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Antique Golf Clubs from Scotland
Buyer's Guide

What should I buy?

For me

If you are a collector already you probably already have an idea of what you want. Our catalogue may not match your idea of classification but don't worry: you can use the Search feature to look for any string or the Register option to be updated automatically on any item which may be of interest.

As a would-be collector, there are endless articles in the press about what is collectable and what is not. Forget all of them. Unless you are looking to buy something and sell it quickly, you are going to have to live with it so buy something you can take pleasure in rather than something which will realise a quick profit. What that item is, will depend very much on you. Ignoring the person who wants to play with hickories for a moment, if you are an expatriate Scot or someone with Scottish roots, collecting from a particular town is a reasonable approach. This can be tough if you come from East Kilbride, Livingston or Cumbernauld but there are plenty of places with strong clubmaking roots: St Andrews , Montrose , Carnoustie , Glasgow etc.

Perhaps you have a family name related to clubmaking, Simpson, McEwan or Morris or an ancestor involved in the business? If you can't find what you want, again you can register for email updates. What you collect will also depend on where you are going to display your collection. I live in an old house with much wood around so much of my displayed collection is socket head drivers , brassies and spoons , not the most valuable, but the most displayable items for the location. A more modern setting might benefit more from approach irons or long irons .

OK, what is going to be a good investment? Everyone asks the question. You are unlikely to lose out on a long-nose with provenance which explains why we offer these so rarely! Any scareneck club, particularly those with transitional shape is a reasonable bet as are smooth-faced irons . If you are going for specific clubmakers, there are some whose qualities have been, to date, somewhat ignored behind Robert Forgan, Tom Morris, John Jackson, Willie Park Tom Stewart and Robert Condie

In this category, I would suggest Paxton and Auchterlonie with impeccable pedigrees, Patrick clubs and Brand with his early irons from Carnoustie, a great clubmaking centre. Completely without scientific basis, and only gradual auction evidence, my own favourite is later (usually 1920s) wooden putters . These tend to be so well made, often by the most fashionable makers that, eventually, quality will determine the market. Golf balls have reached staggering prices lately: mesh balls still offer good value.

On the memorabilia side, again the advice is go for what you like. If it is an item you can put in a drawer and forget about, that's probably what you will do. Your children may benefit but, likely as not, they will chuck the old rubbish in the bin when you turn up your toes. Choose something you want to look at or which will prove useful for saving paperclips, the impetus behind many of the desktop items. Never buy a picture just as an investment: buy something you enjoy looking at. What is overrated at the moment? Probably sabbath clubs but if that is what you have room to display, or your particular interest who am I to knock it? Collections of signature balls tend to be offered at way over the price at which any sensible collector could build a display from individual items.

As a gift

You may be looking for a gift. If you don't have a collector with a particular interest, Drivers and putters are usually the best options. If you are looking for a one-off gift, a brass putter is a good option. They display very well and are a little bit unusual. If you are looking for a club prize or corporate gift, consider our wonderful range of classic clubs to give a feel for the great craftsmen in Scotland of old.

Many clubs, in Scotland at least, have gone to old putters to create a club prizes. This rather ignores both the aesthetic and historic appeal of approach irons , particularly spade mashies and niblicks which make great wall-hangers. Again, as a purely personal preference, I would welcome a brassie as a prize, a wooden club with a brass sole plate: old and it looks old.

Of course, memorabilia makes a great present but it usually requires some forethought. You may find an advertisement , book or golf trophy from the year a colleague was born, married, joined the firm or whatever, on the site but, usually, something needs to be looked out. Give us the information from registration and we will do our best. If you have a particular place in mind, perhaps a great grandfather's birthplace or a remembrance of a holiday visit, consider our special sets . A bag, course map, history and clubs from a great Scottish clubmaking centre can make for a happy father's day or a well-satisfied supplier.

Playing

We usually state whether a hickory-shafted club is playable or not, and if nothing is said you can assume it is safe to play.