An immaculate Gassiat style wooden head putter beautifully restored will now make a marvellous display club. The original Gassiat model was often referred to as ‘the piano putter’. The length is 34.25” (87cm).
Ernest Sales was the professional and club maker from 1926 to 1933. He took over the position from Jack White (Open Champion) who had held the same position since 1901. He ran the workshop with his two sons and was renowned for his quality workmanship. His name is still visible to the crown of the head and also on the shaft beneath the pistol grip. The thin aiming line between his name and Sunningdale is original, not added at a later date.
The persimmon head has been stained a light mahogany colour allowing the wood grain to show through. The large rectangular brass plate is set into the sole and held securely in place by nine metal screws. The face lines have been re cut and the socket joint has been re whipped with black waxed linen thread which has then been coated with shellac for further protection.
The head measurements are:
4.50” (11cm) from toe to heel through the centre of the face.
Nearly 2.75” (7cm) wide across the crown.
The face is 1” (2.50cm) deep including the brass sole plate.
The top of the head slopes away towards the back section and then becomes rounded along the rear edge.
The shaft and ‘Pistol’ grip are also main features of this putter. The shaft has a deliberate bend in the centre section which helps to move the players hands/grip towards the centre of the head. This helps to give the player a better sense of balance and more control when going through the putting motion. A new dark brown leather grip with a tactile feel has been fitted whipped with black waxed linen thread.
Jean Louis Gassiat.
He was born in Biarritz, France in 1883. Whilst on the Biarritz golf links the young Gassiat was discovered by the famous French golfer Arnaud Massy and by 1912 he became the second Frenchman to win the Open de France. His first professional job was at Baden Baden, Germany before becoming the first professional at the Golf Club Chantilly in France. In 1927 he moved to the newly created golf resort in Chiberta, South West France.
It was whilst he was at the Chantilly club that he designed the Gassiat putter. It was marketed across Europe and also the USA and rapidly became a success. He used three famous UK club makers to produce the putter, the first being William Winton at the London workshop, Robert Forgan, St. Andrews and William Gibson of Kinghorn, Fife. Each made slightly different models including a very large headed version.