- Antique Golf Club Names

What is a mashie anyway?

In the hickory era a golfer may have started with as little as three clubs: a wood, a mashie and a putter. As they became more adept they would have gradually build up their playing set, often buying clubs from different local professionals. Hence, in keeping with tradition, the club sets we provide consist of individual clubs expertly associated together. All our clubs have been lovingly refurbished and re-gripped where necessary. Here’s what each bag typically contains, together with the modern day equivalent terms.

Our rental sets typically contain seven clubs (depending on the loft of the wood we'll include either another wood or a cleek)

Driver (like a modern Driver) Brassie Wood (like a modern 3 wood )

Cleek (like a modern 3-iron) Mid-Iron (like a modern 5 -iron )

Mashie (like a modern 7-iron)

Mashie-Niblick (like a modern 9-iron)

Niblick (loft of a modern sand wedge)

Putter ( till a Putter! )

Hickory Shafted Driver (modern equivalent is a Driver)



Hickory Shafted Brassie(because it has a brass metal plate affixed on the underside of the wooden head ) (modern equivalent is a 3-wood or 5-wood)

Hickory Shafted Cleek (modern equivalent is a 3-iron) 

Hickory Shafted Mid-Iron (modern equivalent is a 5-iron)


Hickory Shafted Mashie (modern equivalent is a 7-iron)


Hickory Shafted Mashie-Niblick (modern equivalent is a 9-iron) 

Hickory Shafted Niblick ( modern equivalent is a club with the loft of a sand-wedge or log wedge) 

Hickory shafted Putter


A lot of people over the past 20 years have said to me..."oh, a mashie...isn't that a 5 iron". It took me a while for me to work out why people kept repeating that...especially some of the older players. Here's why; back in the days of hickory shafted clubs...before 1930...clubs didn't have numbers just the names as listed above. In 1929 the R&A (in the UK) ruled that metal shafted clubs could be used in competitions...I think the USGA have allowed them since 1925...with the change to metal shafts manufacturers saw an opportunity to make more profit by selling you more clubs...here's how...they put out a lot of adverts in magazines which said things like..."with these new metal shafted clubs you cannot play half and three-quarter shots as well as with the old hickory...hence our new sets of irons have more clubs in a set....i.e more graduations of loft". Over-night the average set of clubs in a bag went from about 6 or 7 to about 14. Of course, this gave the manufacturers the opportunity to sell you MORE clubs and hence make more profit. As the number of clubs in a set went up golfers probably found it more difficult to distinguish between the increased numbers of irons.(As an aside when I started collecting I wasn't that familiar with the different types of hickory shafted irons....but after a few years of building up my rental sets it became very clear that mid-irons, mashies, niblicks, etc don't just vary in terms of loft ...the shape of the head for each type is quite distinctive ..a seasoned hickory player can tell a mashie from a mashie-niblick from several yards away). When you see an early set of metal shafted irons it's clear the shape of the heads is much less distinctive...so this to me is the reason why the numbering of clubs was introduced....and low and behold the mashies in these sets were nearly always stamped with the number 5. Hence, why a lot of people say a mashie is a 5-iron. However, there's one big issue...if you take a modern 5 iron and compare it you'll see the mashie ( even it is stamped 5) has considerably more loft that the 5 iron you'll be using this year. Why is this? Well, rom about 1985 club manufacturers had to keep "proving" to back up their adverts that their irons hit the ball further..and they did this by decreasing the loft!!! Well, of course, their new 5 iron hits it ten yards further because it now has less loft and is really a "4 and a half iron"...roughly clubs has dropped by 2 clear numbers since the 1970s....that's why the manufacturers has to introduce "gap wedges" ...Compare things yourself ...find a 3-iron from the 1970s or so and take a modern 5-iron...you'll find they have roughly the same loft...so a hickory mashie WAS equal to a 5-iron right up to about 1985!!! A when Ben Hogan was hitting his 2 -iron in the 1950s he was really hitting something similar to a modern 4-iron! A hickory shafted mashie is equivalent to about a modern 7-iron.