A rare 55° (Sand Wedge) Niblick restored for play including the head having been re-chromed. The swing weight is D7 and the length is 35.50” (90cm).
The large head is stamped Army & Navy CSL, London with the model name ‘Holdfast all within an oval circle. The ‘Star’ cleekmark used by William Gibson is stamped near to the toe end. He will have supplied the head to the Army & Navy Stores who will have fitted the shaft and sold the club under their name. Other stamps show Warranted Hand Forged, Special.
The head has been re-chromed, the leading edge re-cut to remove old dint marks and re fitted to the shaft. The face is stamped with a dot punched pattern, and the sole measures ½” wide.
The straight shaft has been fitted with a new beige hide grip whipped with black waxed linen thread.
William Gibson & Company.
William Gibson was born in 1868 and began his working career as a blacksmith’s apprentice working for James Anderson in Anstruther during the late 1880’s. However in 1897 he started his own becoming a principle partner of the firm Stirling and Gibson based in Edinburgh. When Stirling passed away in 1899 he changed the company name to Wm Gibson & Co and from thereon the company grew to become the largest club making business in the world with all his products easily recognizable by the famous 5 pointed Star cleek mark.
He moved the business to Kinghorn, Fife in 1903 having opened a large factory in order to cope with the expanding business. Initially he kept to only producing cleeks but by 1905 he had launched into full club making producing both irons and woods sporting the star cleek mark. One of his most popular clubs and largest sellers for a number of years was the Hugh Logan patent iron called the Genii model. This club could be customized to suit most players requirements. His other very successful iron was the Star Maxwell which had been patented by Robert Maxwell. These clubs are easily recognizable by the holes in the hosel designed for weight reduction. Most of these irons were produced using stainless steel from around 1910 onwards.
His huge success was due to him being very broad minded regarding club production and new design ideas which lead him to produce many different ranges at various price levels in order to attract sales. He died in 1921 leaving his son George to continue running the business.
The Army & Navy Co-operative Stores Ltd.
Originally formed by a group of Army & Navy Officers in 1871 with the intention to provide ‘articles of domestic consumption and general use to its members at the lowest remunerative rates’. Initially the store in Victoria Street, London supplied groceries, drapery, drugs and even guns to high ranking officers, the widows of officers and representatives working in the messes and canteens. They paid an annual subscription in return for tickets to spend in the store. The business was so successful that eventually they invited a wider audience to visit the store.
Prior to the 1890’s they sold clubs supplied by various recognized makers before setting up their own production line. They purchased heads from makers such as Anderson of Anstruther and assembled the clubs in their own factory between 1890’s to 1932. These clubs are stamped ‘A & N C S L’ or ARMY & NAVY C S L LONDON’. The head may also show the cleek makers name or cleek mark. The store was eventually taken over by the House of Fraser in 1976.
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 6 or even 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. Should you wish to take advantage of this saving then please contact me for a postal quote before placing your order on the website.
When the courier arrives please check the condition of the parcel before signing for the delivery. This is most important because the courier will not accept liability for damage if the parcel is signed for in good condition and then a complaint is lodged at a later date.