Subcategory: Balls & Bags
Antique Gutty Golf Ball, 'Woodley Flier'.
A very good example of a 'Woodley Flier' gutta-percha golf ball with moulded mesh pattern. The gutty golf ball is manufactured by The Hyde Imperial Rubber Company of Woodley in Cheshire and is marked on both poles 'Woodley Flier 27 ½' and dates circa 1890's.
The ball is approximately 1 11/16 inch in diameter (4.3 cm).
The Hyde Imperial Rubber Company was one of the most active golf ball companies and they supplied large quantities of gutta-percha rod to British golf ball makers. The gutta came in long rods measuring between 1 and 2 inches in diameter.
The gutty golf ball replaced the featherie golf ball because of its cost effectiveness, as a gutty could be rolled in a matter of minutes, and slowly the game of golf became affordable to the masses. In the 1860's Robert Forgan, the St Andrews club and ball maker, was said to have sold the first gutty golf ball with a surface pattern.
To make a gutty golf ball first the gutta-percha was heated and loosely rolled into a ball shape. The ball was then put into the mould and then placed into a press. The press would imprint the pattern onto the ball and the excess would squeeze out of the sides. The seams were then trimmed when cool, leaving a hard and non-brittle 'Gutty' golf ball. The durability of the gutta along with its lower costs and better play rejuvenated the game of golf.
Gutta-percha is the evaporated latex produced from a tree, mostly found in Malaysia.