Burke Golf Company

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The Burke Golf Company originally started out as a supplier of hickory whipstock to buggy whip makers. However, increased popularity of the “horseless carriage” left the business with “limited potential” causing Burke to look for other opportunities[1]. He quickly discovered the wood used to make the whipstock could also be used to make golf shafts. In 1903 Burke began to produce golf shafts simultaneously with whipstock. In 1910, he converted his company into Burke Golf Co. and began full production of complete golf clubs.[2] Starting with only five employees and adding up to 65 more by 1915, the firm was reportedly only one of three such firms selling golf clubs and providing repair services in the United States. A ribbon awarded by the Panama Exposition in 1915, which was for manufacturing complete golf clubs including wooden heads and hand-forged iron heads, was displayed in the window of the Collins drug store.[3]

The Burke Golf Company was acquired in 1922 by Robert Crandall and later by Comptometer Corp. after Crandall’s death in the 1950s.[4]

The company’s growth ultimately forced its exit from Newark. A move to 160 Essex Avenue enabled expansion in 1945, and by late 1962, employment had grown to between 110-120 employees. The company was unable to find an adequate existing plant in Newark to expand its operations. Robert P. Smith, president of the Burke Golf Equipment Company announced that the company would be moving out of Newark in the latter part of 1963 and was considering a plant in Chicago that would enable a doubling or tripling of production.[5]

Comptometer added Burke Golf to its Victor Golf division and continued production of the Burke Golf clubs into the late 1970s when the line was discontinued. In 1977 the Burke plant would be acquired by Bob Toski Golf Co. which would use it to produce golf clubs.[6]

L.K. & K.W.


  1. Wolf, Barnet D. "Ace in the Hole." The Columbus Dispatch, April 14, 1996. Accessed June 23, 2004, The Columbus Dispatch Online
  2. Wolf, "Ace in the Hole."
  3. “Burke Golf Company Get Fine Award on Exposition Exhibit”, Newark Daily Advocate (Newark, Ohio), Aug. 7, 1915
  4. Wolf, "Ace in the Hole."
  5. “Burke Golf Will Close Plant Here.”
  6. Wolf, "Ace in the Hole."