The Five Thousand Dollar Putter|
April 23, 2003
When I was a youngster I worked in the family golf
club manufacturing business. Our company, named "George Sayers" and
owned by my grandfather and father was
the United States affiliate of the "Ben Sayers, Ltd." company which was located
in North Berwick, Scotland.
Ben Sayers, Ltd. was founded by my
Sayers, and managed by my great-uncle, Ben Sayers.
If you haven't already done so, check out Ben Sayers
by clicking HERE. You'll
see my namesake playing a shot from some short rough.
Included are some beautiful pictures of North Berwick and some interesting stories
Click BACK after looking at the page because you'll be leaving
the AICommand.com web.
Because my dad believed in having me start at the
bottom--knowing all about the business from the ground up, as he explained many
times--my job most of the time was
sweeping, dusting, rearranging and, in general, being the person who did all the
One afternoon, I was told that some
extra space was needed for a new shipment of the famous stainless steel heads which were
forged in the North Berwick facility. It was my job to move dozens of boxes from
here to there to make room for the new heads.
I ended up in the second floor storage area which was seldom
visited except by an errant pigeon or a lost mouse. During my task of moving things around,
I came upon six wooden crates which were so heavy that I couldn't pick
them up and could barely make them slide across the dusty floor.
With some effort using a large chisel and a big
hammer I was able to get the top off one box. Much to my surprise the box was
filled with putter heads. Aluminum putter heads. Six boxes of aluminum putter
heads was a strange thing to find in a secluded storage area of a company made famous
by forged stainless steel club heads.
Not only were the heads aluminum instead of stainless they had the name "Beaumont" stamped
on them instead of "Sayers."
I opened a few more boxes and found more of the
heads all very neatly wrapped in a thick kind of paper which was like pliable
cardboard. Between each wrapped head and its neighbor in the box there was a
layer of fine hay-like material. Every head was separated by an inch or more of
the packaging material.
After investigating the contents of the boxes I took a handful of the heads downstairs to show my dad. When I showed
them to him he was as puzzled as I was. He had never seen them before.
puzzled both of us was the mere presence of a huge number of club heads without the name "George Sayers" or
"Ben Sayers" stamped on a single one.
We searched for my granddad and asked him what
they were. His response was, "Oh, them! I haven't seen them in about 30 years!"
He then told us a story about a man whose last name was Beaumont who had a
design idea for a putter made from aluminum.
Because the Sayers
companies didn't make any heads from aluminum the word was given to Mr.
Beaumont that he'd have to settle for stainless steel.
He had his mind set on aluminum. He would pay what every it took to have an aluminum putter head.
My granddad made some
telephone calls. As it turned out, granddad was able to get some aluminum heads in the
design Mr. Beaumont wanted but the minimum order was for 1000 heads and the
price would be $5.00 per head.
Mr. Beaumont agreed to the deal. He got his putter
head...plus 999 that he didn't need.
Granddad had long forgotten about the putter
heads until I found them. Because they didn't have the 'George Sayers' name or the 'Ben
Sayers' name on them I'm sure he forgot about them rather quickly.
Although the time period when I found the heads
was the mid-1950s, what makes this story so fascinating is that the episode of
making the heads took place in the mid 1920s.
In 1925, Mr. Beaumont paid $5000 to get one putter
head plus the cost for our company to make the head into a useable putter.
In 2002 dollars, Mr. Beaumont's putter would
After composing the above material, I did a
Google search for the words "aluminum golf club heads beaumont" and was amazed
to find the following picture and description.
The second head from the left with the black
circle is the
"Beaumont" putter. Look at the picture of my
granddad and the putters from an article in a local Philadelphia paper. The round circle
is clearly visible. I don't remember why a
patent was applied for on the head.
From the web page I found:
5 AN UNDERRATED "BEAUMONT" ALUMINUM
head mallet. "F" and "Pat Apl'd For" on the sole and
"Beaumont" on the back. The "C" shaped aluminum head has a
raised black sightline and a steel face insert. A nice collectible from the late
After the newspaper article and the interest it
generated among our customers, my dad and I attempted to convince my
grandfather that George Sayers should add the Beaumont putter to the company
Granddad was very much from the 'old school' and
at first didn't see the
wonderful story in the putter heads and how I had found them. Clubs sold by Sayers were
supposed to have the Sayers name on them. Granddad finally relented. The Beaumont putter was added to the Sayers line.
My dad wrote all the advertising copy for the
catalog which included a shorter version of the story of the Beaumont putter.
The putter was
advertised as the "5M Putter" in the catalog.
Because of the story in the catalog and the newspaper article, the demand was so great that we sold out very quickly.
Everyone knew they were buying something very limited and which had a great story associated with it.
I regret I didn't get a putter or a head.
Here is the full newspaper article: