A beautiful and rare patent driver restored ready for play. The swing weight is D4 and the length is 43” (109cm).
The patent was granted for the unusual shape of the shaft which has a ‘bevelled’ shape on each side starting just below the makers name stamp continuing to the socket joint. The head is stamped R. Forgan with his famous ‘Crown’ cleekmark below. The club was originally supplied to Mitchells of Manchester who were well known retailers of high quality sports equipment. Their name is also stamped to the head albeit the stamp is now quite faint. The patent number is also shown, again the stamp is now faint. All the stamps are in gold lettering. The shaft is also stamped with both the makers and retailers names plus the patent number.
The head has been stained dark brown with the face lines re cut. The black fibre sole insert is held in place by three wooden pegs and the lead back weight is firmly in position. The socket joint has been re whipped with black waxed linen thread.
The head measurements are:
3.50” (9cm) from toe to heel through the centre of the face.
Just over 2.25” (6cm) wide across the crown
Just over 1.25” deep face including the sole insert.
The straight shaft has a firm feel and is connected to the head by a through-bore joint which help to give further stability to the club. A new beige hide grip has been fitted whipped with black waxed linen thread.
Robert Forgan .
Robert Forgan began making clubs in 1852 whilst employed as a joiner at the Hugh Philp workshop. Forgan was the nephew of Philp who himself had gained the reputation as one of the finest club makers so the young Forgan was trained by a master craftsman.
Carrying on the Philp business after his uncle’s death, Forgan traded under his own name. His brother James joined the company after a short while and it was the beginning of a very successful business which lasted for just over a century when finally the company was sold to Spalding when they transferred the operation to Ireland. At the peak of the Forgan era they employed 40-50 men and manufactured over 600 clubs per week exporting worldwide without compromising their very high quality standards.
Robert’s son Thomas joined the company in 1881 and soon the company name changed to ‘R. Forgan & Son’.
In 1863 Robert Forgan was commissioned to make a set of clubs for The Prince of Wales who had been elected Captain of the R & A. Soon after the company were given the Royal Warrant which allowed them to stamp the Prince’s crest (three plumed feathers) on the head of their woods below their own name stamp. In 1901 when the Prince Edward became King he appointed R. Forgan & Son as official club makers to the King which then meant the three feathers could be replaced with the symbol of a Crown. Both the three plumed feathers and crown stamps are synonymous with Forgan clubs making their very collectable.
Due to the longevity of the business old Forgan clubs are very rare and command high prices at auction sales. Robert White who was a cleek maker of high repute and renowned club maker also based in St. Andrews supplied Forgan with many heads until eventually Forgan set up his own forge in the mid 1890’s. By this time Forgan had become the largest club making business and a number of other well know club makers had served their time at Forgan’s workshop before setting up their own businesses.
Another famous cleekmaker to supply Forgan with iron heads in the early 1900’s was Tom Stewart. Ironically in late years the Forgan family purchased Tom Stewart’s Argyle Works after his death in 1931.
Forgan also bought the James Spence forge (St. Andrews) in the early 1920’s to help with the supply of heads for his ever increasing business and with the deal he was also assigned the rights to use the ‘Flag Stick’ cleekmark which was then stamped on various Forgan hickory clubs and also used well into the steel shafted era.
In 1886 he won a gold medal at the Glasgow Exhibition and in later years (1911) he produced a range of clubs called ‘Gold Medal’ which became a popular model for a number of years. Other models that brought success were the Celtic set of irons and an economy set called Scotia.
Besides making clubs, Robert Forgan was himself a keen golfer playing most days until the early 1890’s. He was also a great friend of Tom Morris and had supplied him with numerous clubs over the years. Robert Forgan died in St. Andrews in 1900 aged 76 years old.
Buying Hickory Clubs for Play
This club(s) has been carefully inspected and sympathetically restored to a condition suitable for playing hickory golf. However it is important to remember that the average age of a hickory club is between 80 to 100 years and even older in some cases so you are purchasing an item of golf history, i.e. a golfing antique.
The majority of hickory clubs will be fine for play when handled with care but there are a few that even after being restored can have problems. For example iron heads become loose, shafts can split and socket joints do sometimes break down under the stress of the golf swing, the impact of hitting a golf ball or another hard object such as a stone or practice mat. These are the risks that you must be prepared to accept when playing with hickory clubs and therefore we cannot be held responsible should such damage occur.
GOLF BALLS – Important Advice.
It is always advisable to use a ‘soft feel’ ball when playing hickory golf to help prevent damaging the clubs. Most modern balls have a hard outer coating that can damage the face of a wood and put unnecessary strain on the socket joint. Hard balls can also cause an iron head/hosel to become loose from the wooden shaft. Driving range balls also invariably have a hard outer coating, plus hitting off rubber practice mats can sometimes loosen iron heads. Always practice on a grass surface.
Please refer to New Mesh & Dimple Balls for Hickory Play (see main menu) to view our replica 1920’s style soft feel balls.
Keeping Your Club(s) In Good Condition:
After a round of golf, should your clubs have become wet during play please ensure that you thoroughly clean and dry the heads when arriving home. Applying a thin coat of ‘gun oil’ to the iron heads helps protect against rust forming.
It is advisable to store your hickory clubs in a cool dry place. Too much moisture or heat can affect the hickory shafts, for example the shaft can shrink within the hosel causing the head to become loose. The cooler the environment - the better.
Please refer to the Postal Prices, Payments & Returns page.
Orders consisting of more than one club will significantly reduce the postal charge for the added club(s) or other items, i.e. the cost to send up to 8 clubs is virtually the same as for one club so should a friend also wish to make a purchase then combine the orders and save money. Please contact me for a postal quote BEFORE placing your order on the website.
All deliveries are insured at no extra cost to the buyer giving you peace of mind that in the event that should an item(s) be lost or damaged during the delivery process you will be refunded in full. When the parcel arrives please check the condition of the parcel before signing for the delivery. This is most important because the courier will not accept liability for damage if the parcel is signed for in good condition and then a complaint is lodged at a later date. If this happens then I will not be able to claim from the courier which means that I will be unable to refund yourself.