it could be a seperate piece of wood spliced onto the top of the shaft. Because this club bears Forgan's price of Wales plume, we know it was made prior to 1902. In 1901, Prince Edward became King Edward VII and Forgan stopped marking their clubs with the POW plume. Also, because the shaft is stamped "R. Forgan and Son, St. Andrews," the shaft is most likely the original shaft and the owner had the pistol grip spliced in place and a new leather wrap grip installed. This 35" shaft is also stamped "Fred X Fry."
The leather grip itself shows excellent craftsmanship. It was cut special so that it would cover the grip smoothly, with no gaps or raised portions. It remains tight and shows little use.
This putter is from the historic Fred X Fry collection and bears his
label on the shaft. 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 approximately 450 clubs, mostly putters. He
cataloged, displayed, and cherished his treasures. A Copy of Fry's
inventory page is included with this lot. 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.