This one-piece spoon, stamped "Willie Dunn, New York" on head and "Made
By The Crawford, McGregor, & Canby Co." on its shaft, is made from a
single piece of wood. It does not have a neck joint. It was thought
that the neck on a club made from a single piece of wood would be
stronger that a club with a head glued to a shaft. Truth be told, both
designs were imperfect. Any shafts made from wood is susceptible to
cracking. Case in point is the small crack in the shaft of this
club. It was once covered with whipping, but the crack was glued back
tight and the whipping no longer remains on the shaft. The area
where it once was is a touch lighter than the shaft above and
below. The auctioneer has torqued on the shaft to see if the crack is
still active, but its not. It's now solid and has no structural need of
The fact that this Willie Dunn, New York driver was made by MacGregor is significant well beyond its rarity. Not only are there very few MacGregor one-piece clubs in existence, Willie Dunn Jr. was one of the most influential golfer personalities in
America during the early 20th century. He was prominent as a player,
businessman, club designer, course architect, and golf instructor among
In 1896, Dunn established his club and ball making operation as well
as a "golf gymnasium" in New York City. Inside a room in what is now
the old Madison Square Garden in New York City he gave golf lessons.
1898, Dunn, after laying out a golf course in Dayton, Ohio, was hired to
a supervisory position by a young clubmaking company—The Dayton Last
Works. The Dayton Last Works had changed its name to Crawford, McGregor
& Canby by 1900, when he was released from the company.
The leather grip on this club has been shortened to 9 1/2" once upon a time. This was done in order to reveal the full MacGregor shaft stamp, which can now be read in its entirety. The club, however, is its original 41 1/2" length. The shaft butt remains just as it was when finished by the original maker. The lead button in the sole as well as the backweight are original.
You can read more about Dunn in TCA2 v1
p210-211, and more about 1-piece clubs in TCA2 V1 p169-172.