Offered is a very-hard-to-find, antique, Smooth-Face, Wood Shaft, Golf Club. This beauty is a forged iron that is circa 1919 and sports a hickory shaft and original smooth leather grip. The club exhibits a rarely found smooth faced surface.
The club is stamped on the back with "KROYDON U8 - FORGED HEAT TREATED", "ACME QUALITY" and is stamped "SPADE MASHIE" on the sole. The thick hickory shaft is secure and the iron sports a tarnished patina and smooth surface. The club measures 35.5 inches from the tip of the toe to the end of the handle and exhibits mild honorable wear.
Of interest is that the use of smooth faced clubs were a rarity especially after 1910. The Kroydon Co. that originated in 1919 apparently felt there was still interest in the smooth faced concept as evidenced by this club.
Prior to 1900, the vast majority of irons were smooth-faced. During this period, it was common for caddies to use emery cloth to lightly clean off rust from the club heads. Prior to the use of grooves or hand-punched dots being applied to the club face (to enhance backspin), caddies would use the emery cloth to roughen the "sweet spot" on the club face to promote backspin.
Beginning in the 1890's, hand-punched dots on the club face appeared and by 1905; patterns such as scored lines, dots and lines, criss-cross lines with or without dots became the norm.
The end of the smooth-face era for irons occurred around 1910, though some were still offered in catalogues after that date for those who resisted change.