Robert Forgan became a giant among clubmakers during the second half
of the 18th century. He learned his craft while working as an apprentice
to Hugh Philp. In 1856, upon Philp's death, Forgan took over Philp's
clubmaking business and prospered into the 20th century.
When this c. 1875 play club was made, Robert Forgan was
the clubmaker to His Royal
Highness The Prince of Wales, hence the POW plume stamp directly underneath
the "R. Forgan" stamp on the top of the head.
The head measures 5 1/2" long, 1 15/16" wide, and 1 1/16" in face
depth. This club shows little use. The original finish remains in wonderful condition and the face is clean. The 44 1/2" shaft is original as is the sheepskin grip.
The shaft is stamped "R. Forgan & Son, St. Andrews" up near the grip. The shaft, rewhipped in period fashion, is also quite thin and delicate, reminiscent of the shafts in feather ball woods during the 1840s, etc. Top to bottom, this is an outstanding club in superior condition.
For more on Forgan
and his prominent role in the history of golf, see TCA2 v1 p70-74.
A group shot that shows many of the long nose clubs in this auction is
included with the images that accompany this lot. This Forgan play club is the third
club from the right.