There are track irons and there are track irons. This club is a Track Iron! When you pick it up you feel like you are holding on to a weapon of war. The head is exceedingly heavy—the club weighs 21 ounces and the bulk of that is in the head !
The club features a small and thick head with a 6" long hosel. The face is well dished. The 39" shaft and grip are original, with three large initials "ECM" carved twice into the shaft on opposite sides just under the grip. Stamped once between the initials is the owners name 'E.C. Miller". This track iron predates the Carrick, Gray, Wilson, and all other named track irons.
When this club arrived to the auctioneer, the whipping low on the shaft was loose and the auctioneer was able to inspect a hairline crack that comes up out of the hosel and extends but a short distance up the shaft. It has been properly repaired and sealed tight. When holding the grip and turning the head, to torque the shaft, what was the crack does not open at all. It remains only as a faint scar laden with character from doing battle approximately 170 years ago. Also, it's no wonder the shaft cracked back in the day given that it has an exceedingly heavy, thick head with such a small, well-dished face—which makes this a great track iron, one of the absolute best encountered by the auctioneer!
It should be noted that this track iron, like three other clubs in this auction, was formerly the property of Jamie Ortiz-Patino and bears his inventory label on the back of the head. Patino, who passed away in 2013, collected only what he felt was the best of everything golf, be it clubs, balls, art, medals, etc. Money was no object. He displayed this club as part of his incredible antique golf collection at his Valderrama Golf Club in Valderrama, Spain.
The J. Gourlay golf ball is shown for perspective and is not part of this lot. This wonderful ball is offered as lot 3 in this auction. Inasmuch as this club dates circa 1850, it would have been used when featherballs were still in use.
if you ever wanted to own a world class track iron loaded with character, this is it.