This putter remains in original condition, i.e. not restored, but can still be used for play. Made by James Braid, the 5 times Open Champion from 1901 to 1910. The length is 31.75” (81cm), so will either suit a gentleman player who prefers a low putting stance or possibly a lady player.
The main features of this putter are the broad flange and both the shaft and hosel being flat down the inside section compared to the other parts being round. The original grip adds further appeal.
His name and the model name are both still clearly visible stamped to the flange. The sole is stamped ‘Upright Lie’ and also the ‘Star’ cleekmark used by the famous club maker William Gibson who will have supplied the head or possibly the complete club to James Braid.
The face is stamped with a small dot pattern in the shape of a pyramid.
The shaft is straight and the leather grip remains tightly bound with black waxed linen thread. The shaft is stamped 'A. Catlin' just below the grip. Presumably he was the original owner of this club.
Born in 1870 at Earlsferry in Fife which lies about 10 miles from St. Andrews, James Braid started to play golf at a very young age and quickly became a very good amateur player at Earlsferry Thistle Club before moving to Edinburgh where he continued his success at the Edinburgh Thistle Club. He turned professional at the age of 23 when he moved south to London to take up a position as club maker at the Army & Navy C.S.L. factory.
His brilliant career saw him win the Open Championship five times (1901, 05, 06, 08, 10) and he became one of the three members of the famous Triumvirate, the others being Harry Vardon and John Henry Taylor.
He was the professional at Romford Golf Club from 1896 to 1904 when he moved to Walton Heath Golf Club where he remained until 1949. He died in 1950.
He and his staff mainly produced woods at his workshop but he also commissioned irons and putters to be made by both William Gibson and George Nicoll, plus having used a Mills aluminium putter himself with great success he helped the Standard Golf Company launch a very similar putter in 1915 named the New Braid-Mills 1915 model.
William Gibson & Company.
William Gibson was born in 1868 and began his working career as a blacksmith’s apprentice working for James Anderson in Anstruther during the late 1880’s. However in 1897 he started his own becoming a principle partner of the firm Stirling and Gibson based in Edinburgh. When Stirling passed away in 1899 he changed the company name to Wm Gibson & Co and from there on the company grew to become the largest club making business in the world with all his products easily recognizable by the famous 5 pointed Star cleek mark.
He moved the business to Kinghorn, Fife in 1903 having opened a large factory in order to cope with the expanding business. Initially he kept to only producing cleeks but by 1905 he had launched into full club making producing both irons and woods sporting the star cleek mark. One of his most popular clubs and largest sellers for a number of years was the Hugh Logan patent iron called the Genii model. This club could be customized to suit most players requirements. His other very successful iron was the Star Maxwell which had been patented by Robert Maxwell. These clubs are easily recognizable by the holes in the hosel designed for weight reduction. Most of these irons were produced using stainless steel from around 1910 onwards.
His huge success was due to him being very broad minded regarding club production and new design ideas which lead him to produce many different ranges at various price levels in order to attract sales. He died in 1921 leaving his son George to continue running the business.
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 6 or even 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. Should you wish to take advantage of this saving then please contact me for a postal quote before placing your order on the website.
When the courier 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.