This circa 1865 Tom Morris long spoon is a cut above. It's older than most Morris clubs, and the original golden blond finish is still rich and strong over much of the head. The head itself is stylish with great lines. The face is exceptional, showing little use with a nearly parallel top line and leading edge. There is a prior collection number label on the sole. The 44 1/2" shaft, the sheepskin grip, and the neck whipping are all original. The "T. Morris" stamp is still bold and strong.
To the world he lived in, Tom Morris was more than a gifted clubmaker, a talented player, and a respected professional—he epitomized the game. In print he was accorded such affectionate titles as “The High Priest of the Hierarchy of Golf,” “The Father of golf,” “The Nestor of Golf,” and The Grand Old Man of Golf.” Yet, through all the accolades and fame, he remained a kind, honest, and simple man. To those with whom he worked, golfed, and lived, he was simply “Old Tom.”
Because of his personal character, Tom Morris changed the public perception of a professional golfer from that of a rogue without a real occupation to someone worthy of society’s respect. He did this while working in the world of golf during the feather ball era, through the gutty ball era, and into the rubber core era. When Tom Morris died in 1908 at 87 years of age, the entire town of St. Andrews shut down on the day of his funeral.
The June 5, 1908 issue of Golf Illustrated reported on Tom’s passing and concluded an absolutely wonderful article with these words. “His achievements in the golfing world were great, and will be handed down from time to time, but the great moral of his life was that, no matter in what sphere, it is character that achieves the greatest victories. Old Tom was great as a golfer, but greater still as a man.“
This club is a fine example made by a famous master of his craft. Better yet, this club took the 4-time British Open champion many hours to construct it.
For more on Tom Morris, see TCA2 volume 1 pages 62-65 & volume 2 pages 564-565.
This club is shown third from the right in the accompanying group image.