Nicoll golf clubs are classics in the golf world. The company was located on the ancient Fife town of Leven , home of the mythic Lundin Links course. The Nicoll golf company was started in 1881 by a young blacksmith. Just 10 short years later, George Nicoll made a name for himself with his iron-headed golf clubs.
Nicoll’s signature was the cleek mark of a hand, a stamp that the company used up until its end. In fact, though they started using the hand mark on their clubs before the turn of the century, Nicoll’s son didn’t attempt to trade mark the symbol for nearly a quarter citizen. This hand mark changed over the course of the company’s hundred year history, possibly a dozen or so different times. This cleek mark makes it easier to tell the age of Nicoll golf clubs by which hand symbol they have on them.
One of Nicoll’s most famous clubs is a patent club, which they unveiled at the turn of the century. One such patent club is the patent leather-faced cleek, which they first manufactured in 1892. It had a very short bladed head, which was a huge innovation for its day, and a hollowed face section that they covered in with tough leather. Soon after, Nicoll also put out a gutta percha face.
These handcrafted clubs went to the wayside when Nicoll’s son Robert took over at the turn of the century. Robert sought to compete with the big American golf equipment manufacturing companies, MacGregor and Spalding. He quit the handcrafting business and moved the company toward mass production. Nicoll started putting out whole lines of irons, such as the Zenith clubs in the waverly iron and rustless steel versions, the Viking brand, the Clinkers, and Compaction Blade models.
The clubs that put Nicoll over the top into golfdom fame were the Indicators, which they produced in 1926. These Nicoll golf clubs featured matching wooden shafts and “indicators” to tell the player the exact range of the each club. These were truly some of the first matching sets of modern irons made.