Golf Historical Society of Canada

7. Whipping the Neck

Image #1: Stick in Vise

7. Whipping the Neck (23 Images)

By: Ken Leedham, GHSC Member

I’m sure most hickory players and collectors do whippings, each in their own way. This is how I whip, specifically how I whipped a splice-neck brassie that I recently re-glued. Simple, perhaps crude… but it works for me.



The 23 thumbnail images below read left-to-right across each line, and then down to the next line. Mouse over an individual thumbnail image to see the title. Click on an individual thumbnail image to see a larger image.

Image #1: Stick in Vise  This is almost the only special ‘tool’ I use – a stick in a small vise that I picked up. I can put a spool of thread on the stick, and the thread will unwind easily as I pull it.

Image #2: Heavy Thread – For this whipping I am going to use some heavy-duty waxed polymer thread that I got from Paul Dietz. I’m using a very heavy thread here, as this is a whipping that needs to give serious structural support. I also use this heavy thread for repairing shafts.

Image #3: Crawford Thread – For the vast majority of my whipping – everything except repairs and spliced necks – I use Crawford’s 4-cord waxed linen thread. This is quite strong, whips well, and gives a good appearance.

Image #4: Loop Thread – I always whip from the thinner end towards the fatter end, as this helps to tighten the whipping. I start by looping the thread round the shaft and passing it over itself.

Image #5: Wrap Thread – Next I rotate the shaft and make another turn of thread around. Once the thread is wrapped over itself twice, I pull the two ends, and with waxed thread this should be enough to tighten the thread on the shaft, so that it will not move. You can adjust the position of the start of the whipping as you do this initial tightening.

Image #6: Rotate Shaft – Now I continue to rotate the shaft, and wrap on the whipping.

Image #7: Drawing Thread – I am basically just holding the club on my lap, with the head on the left, and drawing the thread off the spool onto the whipping.

Image #8: Tighten Whipping – Once I’ve got the whipping going, I switch to rotating the club by using my left hand on the head, and use my right hand to guide and tighten the whipping.

Image #9: Keep It Tight – I try to keep the whipping as tight as possible, and lay down one turn directly touching the previous turn. If I get an overlap, I back off a bit and undo the overlap. If I leave a little gap, I push the thread up with a fingernail to remove the gap.

Image #10: Insert Puller – As I get near to the end of the area I want to whip, I will need to insert a ‘puller’ as this is how I finish the whipping. An alternate method is to make the free end of the thread that is under the whipping long enough to go the whole length of the whipping, and then tie off the end of the whipping to that protruding free end – this leaves a little knot at the end of the whipping, and is not how I do it.

Image #11: The Puller – As a ‘puller’ I just use a loop of thread, knotted. This is a thinner, very strong, unwaxed, artificial thread. Some people use thin wire. And you can get specially made pullers, with little handles.

Image #12: Whip Over Puller – I put the puller onto the shaft, knotted end back along the whipping, and free end toward the head, and then whip over the puller.

Image #13: Continue Puller – Now I continue whipping over the puller until I get to where the whipping is supposed to end.

Image #14: Cut Off Thread – I cut off the thread from the spool, leaving about 1″ protruding beyond the puller (and holding the whipping firmly, so it doesn’t loose tightness).

Image #15: Use Tweezers – Now I use tweezers to thread the cut end of the thread through the puller (normally I’d have both hands on the work, but I have to use one hand for the camera in this case).

Image #16: Pull through Loop – Here the cut end is pulled through the loop of the puller.

Image #17: Waxed Thread – Now the loose end is through the loop of the puller and ready to be pulled under. This thread is heavily waxed – that is what all the white ‘goo’ in the picture is.

Image #18: Close the Loop – I grasp the puller by the knotted end, and pull it back, to close the loop, and catch the free end of the whipping (again I’d hold the end of the whipping thread, if I wasn’t using one hand for the camera).

Image #19: Continue to Pull – Now I can keep pulling, and draw the free end of the whipping underneath. This takes quite a bit of force. Small pliers can be used on the knotted puller if necessary. But try to pull smoothly and gently, as we don’t want to break the thread.

Image #20: Draw Free End – Pulling strongly, but smoothly, we can draw the free end right through under the whipping.

Image #21: Free End – Now we continue to pull until the free end is completely under and out.

Image #22: Cut Excess – And then cut off the excess with scissors or a knife (taking care, of course, not to cut the whipping itself).

Image #23: Finished Whipping – And here’s the finished whipping (maybe I should have gone one more turn at the bottom).

Golf Historical Society of Canada
1346 Clyde Rd.
Cambridge, ON N1R 5S7

Please contact me. I'm interested!