The making of golf clubs was largely in the hands of six families in Scotland and northern England until about 1870. By the end of the century however, most of the master craftsmen had been replaced by mass production, required to meet the demands of a growing number of golfers.
Before 1890, irons were hand-forged by cleek-makers, men with blacksmithing experience. Iron club-heads were made by hammering bars of heated iron into the required shape around a cylindrical rod, which formed the large socket into which a wooden shaft was fitted.
Figure 7: A small face track or rut iron, made by G. Forester about 1887. CMC 994.9.4