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Golf Classics Heritage

Through a continuous line of apprenticeships, Golf Classics can trace their golfing heritage back to some of the earliest Scottish clubmaking families.
Scroll down to view our extensive history.

William Gourlay (1778-1836)

Apprentice to his father, Douglas
Feathery ball maker, Edinburgh

Gourlay Family

Pre-1780 golf connections


Douglas Gourlay

Feathery ball maker, Edinburgh c.1780

William Gourlay Jr. (1813-1844)

Formed partnership with his brother John, trading as J&W Gourlay, feathery ball makers


John Gourlay (1815-1869)

Apprentice to his father, William Gourlay Sr.

Willie Dunn Sr. (1821-1878)

Apprentice to J&W Gourlay
Club and ball maker, Musselburgh, Scotland


Jamie Dunn (1821-1871)

Apprentice to J&W Gourlay
Club and ball maker, Musselburgh, Scotland

Tom Dunn (1849-1902)

Apprentice to his father, Willie Dunn Sr.
Married Isabella, daughter of John Gourlay


Charles Gibson Sr. (1864-1932)

Apprentice to Willie Dunn Sr.
Master clubmaker and professional at Royal North Devon G.C. (1888-1932)
As well as training his four sons, over his long career Charles had a large number of apprentices, many of whom became well known clubmakers in their own right.

Willie Dunn Jr. (1865-1952)

Apprentice to his brother, Tom Dunn
Laid out the course at Shinecock Bay
Won the first unofficial American Open
Professional at Royal North Devon G.C. (1886-88)

The Gibsons

All four sons served their clubmaking apprenticeships with their father, Charles Gibson Sr.


Charles Gibson Jr.

Professional at Oxford G.C.


Bill Gibson

Professional at Sheffield G.C.


Bob Gibson

Professional at Royal Calcutta G.C.


Jack Gibson

Went to the USA and set up clubmaking business


F. ‘Smiler’ Lewis

Apprentice to Charles Gibson Sr.
Went to the USA as a professional.
Was golf instructor to Edward VIII, George VI and American President Woodrow Wilson
Westward Ho! 1906
Standing back row: Harry Williams, Bill Andrews, George Pennington, Fred Lewis, Bill Gibson
Second Row: Jack Shutt (caddie master), Charles Gibson (professional), Phillip Andrews (steward), Charles Gibson Jr.
Front row: Granville Kelly (assistant steward), Gibson’s dog Ben



George Cann

First apprentice of Charles Gibson Sr.
Set up clubmaking business with J.H. Taylor (five times Open Champion)
They also opened a factory at Astbury Park, New Jersey

Eddie Davies

Last apprentice of Charles Gibson Sr.
Master clubmaker.
Started his apprenticeship in 1928 and continued making long-nosed clubs until his death in 2004.

Shaun Davies

Apprentice to Eddie Davies
Continues to this day making clubs using traditional methods
Left to right: Shaun Davies, Peter Mills and John Davies at a historical golf event, Turnbery G.C.


John Davies

Assistant professional at the Royal North Devon Golf Club before beginning a career in the Army.
 Co-author of the commemorative book ‘The Royal North Devon Golf Club 1864-1989’
John giving a miniature club to a young Japanese golfer, Japan PGA Championship, 1996

To view the full apprenticeship ‘family tree’, please click the link below.

Golf Classics Heritage

Learn more about how our extensive heritage still influences the business today, or browse the Golf Classics Archive:

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Jake Davies

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