The Sports Archives – Golf Memorabilia

Golf memorabilia can be many things. It could be an old dog-eared ticket to a famous tournament played many years ago, a golf ball that someone famous once whacked, a faded autograph of a great name in the golfing world, or even an old photo, slightly blurred and perhaps in black and white that you took of a big name golf personality on one glorious occasion, long since passed.

Like collectible things in any sphere, those who collect golf memorabilia are usually a bit fanatical about their pursuit. They have an enthusiasm that makes you feel exhausted just by being with them. It isn’t a bad thing, but it can be a bit overpowering at times. Collectors of all things golf are usually intense people. They know their subject well and they are always on the lookout for something new and exciting.

Someone once said, “Legends don’t look like legends when they’re being made.” For that reason, perhaps you should ask the young unknown man who played well in the local golf tournament for his autograph, for he may be the next Tiger Woods. Of course, if you kept doing this it would likely mean that you would soon have a very large collection of autographs signed by complete unknowns who never become famous. But who knows – it could pay off.

It’s probably better to find your golf memorabilia ready-made. Auction sites online can be a good place to find rare items. A quick look on one such popular site reveals a Bobby Jones stamp, a framed art print of old woods from the early 20th century, and a sun visor autographed by Tom Lehman during an US Open Championship. None of these item are particularly expensive, but all of them are interesting and worth having for the collector.

Antique golf memorabilia is where it starts to get expensive, though if you look in the right places it need not be too dear. Items dated before 1950 are usually worth the most, and are generally the most interesting as well. Golf clubs, balls and books are by and large the most collected items, and as a rough rule of thumb, the older they are and the better the condition, the more they are worth.

Old clubs, especially if they are from the 19th century, can fetch a lot at auction if they are in good condition. Golf balls are collectible because they were made in such a variety of patterns. Round dimples, square dimples, swirls and rings all decorate old golf balls. Antique golf balls were usually sold with a paper wrapper around the ball. One found like that is obviously worth more than one without. Old golf books no longer in print are also collectible, especially if it is a first edition, and the older the better too. Who knows, maybe one day electric golf trolleys will be equally valuable?

Guest post by GoKart electric golf carts, who have plenty of autographs in their collection!

Bobby Jones Age 14

Bobby Jones in 1916 U.S. Amateur at age 14.

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