John Gouick of Dundee: A patented 'Perfect' croquet style putter circa 1904
The head stamped '20623 Perfect', the shaft stamped 'W. Creen Monfieth' and complete with a original leather grip.
John Gouick was an iron monger and shop fitter by trade working in Dundee. His 1904 patent (No. 20623) for the Perfect putter included a special non slipping corrugated grip as well as the balance and shape of the club head. Gouick believed that his rectangular croquet style centre shafted putter with cross-hatching to its face and curved sole would make for a better 'perfect' putter.
Golfing magazine 30 March 1905: 'The bottom edge is rounded and curved at the ends, so that it cannot engage with the turf, which all flat edged clubs do. The head and handle are one solid piece, the whole being made of cast malleable iron or cast brass. The handle is inclined either to one side or the other, so as to throw the club clear of the player's feet and to suit right or left-handed players...'
Gouick experimented with a form of tinning whereby a thin coating of tin or solder was applied to the putter head. This was done as an early attempt to protect the surface from rust and improve its appearance; however most of this coating wore off over time.
The Perfect putter was later advertised in Golfing magazine (20 April 1905): "Sends straight to the hole; saves strokes on the greens; smartest in appearance; see it and you will use it."
It has been estimated that there are less than 10 such putters known of today.
Sotheby's New York (The Jeffery B. Ellis Collection) 27 & 28 September 2007 lot 363 sold for $1,250 (£800).