When you think of major water-shed moments in the evolution of the golf club, the change from the long nose to the "bulger" in the late 1880s was the first. The early bulgers earned their name because their faces actually bulge out towards the target and their heads are shorter and stockier than a long nose.
When introduced, these were radical changes. The traditional concave face inherent in the long nose wood was not only eliminated, it was reversed. It was thought that a "bulging" face would minimize hooking and slicing, especially for shots struck on the heel or the toe of the wood. Another reason for abandoning the length and shape of the long nose head was to locate more clubhead mass directly behind the ball. As the years came and went following the introduction of the bulger, many thought that the reason for the effectiveness of the bulger was that the face was not concave, so many "bulgers" were soon being made with a compact head but without a bulging face.
The McEwan brassie offered here is a genuine early bulger that dates to the early 1890s. Its face is distinctly convex from heel to toe. The head is definitely smaller than a long nose, but it still sports remnants of the transitional woods made at the end of the long nose era.
The club is in wonderful condition, showing very little use. The original shaft is stamped "McEwan Special." The leather-wrapped grip is original along with everything else except for the period-style replacement neck whipping. the original finish is smooth and clean. The only sign of use is a small bit of wear high on the point of the toe.
This is a genuinely historic club made by the famed family of McEwan clubmakers. Peter McEwan the Son of Douglas McEwan was born in 1834 and did not pass until 1895. He was most likely alive and guiding the McEwan firm when this club was made. The McEwan firm first began making clubs in 1770 and continued on into the 1900s.