In this section: Visit the Heritage Timeline
and Timeline of Champions for a walk through
Early golf clubs were probably fashioned by
local craftsmen, wood workers and blacksmiths who modified
established designs from other ancient ball and stick games. As golf
became popular and demand grew for both clubs and balls, the 'part
time' clubmakers devoted more of their production and inventive
intuition into the development of better equipment.
Some of the early-recognised craftsmen clubmakers were Philp, McEwan,
Forgan, Wilson, Patrick and Jackson. A further group of clubmakers
worked as professional golfers, playing in matches and tournaments
giving instruction, working on course development and maintenance
and, as a sideline, would make wooden clubs. Amongst these who
became established clubmakers were Morris, Park and Dunn.
Cleekmakers, or iron clubmakers, were blacksmiths who
developed their special skills into producing golf club heads, usually
supplied to others for shafting and gripping. The early hand forged clubs
were not stamped with any identification marks. As demand grew for more
equipment, the craft of 'cleekmaking' evolved and makers began to mark their
iron heads with some method of identification. For some their own name
sufficed, others preferred to use a symbol or 'cleek' mark. Amongst the
better-known 'local' makers were Anderson, Wilson, Stewart, Spence, Nicoll
The banner at the top of the pages includes cleek marks of George Nicoll and
the St Andrews Golf Company Ltd. The pipe mark was used by Tom Stewart,
clubmaker in St Andrews, and preferred clubmaker to Robert Tyre Jones Jnr.
(Bobby Jones). Interestingly the hand with the pipe through it appeared on a
set of clubs jointly developed by Nicoll and Stewart in the 1930s - these
three companies are now owned by Heritage Golf.
The Timeline of Champions kindly provided by
www.standrews.com provides an interesting
potted history of golf developments and its Champions.