You are now viewing the authentic replica of Samuel Ryder’s putter, the original one is on display at the Verulum Golf Club, St. Albans, England.
The maker of this beautiful replica putter was asked to produce as near as possible an exact copy to the original club using the same materials, specification and worn appearance. The original club was made by George Brews who was the professional-club maker at the Royal Blackheath G.C. from 1890 to 1902. It is believed that the original club dates back to the early 1890’s.
The ‘compact’ long-nose head is made from stained Beechwood. There is an aiming line across the crown.
The face loft is 7 degrees and the lie is a Flat-64 degrees.
Length : 33” (84cm)
Weight : 13.55 oz
The insert is Rams horn running the full length of the sole and is fitted with four wooden pegs. The scare-neck joint is whipped with pitched thread as used by club makers in the early 1890’s.
A beautiful long lead back weight is fitted to the rear of the head.
The hickory wood shaft is fitted with a stained leather grip.
Each club is numbered on the sole beneath the maker’s name.
A signed certificate will be issued with each club.
Samuel Ryder was a wealthy businessman who after an illness was persuaded to start playing golf so he could get some fresh air to help him recover. He immediately took to the game and in 1909 he joined VERULAM GOLF CLUB situated in St. Albans where he lived. He soon became a highly respected member and in 1911 he was appointed Captain of the club.
In 1926 a match between Great Britain and America was organised to take place on the newly opened East course at the famous Wentworth Golf Club. This was not classed as the first Ryder Cup because when the American team arrived it soon became apparent that a few members of their team were not actually American. They were other nationalities who were living in America at that time, such as Tommy Armour who was Scottish and Joe Kirkwood who was an Australian champion.
After the game Samuel Ryder, Abe Mitchell and Walter Hagen agreed that the matches should be played every two years starting from 1927 onwards. The first Ryder Cup was held in America with the players from Great Britain all being of British nationality and the American all had to be of American nationality. Samuel Ryder donated the now famous gold trophy as the prize for the winners and this cup was first shown at Verulam Golf Club where he entertained the Great Britain team before they departed to America. In 1979 it was agreed that the Great Britain team could also include players from Europe in order to offer a sterner challenge because the American teams were winning the tournament all too regularly. So it then became Europe versus America which is how the tournament is played today.
Samuel Ryder was known to have only used two different putters during his golfing life. Both were scare neck as he preferred this type of putter compared to the more modern socket head styles that were produced in the early 1900’s. His first putter was made by George Brews who was the professional and highly respected club maker at the famous Royal Blackheath Golf Club from 1882 to 1902 before moving to Minchinhampton Golf Club in 1903 to 1923. The putter is now proudly displayed at the Verulam Golf Club and would never be offered for sale on the open market. His second putter was made by Robert Forgan of St. Andrews and was heavier than the first putter. Also the second putter had a very upright lie maybe to help Samuel Ryder in his later years when he may have suffered from a back problem or he just preferred to stand more upright when addressing the ball.
The Robert Forgan putter was auctioned a few years ago and was sold for £18,000!
In the year 2000 it was decided by the Ryder Cup organisers to replicate Samuel Ryder’s office/study at all the 40 Golf Clubs who had hosted the Ryder Cup since 1927. This meant producing 40 replica desks, portraits and other items including 40 handcrafted replicas of his first putter.
The putter was to be the main item on display in each office.
The original putter was taken from the Verulam Golf Club to Roger Morton (professional club maker) for him to authentically copy and make 40 replicas. He started the work but had only made five by the time the Twin Towers (9/11) disaster occurred which caused turmoil in the financial market so in 2001 a decision was made to abandon the project.
One of the 5 putters was auctioned at Bonhams in January 2008 estimated at £600-900. Another was sold to a private collector.
I now have the pleasure of being able to offer the remaining three.