What would you pay for the autograph of the first person who ever
won the British Open? While a signature takes a few seconds to execute,
Willie Park Sr., who not only won the first British Open but also three others, spent many hours to sculpt this genuine work of art. And he did so with his own
hands, using only hand tools and no electricity.
This 42" Willie Park long spoon is in outstanding original condition. The horn, lead, shaft and coated sheepskin grip are all original. The horn has pulled a short distance away from the head under the heel—not a big deal. The face is clean and tight. The head measures 1 1/16" in face depth, 5 3/4" in length, and 2" in width. Willie Park's stamp is strong. Overall the club is magnificent.
The lead backweight has been hollowed a bit to bring the club to weight. Likely done before the club was sold. This fact is quite interesting. The Willie Park Sr. brassie spoon shown in TCA2 volume 1 page 81 has a backweight that is beveled out in the exact same fashion. It appears that Park reduced the amount of lead in both clubs in order to reach the target weight of both clubs. In fact, other than the brass sole plate, the club shown in TCA2 has the same finish, the same face, the same everything when compared to this club. No doubt the two clubs were made during the same period of time. See the accompanying image of the club in the book with this club shown next to it.
As mentioned, Willie Park Sr.
won four British Opens beginning with the first in 1860. Prior to 1860, Park promoted himself as the best player in the world, even traveling to St. Andrews to challenge Allan Roberson to a match to prove once and for all who was the best between the two golfers. Robertson declined. During his competitive days, Park played matches against Tom Morris, Wilie Dunn, and others. He is truly a major historical figure of the 19th century world of golf.
Update 9:25-22 What looked like a tiny orangish "paint dot" on the top of the head in some of the images brushed right off, and the images have been updated to show it is no longer there.
This club is second from the left in the group shot in the accompanying images.