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 more than 6 years
before the USGA ruled that steel shafts conformed to the rules of golf.
The perforated shaft was covered under two patents issued in 1916
to Allan Lard, but the back of this head is marked with January 12, 1914,
and August 29, 1916, patent dates. The
1914 patent date has nothing to do with Lard. Lard's perforated shaft
irons were covered under his second US patent which was issued August
29, 1916. However, Lard's third US patent, dated March 6, 1917 provides
the only patent illustration that matches the shaft as produced. But
rather than get into great detail regarding the shaft, this 3rd patent
describes how to attach a perforated handle to the perforated
Spalding offered Lard's perforated steel shaft clubs in its 1918 and 1919 catalogs.
The company 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, with top quality hickory shafts in short supply, a shortage of
steel during World War 1 interrupted the production of Lard's steel
Complete with its original leather wrap grip, this 37 1/4" Spalding
Gold Medal mashie niblick is a great example in all respects. It even
has some of its original whipping atop the hosel. The fact that it is a Lard-shafted "Dedstop" backspin iron, however, makes it even batter.
TCA2 Vol 2, p 658-659
This club is easily recognized in the accompanying group image.