John Patrick set up his clubmaking business in Leven, Scotland in 1847. When he died 19 years later, in 1866, his son Alex took over the business. Alex was taught well, as John was a well-respected clubmaker.
In June of 1858, The Fife Herald commented about the good golf located in Leven, Scotland, and stated that Leven had "a resident clubmaker of great merit, namely, Patrick. This clubmaker has an exceedingly good idea on how to fit a player, and finishes his club in the style that reminds us of poor old Hugh Philp." (Philp had died just two years earlier.)
Stamped "Patrick - Leven" on its crown, this circa 1850 John Patrick putter is ABSOLUTELY one of the most desirable 19th-century golf clubs to survive to our day. First off this putter is made by John Patrick. Nice examples of his clubs are few. Patrick is now only the fourth featherball-era long-nose clubmaker recorded to
mark his clubs with his name and location. (The
Cossars of Leith, Alexander Nielson of Leith, and L.G. Sandison of
Aberdeen are the other three.) Of the few other remaining John Patrick clubs the auctioneer has seen or heard of, none of them have
“Leven” stamped on the head—just this single example. Despite not being marked with a "J.", there is no question
that this is a John Patrick club. The bulbous shape of this head is nothing like the shape of an Alex
Patrick putter or any other clubs made in the 1860s, which also had deeper
faces and thicker necks and shafts.
The shape/styling given to this head is exceptional. The lines are exceedingly graceful and clearly rival those of a Philp putter. The horn is thicker than most. The neck is slender and elegant. The finish is original and shows little use. The head is 1 15/16" deep and 5 3/8" long. The face depth is 1". The shaft is lancewood, not hickory, and measures 38" in length. It has a period replacement grip. A square-head nail is fastened directly into the center of (and flush with) the shaft butt.
It should be noted that of all the 800 clubs that were located and included in "The Clubmakers Art", a John Patrick club is not there—because the author could not find a single decent example. So a brief discussion of John Patrick was all that was included. This John Patrick putter, however, is extraordinary. It could be on the cover of any antique golf book.