The Alexander Pringle Two Way Adjustable All-in-One Golf Club

Patent # 1,058,463 Issued April 8, 1913  


  The adjustable all-in-one golf club is one of those inventions that makes you want to ask why ? They have been around for more than 100 years and I question, has anyone ever played a full round with one ? 

You know they have sold over time because you see them advertised regularly in those airline magazines and an ad in one on those does not keep running if there is no sales.

So what happens to them all ? Do they get bought as thoughtful but misguided gifts that end up in the attic or the back of a golfer's closet ?  

Are those that buy them for themselves so overwhelmed with their own nerdness when they arrive, they throw them in the river or pond the first chance they get ? 

Surely when Alexander Pringle received his patent on April 8, 1913 he had something beneficial in mind...let's take a look at his patent and see what we can find.....

"My invention relates to golf clubs of the type wherein the head and blade are adjustable with relation to the handle, so that one stick can be used for playing the game instead of the considerable number as is common practice. As is well known, the golf sticks in common use differ from one another not only in respect to the angles at which the faces of the playing surfaces or blades are set with relation to the handle, but also in respect to the angles at which the bottom edges of the heads or blades are set to the handles." 

So in essence Mr. Pringle has invented an all in one adjustable golf club that allows adjustment of both the lie and loft of the club face and head, thus allowing the golfer to play a round of golf with only one club, and "wherein provision is made for simultaneously adjusting the angle between the face of the head and the handle and the angle between the bottom edge of the head and the handle." 

Let's be honest with ourselves here, the thought of this invention is really pretty good, so why didn't it catch on.  To answer this question without taking one of Mr. Pringle's miracle golfing sticks out for a test drive, a little imaginative journey might help..... 

It is a cool Saturday in April with a high expected around 52, but it's sunny so you and the other members of your foursome decide it's a perfect day for spring's first round of golf. You all grab your Pringle's and head to meet at the first tee. The opening hole at your club is a 525 yard par five that presents the player with a tough choice of laying back or trying to carry a pond on the second shot. Everyone sets their Pringle's to the appropriate driving iron setting and gets set to give their balls a good whack. Your three playing partners hit their balls crisply and end up 210 yards off the tee. 

However unbeknownst to you your son's girl friend had been fiddling with your Pringle over the winter and had managed to strip its gear at the driving iron setting, so with a powerful swing your Pringle's head came loose and you ended up "foozling" your season's opening tee shot a disappointing 50 yards.

As you walk to your ball you check your Pringle and find the stripped gear not only takes your driving iron out of play but your approaching cleek as well (2 iron ), so you adjust your Pringle to mid-iron ( 3 iron ) and give your ball a healthy smack sending it past your partners tee shots but you are there in 2. 

Mr. Glenwood, an advertising man is now away, he decides it's best to lay back so sets his club to mashie and leaves his ball 20 yards short of the pond.  Mr. Williamson an accountant does the same leaving Mr. Van Hefland an engineer away. After studying his shot and going between a mashie and his approaching cleek a dozen or so times, adjusting his Pringle with each change of mind he settles in on his approaching cleek and rips a terrific shot that soars over the pond stopping just 30 yards short of the green. 

You are now ready for your 3rd shot which you'll have to adjust your club to mashie-niblick to lay back, because as you recall your Pringle has been damaged taking away any long club capability you might have enjoyed. You hit your shot well and your ball comes to rest just a few yards short of the pond. It is now Mr. Glenwood's turn and he decides he should be hitting a niblick , adjusts his Pringle accordingly and swings away. He hits it a little fat but clears the pond and comes up just short of the green. Mud and grass stick to his club and mix in the adjusting mechanism so Mr. Glenwood is going to need to take an extra couple of minutes to clean his club before he can play again.

It is now Mr. Williamson's turn to play but he is 100 yards back in the fairway crawling around on his hands and knees as he had decided to adjust his Pringle while walking to his next shot ( to save time you know ), and ended up dropping and losing his wing nut.

Now we all know you can't play with your Pringle just flopping around, you must have a tight wing nut. Mr. Van Hefland ever prepared comes to the rescue as he always carries an extra nut in his pocket and he lends it to Williamson who because his fingers are cold and muddy from crawling around on the ground can't get the nut attached to his Pringle shaft............Hmm, don't know about you but I'm beginning to see why an all-in-one adjustable golfing stick may not have made its way to the golfing masses.

To learn more about adjustable golf clubs, or Alexander Pringle, continue your search here....


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