In wonderful original condition, this Spalding Lard-shafted mid iron is an exceptionally visual collectible, formed with hundreds of
holes hand-drilled in a six sided steel shaft. The shafts were made by using a gun boring machine to bore the shaft out from a solid piece of steel. Next the outer portion was milled to provide the hexagon effect. Lastly, the small holes were drilled to lighten the shaft even more and to provide flexibility.
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, this 38" Spalding Gold Medal 1 mid iron is a strong example in all respects.
This perforated shaft was covered under two patents issued in 1915
to Allan Lard (the club is incorrectly stamped with 1914 as one of the patent dates). Spalding offered the club in its 1918 and 1919 catalogs.
They 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
TCA2 Vol 2, p 658-659