- Silver Feathery Golf Balls

Here's some pictures of the silver golf clubs in the R&A Clubhouse in St.Andrews. The first club was made in 1754..as second was added years later. It is customary for each year's captain to attach a silver ball engraved with his name. I find these silver trophies and silver balls fascinating as they provide us with detailed information as to the construction of golf balls throughout the last two hundred and fifty years.

A new theory about feathery ball manufacture

Of note, when viewed up close, is the way the stitching on the feather ball's vary, particularly those from the 18th century. By that I mean on some of the silver balls the stitches cannot be seen; they are invisibly stitched.The ball casing was stitched and then turned inside out; this is the historically documented method of how featheries were made. However, on some early balls the stitches can clearly be seen. I beleive this indicates the stitching was all done from the outside ( the ball was bnever tunred inside out). I have a theory that early makers used different methods to make balls. It is reasionable to assume that balls stitched from the outside would have taken a shorter time to make and hence would've been cheaper to buy. Maybe less skillful makers used the external stitching method, whilst the more experienced makers use dthe internally stitched method.

I have inspected the silver clubs at Blackheath and this variation in stitching methods is also evident on the silver feather balls attached to their trophy clubs. I do not beleive these differences have been noticed or documented before as there are no references to different stitching techniques in the usual reference books on antique golf balls.

Feathery Golf Balls

Feathery Golf Balls

Feathery Golf Balls

Feathery Golf Balls

Feathery Golf Balls

Feathery Golf Balls

Gavin Bottrell June 2012

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