Putt away

August 12, 2019


Semi Putter
Crawford, MacGregor & Canby Co.
c. 1900


Recently, the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities received a donation of four golf clubs from the United States Golf Association Museum. Perhaps the most interesting of the four is the putter or “semi-putter,” as the head of the club is stamped. Unlike putters today, where the face of the clubhead is flat, this slants at a slight angle.

Golf became very popular in the United States during the latter 19th century. Courses began to pop up all over the country, including the Cape May Golf Club, which opened on June 11, 1898. One of the first games played on the course was between two women: Ella Shattuck and Anna Ayers.


The Cape May Golf Club was an instant hit with both locals and members of the “Cottage Colony” from Philadelphia. The Cape May Wave reported in late June of 1898, “fifty to two hundred persons have been playing on the new links daily during the past week.”