December of 1905, James and David Foulis received a US patent that
covered this concave face iron which the patent identifies as a "mashie
niblick." The Foulis brothers are often credited with inventing the
mashie niblick. In addition to making a club that was a "cross between a
mashie and a niblick," their club had a concave face top to bottom.
According to the patent, the Foulis brothers calculated that the curved
face would provide additional backspin. As we all have learned, not
everything works out quite like we might hope, but the curved face makes
their club all that more collectible!
James Foulis was the winner of the 1896 US Open, held at Shinnecock
Hills Golf Club on Long Island. He and his brother are credited with
developing the bramble pattern cover used on the newly invented
rubber-core Haskell golf ball. The two brothers are often called the
founders of Mid-West Golf, as, headquartered in Chicago, they helped the
game expand into middle America. James also laid out a number of
The back is stamped "Harry Malpas, Detroit Golf Club" and "Hand Forged." The head is not marked with the Foulis name,
but in every way it matches up to those that were. Of particular
interest is the tiny "Hand Forged" stamped on the back of the blade.
This is clearly Spalding's stamp that was used from the late 1890s until
approximately 1908, which indicates that Spalding provided the head to
Harry Malpas and he shafted and sold it.
The shaft and leather-wrap grip appear original. The back of the head is stamped JB, initials of a former owner. This is a great example of a Foulis mashie niblick, with its face well-curved top to bottom.