Specializing in Fine Antique Golf Clubs and Historic Memorabilia

Lot # 56: Robert Wilson Track Iron

Starting Bid: $300.00

Bids: 3 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "Summer 2020",
which ran from 7/8/2020 12:00 PM to
7/25/2020 8:00 PM

Having a thick hosel that measures a full 5 1/4 inches in length, this iron was forged by Robert Wilson—a man with a major connection to St. Andrews. Just as Hugh Philp was the first to set up shop and make wooden clubs in St. Andrews, Robert Wilson was the first St. Andrews cleekmaker.   In a March 9, 1906, Golf Illustrated article, Willie Aucterlonie, the 1893 Open champion, states that Robert Wilson "was the first man to make iron club-heads here in St. Andrews, and these heads of his make are valuable yet, both for playing with and as curiosities..." 

The 5 1/4 -inch length of the hosel, its healthy saw-tooth nicking, and the slightly dished face help date this club to circa 1875.  The head is not quite as small as those found on circa 1850 and earlier track irons, but it is eminently more "golfer friendly" and less likely to shank given a full swing.

While the auctioneer terms this club a track iron, one can begin to see the coming of the mashie in this club. The blade is just a little more elongated and a little less round.  Robert Forgan wrote of "The Mashy" in 1881, noting it was invented in "recent years" but was entirely unnecessary in the golfers set!

The back of the head bears a strong "Robert Wilson,  Maker, St. Andrews" stamp.  The shaft and grip are original. A wonderful example of an early iron made by the first St. Andrews cleekmaker.

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