Driving Putter made by Hugh Philp
On display in: Golf: 1860-1885
Date: about 1848
What was it used for?: Used in windy conditions to 'drive' the ball into the wind, the idea was to hit the ball very low so that it travelled under the wind. If hit into the wind with a regular club, the ball often 'ballooned' up and travelled only a short distance.
The story of this club links some of the greatest names in golf history. This driving putter was owned by J.O. Fairlie, a founding member of Prestwick Golf Club and a key figure in the introduction of The Open Championship. It was made by Hugh Philp, a St Andrews carpenter and highly respected clubmaker. So great was Philp’s renown that Willie Park, who won the first Open in 1860 and again in 1863, asked Fairlie if he could borrow it for the 1864 Championship. He discovered, however, that it had already been promised to rival competitor Old Tom Morris. It paid off for Morris who used it to claim his third Open victory.