All You Need to Know About Bobby Jones’ Mashie Niblick

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Who doesn’t love the name Mashie Niblick? Being one of the coolest golf club names and a favorite of Bobby Jones, we had to explore it further!

Golf, like any sport, progressed through time with significant changes along the way. Within these modifications, the manufacturing of clubs was standardized, and they were renamed. 

Learning about golf history is always interesting. Plus, you always have something interesting to share on the course. This article gives a glimpse of the history and use of the Mashie Niblick. 

Mashie Niblick Golf Clubs

Bobby Jones golf clubs with the Mashie Niblick - showing his shoes, club, and ball close up.
Bobby Jones with the Mashie Niblick

To begin, the term “Mashie” means “an iron golf club with a rather wide blade well laid back used for medium distances and for lofting a ball (as from a close lie or from the rough),” according to Merriam-Websters dictionary.

The Mashie Niblick was the older equivalent of the modern 7 iron club. Golfers used the Mashie Niblick for high lofting shots and shorter-distance strokes.

Fun Fact: Older clubs were assigned names rather than the iron numbers we have nowadays. These names helped players group their clubs based on their purpose.

For example, the ‘Mashie’ group was used for approach shots, which are shots made from at least 100 yards from the hole. So, you can say they had a method to the madness.

Consider the Mashie Niblick a middle ground between the Mashie, present-day 5 iron, and Niblick, present-day 9 iron. 

It wasn’t considered a necessity for every player’s golf set, but it was a valuable addition to those who needed it.

Origin & History of the Mashie Niblick

Mashie Niblick was the brainchild of James Foulis and his brother David, who were Scottish golfers based in the US. 

They used a Niblick as a prototype and manipulated it until they were satisfied. It joined the course a bit late after it was designed and patented in 1904. 

The inspiration for Mashie Niblick came from needing a club that would stop the ball on the green. The benefit of this particular club was that it put a backspin on the ball without needing to put a cut on it. 

So essentially, your Mashie Niblick saved your ball from overshooting while approaching the green. It prevented you from pulling a Saddam Hussein-going bunker to bunker.

Read Next: The Amazing Ben Hogan Golf Story: 5 Lessons to Inspire You

Physical Appearance of the Mashie Niblick

In physical comparison, the Mashie Niblick was slightly larger than the original Mashie and smaller than the original Niblick. 

If you’re interested in seeing one, here’s a video with the phenomenal restoration of a 100-year-old Mashie Niblick. 

The presence of the Mashie Niblick was pretty short-lived. The golf club only saw roughly 30 years before the numbered irons made their way onto the field. It doesn’t mean it lost its utility in any way since the 7 iron it resembles is still used nowadays. 

Mashie-Niblick & Bobby Jones

If we’re looking at the greats who used the Mashie Niblick, we have none other than Bobby Jones. Now he needs no introduction, but we can’t help but mention that he is the only golfer to win all 4 major titles in one year. 

He also helped design the Augusta National Golf Club and co-founded the Masters Tournament. 

Diving deep into the golf archives, we have a video of Bobby Jones, who popularly used a Mashie Niblick.

How I Play Golf – YouTube Video

In the video, “How I Play Golf” Bobby Jones is seen instructing players on how he got the right shot with the Mashie Niblick (minutes 3:45 to 5:40). 

How I Play Golf” – Bobby Jones

He had great faith in the club’s capabilities and stressed using it with proper technique. 

Who knows, if golf clubs hadn’t been altered, maybe the Mashie Niblick would still be a staple?

Read Next: The Ultimate Guide to the Senior Golf Tour in 2022

Summary of the Mashie Niblick Golf Club - Old 7 Iron.

Final Thoughts

The Mashie Niblick was a star of its time and completed a fancy golfing set. Its unique curvature and size made it an important club to possess. If you do get your hands on one, make sure to give it a try and compare its performance with your 7 iron! 

What golf club is a mashie niblick?

The mashie niblick is equivalent to the 7 iron. However, a pitching wedge or 9 iron has the same range.

Historically, who would use a mashie or niblick, or mashie-niblick?

Bobby Jones used the mashie-niblick for his famous chip and approach shots with backspin.

What is the average range of a mashie niblick?

The average range of the mashie niblick is 100 yards with 40 to 50 degrees loft.

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Erin has spent over 17 years as a healthcare executive working with seniors in nursing homes, skilled nursing, assisted living, and independent living communities. She also holds a Masters Degree in Social Work and other advanced degrees related to seniors.

Erin grew up playing golf in a family of golf fanatics. She started this site to help others add more enjoyment to the game of life through golf.

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