Stamped J. Gourlay on the crown, this c. 1890 43 1/2" transitional driver is a very nice club. The leather face was added to the club back in the day in order to repair the face, which had become worn/damaged. Such leather face repairs were quite common and part of the clubmaking world. This one was skillfully done by the clubmaker and it restored the club to full functionality. One particularly nice thing about this club is that the finish on the rest of the head is still quite good to the point that this club looks great even with the repair. It's ruggedly handsome and shows its worth to its original owner.
The face on this club is also a true bulger face that is convex from heel to toe, which makes this a transitionial club that shows the long nose truly evolving into the bulger. Bulger faces were introduced in 1887 by Henry Lamb. By the early 1890s the smaller, more compact bulger head was well on its way to taking over as the main shape of all wooden clubheads. The head on this club measures 4 7/8" in length, 1 1/8" in face depth, and 1 15/16" in width.
There are a few small chips out of the surface of the horn at the toe, but the horn itself still extends the full length. The shaft, neck whipping, and sheepskin grip are original.
The J. Gourlay stamp on this head is strong. It likely refers to J.L. Gourlay who was the professional at the Cambridge University Course by 1894. Records shows that he worked as a professional in the UK until at least 1912. When he became a clubmaker/professional is not known, but if he made this club, he was working as a professional/clubmaker by around 1890 if not a bit before.