Willie Park Sr. – The Assassin with a stick
Open Champion 1860, 1863, 1866 & 1875Maybe it came from growing up on a farm and competing with seven siblings, or watching the finely dressed gents that he caddied for, or just an inescapable fire within, but Willie Park Sr. only wanted one thing – to be champion of all golfers. Born in Musselburgh in 1833, Park Sr. learned how to play golf with a “shinty” or hooked stick at nights on the course after caddying. Tall and lanky, he used it for all shots, which helped him master both a long and straight drive and an unshakeable putter.
In a Golf Illustrated feature upon his death in 1903, A.H. Doleman wrote: “And now I come to Willie as a putter. Here he was not merely good, not merely excellent, but brilliant. …So deadly was he when within three or four yards of the hole.“ In 1854, as a brash 21-year old, Park Sr. burst on to the golf scene when he traveled to St. Andrews to challenge Allan Robertson, then thought of as the world’s best golfer, to a match with a £100 purse. Robertson said that he would consider it after Park Sr. took on another pro golfer. Park then beat Tom’s brother George Morris, and subsequently shocked the golfing world by beating a 35-year old Tom Sr. too.
In the first match of what would be a see-saw rivalry spanning more than thirty years, laying the groundwork for the popularity of the sport. Park also found time to build a club making business in Musselburgh, augmented by the funds won from many challenge matches. In 1860 Park beat Old Tom by two strokes to take the first Open Championship at Prestwick. He won three
more times, in 1863,1866, and 1875, coming in second to Morris Sr. four times. Park suffered from ill health in the later years of his life, but son Willie Jr. took over as club maker and champion, keeping Park’s name synonymous with
champion golf for another generation.This Putter is modelled on the one he used to win that first Open Championship at Prestwick G. C. in 1860.
This putter is a limited edition of 174 only which was the score achieved by Willie Park Snr. to win the first Open Championship.
The price shown is exclusive of VAT (only payable in United Kingdom) As this is a hand made bespoke product there may be a lead time of between 6 to 8 weeks.