In this section: Visit the Heritage Timeline  and Timeline of Champions for a walk through history

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 and Gibson.

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.


For a selection of news stories on Heritage Golf look at our regularly updated news section.

Announcing the George Nicoll Collection. 


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