Four superb pre 1900 smooth faced irons having been restored can either be used for play or display.
These irons were produced by the famous club maker George Nicoll (Leven) who supplied them the Forth Rubber Company Ltd (Edinburgh). They manufactured India rubber, gutta percha, leather goods. Besides producing golf balls, they also commissioned golf clubs to be made for them with their name stamped to the heads.
The heads are clean and the shafts are straight. The original grips will have been replaced at some time.
Particulars are as follows:
21° Cleek, length 37.75” (96cm). The rear of the head is flat.
21° Iron, length 37.50” (95cm). The shape of the head has a round back. A crude dot punch pattern in the shape of a ball has been added at a later stage after production. Also this iron has the name stamp of Willie Park on the shaft so was presumably re shafted at some stage.
34° Iron, length 38” (96cm). The shape of the head has a round back. A crude large dot pattern has been added to the face at some stage after production.
40° Lofter, length 38” (96cm). The shape of the head has a round back.
Born in 1861 George Nicoll started his business in Leven in 1881 forging iron heads and soon became known for his quality workmanship. He used the ‘Hand Brand’ from 1893 for his cleekmark but it was not registered until 1924 by his son Robert. The hand is the symbol of hand-forging but the cleekmark is often referred to as the ‘Hand of Friendship’. The design of the ‘hand’ varies depending on the age of the club or whether a club was being made for export to the U.S or for certain models produced after 1925 such as the ‘Indicator’ series claimed to be the first ever set of matched irons showing yardage indicators. The earliest ‘hand’ is very simple with a single curved lined under the hand used from 1893 to 1903. The next version (1905-10) shows a double curved line simulating a shirt cuff. From 1910 the ‘hand’ is shown in a horizontal fashion often pointing towards the end of the club head. By 1925 the firm were producing a number of special lines such as the Zenith, the Recorder, the Viking and the Indicator all of which used a ‘hand’ with a dark palm area. Clubs produced before 1893 were stamped ‘G. Nicoll, Leven’.
The company prided themselves on producing high quality irons and putters and some of their adverts quoted ‘The Best in the World’ and ‘The Helping Hand of Golf for over Half a Century’.
In 1892 he patented a rather special iron. The head had a leather insert which was claimed to soften the impact of the gutty ball. This iron is very collectable today. He also patented other models such as a Swan Neck Putter and a copy of a Willie Park Putter which is rather strange because it is stamped ‘Park’s original bent neck putter’.
It was Robert Nicoll who progressed the company forward in the early 1900’s by introducing bulk production and opening up the U.S. market by supplying many irons to the Burke Golf Company in Ohio. Robert died in 1946, however the company continued in business until 1983 when it finally closed down.
Buying Hickory Clubs for Play
This club(s) has been carefully inspected and sympathetically restored to a condition suitable for playing hickory golf. However it is important to remember that the average age of a hickory club is between 80 to 100 years and even older in some cases so you are purchasing an item of golf history, i.e. a golfing antique.
The majority of hickory clubs will be fine for play when handled with care but there are a few that even after being restored can have problems. For example iron heads become loose, shafts can split and socket joints do sometimes break down under the stress of the golf swing, the impact of hitting a golf ball or another hard object such as a stone or practice mat. These are the risks that you must be prepared to accept when playing with hickory clubs and therefore we cannot be held responsible should such damage occur.
GOLF BALLS – Important Advice.
It is always advisable to use a ‘soft feel’ ball when playing hickory golf to help prevent damaging the clubs. Most modern balls have a hard outer coating that can damage the face of a wood and put unnecessary strain on the socket joint. Hard balls can also cause an iron head/hosel to become loose from the wooden shaft. Driving range balls also invariably have a hard outer coating, plus hitting off rubber practice mats can sometimes loosen iron heads. Always practice on a grass surface.
Please refer to New Mesh & Dimple Balls for Hickory Play (see main menu) to view our replica 1920’s style soft feel balls.
Keeping Your Club(s) In Good Condition:
After a round of golf, should your clubs have become wet during play please ensure that you thoroughly clean and dry the heads when arriving home. Applying a thin coat of ‘gun oil’ to the iron heads helps protect against rust forming.
It is advisable to store your hickory clubs in a cool dry place. Too much moisture or heat can affect the hickory shafts, for example the shaft can shrink within the hosel causing the head to become loose. The cooler the environment - the better.
Please refer to the Postal Prices, Payments & Returns page.
Orders consisting of more than one club will significantly reduce the postal charge for the added club(s) or other items, i.e. the cost to send up to 8 clubs is virtually the same as for one club so should a friend also wish to make a purchase then combine the orders and save money. Please contact me for a postal quote BEFORE placing your order on the website.