Willie Park Jr established himself as one of the most prominent members of the golf world during his life time. He won the 1887 and 1889 British Open. He designed upwards of 170 courses. He wrote golf books. And he excelled as a clubmaker. He was definitely a forward thinker in the world of clubmaking with patents on such clubs as his concave-face lofter, wry-neck putter, and triple step-face iron. The club here is another one of his unique creations.
Stamped Wm Park atop its head, this early 1890s splice neck spoon has 34 degrees of loft. This is the same as many of today’s 7-irons, and more than today’s 9-woods/hybrids, which typically have 30 degrees of loft. Is this the first 11-wood in the game? Whatever you want to call this club, it is certainly among if not the first of its kind.
The 41 ½” shaft in this club appears original with a perfect fit, old whipping, and a great old sheepskin grip. The shaft is stamped “McEwan”— but it’s most likely that Park either bought a few McEwan shafts or somebody bought the head and had the McEwan firm shaft it. Because the head itself shows no wear from use and not a single bit of anything in the perfectly clean scoring lines, the chances that this club suffered a broken shaft is extremely small. The only thing that has occurred with the head since this club was made is some of the original varnish has dried and flaked off in places. Nothing else.
What a marvelous club!