Lot # 58: Willie Dunn Jr, New York, One-Piece MacGregor Spoon

Starting Bid: $200.00

Bids: 10 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "Fall 2022",
which ran from 11/3/2022 7:00 PM to
11/20/2022 12:20 AM

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 any whipping. 

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 other things. 

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.



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