|This club has a smooth face, and is a beautiful Long Nose Putter stamped for the great Hugh Philp. This club was made by Eddie Davies one of George Gibsons last Apprentice Club Makers. It was made in Westward Ho in that famous workshop and can either be used to Play or Display.
The head is a beautiful shape with Horn leading edge and lead back weight. Top of head is stamped Hugh Philp. The head is joined to the Shaft with a Scared Joint. The head is 5 inch long and 2inch wide and 1 inch deep. Great shaft 35 inch long. Eddie Davies was a well respected Clubmaker in his own right. He has passed on now. Research tells us that this genius Hugh Philp made such beautiful and perfect wooden putters that he has come to be regarded as the Amati or Stradivarius of Golf, and a genuine “Philp” today is worth untold gold. The long narrow faces of these clubs and their perfect balance are well known to connoisseurs.
It was Hugh Philp who first departed from the primitive models of the stone age and began to make golf clubs that looked as though they were intended for some gentler work than the crushing in of an enemy’s skull or the manufacture of broken flint for road-building. Philp had an eye for graceful lines and curves, and his slim, elegant models remain today things of beauty . . . . Moreover, as any fine crusted golfer will tell you, Philp was the only man who ever knew how to make a perfectly balanced wooden putter.Ever since his death in 1856, Hugh Philp has been universally recognized as club making’s finest artisan. His clubs have been copied and even forged, complete with his name. Philp’s clubs were collectible 100 years ago. During the 1890s, a few people actually advertised in Golf, a weekly periodical, offering to purchase his work at prices well above the cost of any new club. His craftsmanship was often compared to that of legendary and fabled violin maker Antonio Stradivari. Even a few aluminium head putters made in the early 1900s were modeled after Philp’s designs.
Philp was more than a talented clubmaker. His reputation for being meticulous was legend:Philp, in the olden times, was in the wont of spending half a day agreeably putting the finishing touches to a club after it had been handed over by his workmen as completed.
Today, Hugh Philp’s legacy continues unabated. He is considered the premier long nose clubmaker. He set the standard by which the work of other clubmakers is measured. Decent examples of his clubs are cherished.
Because Hugh Philp’s clubs have been highly sought after ever since his death, many examples remain. Approximately 190 are known. The opportunity to obtain a nice Philp is, in many ways, rarer than the club itself. Many examples are held by golf organizations ranging from the R&A and the USGA to such venerable clubs as The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers (Muirfield) in Scotland and the Los Angeles Country Club. The remaining examples are primarily in the hands of serious collectors. Therefore, a Philp in nice condition rarely becomes available. It is thought that Philp used his script stamp to identify either his personal clubs or the presentation clubs he made for a particular person or occasion. This particular script-stamped club head measures 5 1/2 inches long, 2 inches wide, and 1 inch in face depth.
In 1899 a letter requesting information about Hugh Philp was sent to the editor of Golf. The response came from the hand of none other than Robert Forgan, the successor to Philp’s business and one of Philp’s two former assistants. (In addition, Robert Forgan was related to Hugh Philp through Forgan’s marriage to the daughter of James Berwick, Philp’s brother-in-law.) Forgan’s letter reads in part as follows:
Hugh Philp died April 6, 1856, in his seventy-fourth year. He served no apprenticeship to club-making, but was bred to the trade of joiner and house carpenter. He carried on that business in Argyle Street, St. Andrews; and as there were no club makers in St. Andrews at that time, the golfers began to take their clubs to him to be repaired; and after a time they got him to come down to the links where he had a shop where the Grand Hotel is now built. That would be somewhere between 1820 and 1825 [during September of 1819 Philp was appointed official clubmaker to the Society of Golfers at St. Andrews]. Some few years after that he bought the property now occupied by Tom Morris, where he died in 1856. I don’t know where he was born, nor how long he made clubs, but I have heard him say that he made them for over fifty years. I was his assistant when he died-his former assistant having left him in 1852 and opened a club maker’s shop on the ground where the Marine Hotel is now built. His name was James Wilson, and was twenty- three years Mr. Philp’s assistant. [Andrew Strath was also an apprentice to Philp (Tulloch 1908, 22).] I was four years Mr. Philp’s assistant, and I succeeded to the business which is now carried on under the name of R. Forgan and Son (3 Feb. 1899:).
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