As Hugh Philp was to St. Andrews, so was the firm of McEwan & Son to Edinburgh and Musselburgh." (Golf
25, Sept. 1895, p51). indeed, the McEwan family of clubmakers were
central to the world of clubmaking from 1770, when James McEwan opened
for business, to the end of the nineteenth century, when long nose clubs
were rendered obsolete. Across that 120 year span, five generations of
the McEwan family were producing long nose clubs of the highest quality.
TCA2 V1 p43-48
The 43" McEwan grassed driver offered here dates circa 1850. It measures 1" in face depth, 5 1/2" in head length, and 2" in head
width. The face has has a little more loft than a driver, but not as much as a typical long spoon, hence the club was most likely made as a grassed driver—a club that could be used both off the tee and through the green for a long shot off a good lie.
The shaft and whipping
are original, as is the sheepskin grip which has a small piece of tape wrapped around the base of the whipping low on the grip. The auctioneer believes that would be easy to remove and shore up the loose whipping underneath. The head appears to be made out of a fruitwood such as apple or pear. The face has a gentle curve and shows little wear. The original finish is still rich in color, the shaft is original, the sheepsking grip is original. Everything is original. It even still has its original whipping on the top of the grip, which, on a long nose club, typically means the club was not used very much. That certainly appears to be the case with this charming and clean club.
McEwan long nose clubs from the feather ball era are exceptionally
hard to come by. They are out there, but not many. This is a fine example, still in its original golden blonde finish, that would add to any collection.
This club is second from the right in the group shot in the accompanying images.