Produced no later than 1907, Sir Ralph Payne Gallwey's Roller Club is built with a ball-bearing mechanism inside a cylinder head that allows it to revolve when it comes into contact with the ground. It was promoted in the December 13, 1907 issue of Golf Illustrated as a multipurpose club:
"For putting, running up, approaching, and playing through the green. Cannot cut or even mark the ball. Striking the ground does not check the swing, or follow through...pulling and slicing prevented. [Can be used] Right or left handed. The best general club ever designed, as nearly all shots can be played with it... Scores of 73-75 have been done with this club alone."
A highly unusual club that stands apart from all the rest, this "everything" club measures 37 1/16" and appears to have its original
sheepskin grip. The roller head/mechanism is in perfect working order. Note
that a number of roller head clubs have been produced and sold in recent
years that are fakes (to view them exposed, see TCA2 p 728-731).
This club, the only genuine roller head club of its kind, was their
Gallwey's ad in Golf Illustrated concluded with the statement, "Very suitable for ladies, moderate players and beginners, and particularly deadly for anyone to carry for putting and long running shots." This coming from a man who once played an 18-hole match against a
professional golfer using only a 200-year-old Turkish bow and an arrow,
"deadly" could be the word! Sir Gallwey knew how to catch the golf world's attention in both club design and spectacle!
TCA v2 p 469