Lard shafts are exceptionally visual collectibles with hundreds of
holes hand drilled in a six sided steel shaft. Because they were
one of the earliest steel shafts commercially produced, Lard-shafted
clubs are also quite historic. Spalding sold these clubs 8 years
before the USGA ruled that steel shafts conformed to the rules of golf.
Complete with its original leather wrap grip and original whipping
atop the hosel, this cleek is among the rarest of lard shaft irons. Mashies and Mid-irons are the typical fare, and their shafts are not nearly as long as the 39 3/4" shaft in this cleek. There is even pitting over the entire head, but all the stamps on the back of the head and the sole are still readable.
This perforated shaft was covered under two patents issued in 1916
to Allan Lard. Spalding offered the club in its 1918 and 1919 catalogs.
Spalding promoted Lard's metal shafts as a substitute for the best
hickory shafts, which were in short supply. Drilling out the metal to
create the hundreds of holes in the shaft was necessary to bring the
shaft to a decent
weight. Ironically, a shortage of
steel during World War 1 interrupted the production of Lard's steel
TCA2 Vol 2, p 658-659