Lot # 364: 1890s Willie Park Patent Putter w/ Offset Blade and Shaft Stamp

Category: Golf Clubs

Starting Bid: $100.00

Bids: 8 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "2019 Winter Auction",
which ran from 11/26/2019 4:00 PM to
12/14/2019 7:00 PM

The Ryder Cup

In 1892, Willie Park, Jr. produced and marketed what has generally been acknowledged as the first offset blade putter. A radical idea when introduced, the offset blade garnered its share of believers and eventually became one of the most popular developments in the evolution of the putter. (The Clubmakers Art, by Jeff Ellis, p. 196). 

This historic putter - referred to as the "wry-neck" putter at the time - became even more popular when Harry Vardon used it to win the 1898 Open Championship. Who did Vardon defeat? None other than the club's maker, Willie Park, Jr., who finished 2nd. In fact, the top 3 finishers of the 1898 Open Championship used Park's wry-neck putter. 

Amazingly, the putter presented here pre-dates Harry Vardon's victory by a few years. Based on a review of the same putter in the both editions of The Clubmaker's Art (2nd Edition, pp. 196-197), this putter appears to be the rare "W. Park's Special Patent" putter, which contains the "earliest mark Park used on the back of his wry-neck putters."

This Willie Park Jr. Patent Putter contains a fairly weak original maker's stamp - virtually all of the ones seen contain only a small amount of the Park stamp or Patent stamp. The original shaft contains a Willie Park stamp as well.