Born in 1849, Alex Patrick followed in his father's footsteps and
worked as a clubmaker in Leven, Scotland, for many years. His Father, John, started
working as a clubmaker in Leven in 1847. This Alex Patrick club is a prime example of a baffing or baffy spoon.
Baffy's are the rarest type of long nose clubs. Used to hit lofted approach shots, they are short, even shorter than short spoons. Their faces are well lofted, and their shafts are usually firm. This example by Patrick measures 36 inches in length, has a well lofted and nicely hooked face, and its shaft is thick and its original sheepskin grip is in outstanding condition. The head itself measures 5 1/2" in length, 2 1/8 inches in width, and 1 1/8 inches in depth. In short, this is a great example of the rarest type of long nose clubs.
This club also has one other element that is quite interesting and distinct—and something the auctioneer has seen only once before. There was once a brass sole plate on this head, but it was removed and the sole restored to perfection. The holes left by the six screws used to secure the plate have all been filled with what appear to be wood dowels. Two of the dowels are in the horn and they match up with the dowels originally installed in the horn. The other four dowels are located along the perimeter of the rear of the sole, running from the heel to the toe. In addition, there is a thin, small piece of what appears to be vulcanite that was used to fill the shallow cut in the heel of the sole, which once fit the square end of the plate.
This alteration work is definitely interesting, but what is amazing is how well it blends into the overall look of the head and is only noticeable if you take the time to look for it. The work is so good that the club looks like it was originally made this way. Even the two added dowels in the sole match up perfectly in their color and presentation with the initial three dowels.
The process of removing a sole plate to lighten a club and then restoring the sole to near perfection was part and parcel to being an artisan in the world of clubmaking. And Patrick was a genuine artisan as is witness by all the rest of this gracefully stylish club.
TCA2 V1 p89