Golf Historical Society of Canada

Club Names

For All Hickory Play

The following names and numbers apply to wooden shafted golf clubs, both pre-1900 and post-1900:

Ref #

Common Hickory 

Club Name

Modern Equivalent Club

Lie, Loft and Length

1 Wood Driver (or Play Club) Driver
2 Wood Brassie 2-wood
3 Wood Spoon 3-wood
4 Wood Cleek 4-wood
5 Wood Baffy * 5-wood
1 Iron Driving iron or Cleek 3-iron
2 Iron Mid-Iron 4-iron
3 Iron Mid-Mashie 5-iron
4 Iron Mashie Iron ** 6-iron
5 Iron Mashie 7-iron
6 Iron Spade Mashie *** 8-iron
7 Iron Mashie Niblick 9-iron
8 Iron Pitching Niblick Pitching Wedge
9 Iron Niblick Gap Wedge
S Iron Sand Iron Sand Wedge
P Putter Putter Putter

Wood shafts were generally made from hickory wood. In addition, bamboo and other woods were also used.

* A wood of similar loft but with a “stubby” face was known as a “Bulldog.”

** There was also a club with a similar loft but smaller clubhead known as a “Jigger.” This was often used for run-up shots and chipping. Some variations had longer shafts and were therefore used for longer shots, often where a low trajectory was desired. A variation on the Jigger was the “Sammy” which had rounded edges.

*** According to Louisville Golf, Ben Sayers did not like the shape of the Mashie Niblick , so he asked Tom Stewart to make him a club that looked like a mashie but had the loft of the mashie niblick. This club became know as the Benny and ended up as a club of 38 degrees to replace the Spade Mashie and fill the gap between the mashie and the mashie niblick. 

Note: For more information about the how and why of the various clubs listed above, you are directed to read H.G. Hutchinson’s 28-page mini-book, “The Early Days of Golf – Clubs and Balls” circa 1900. See our Recommended Reading list.


For Pre-1900 Hickory Play

Long-nose wooden clubs consisted of Driver/Play Club, Brassie, Long Spoon, Short Spoon and Baffing Spoon. Some of these clubs had brass plates. Pre-1900 irons are sometimes called “smoothies” since they had no scoring or marks on the club faces. These hand-forged clubs were usually heavier and thicker than their post-1900 equivalents. Most smoothie sets are short sets with only 3-4 irons, so loft gapping tends to be wider (e.g. 20, 25, 35, 45 and 55 degrees).



Golf Historical Society of Canada
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