Hugh Philp is, without question, the most celebrated clubmaker in golf history. During his day, even other championship golfers and clubmakers such as both Young and Old Tom Morris played with Philp-made clubs. Philp's clubs were also perhaps the first pieces of golf "memorabilia," as his clubs were collected even back in the 19th century. It has been said that as few as 200 examples of Philp's work are known to still exist. As recently as 15 year ago, fine examples were expected to set you back $20,000-$25,000. But the vintage club market has changed in recent years, and we're able to offer this impressive example at a relative bargain.
This is a rare and important baffy spoon by master craftsman Hugh Philp (1782-1856) of St Andrews. Though is no ordinary Hugh Philp club, as this one was owned by Harry B. Wood, who wrote the first golf collecting book, Golfing Curios and the Like in 1910. Wood's collection included 60 golf clubs - primarily one example of each different producer or type of club.
This exact Hugh Philp club is pictured in Wood's Golfing Curios and the Like on Plate VI, club no. 4. It also includes Harry B. Wood's paper tag that accompanied almost all of his clubs.
The Harry B. Wood label states: "Baffy Spoon" by H. Philp, presented by Mr. J. H. Broughton Park and verified by St. Andrews authorities. (Letter No. 23.) Note the apple-wood head and thick course wrapping twine, strands of which were rolled together and afterwards "waxed" before using- in the same manner as a shoemaker prepares "waxed ends."
Made at the height of his career, circa 1840, this club demonstrates all of the superb design cues so well known of this maker. It is a fine example of a club that truly originates from the feather ball era. 36 3/4".
This piece is being offered today from the famed Ronnie Watts Collection