In the late 1970s collecting golf clubs, balls and tees became a new fad.
Many collectors start with wooden shaft golf clubs. These were used during the feather ball era and were home made by craftsmen. Value is based on condition.
Early golf clubs were affordable in the 1800s. It was the golf balls that were of most value and is the item many collectors today seek. Producers could only make 3 to 4 a day.
In the 1840s a rubbery compound called a gutta percha was used to mold into balls and they were much easier to make and less expensive.
Both feather balls and gutta percha balls are very rare and quite valuable.
Early tees were made with mounds of sand formed into cones. It wasn’t until the 1920 that tees as we know them started to be produced.
Some clubs to watch for include a Gutta Percha face iron, Nicoll patented in 1982. It is valued around $2,000. A long nose Philp, Hugh, St. Andrews 1850 club is valued at close to $10,000.
Feather balls can range from $1,000-$10,000. Gutta Percha balls can be valued at $100-$1,000.
If you collect tees, look for old ones in original packaging. They can be found in cloth bags, tobacco pouches or even paper bags. Be sure they are full and complete. You will find vintage tees from a variety of companies. All My Tees in a handi-pack are valued around $70. Bobby tees can be worth around $50. A 1927 bag or Perfect Golf Tees goes for about $100 and Rubber Manhattan tee made 5″ rubber long tees with round weights at one end valued around $100.
For those that like signatures of golf stars, be sure they are authentic. Nowadays, a certificate of authenticity is always not accurate.
A very popular item for golf collectors are miscellaneous or rarer items such as trophies, medals, dining utensils, jewelry, flasks or spoons featuring golf. Many men often adorned their special room with items related to the sport. Woman also had Royal Doulton, Lenox and Wedgwood pottery featuring a golf theme. Most pottery sets with such a theme are quite valuable. A Royal Doulton creamer from the 1900s from the Uncle Toby series can go as high as $1,000. A Waterford crystal decanter with a golf scene sold for close to $2,000.
Some other miscellaneous items to keep an eye on include things like golf cases which are often sterling and can be worth over $500. An early 1900s Lladro golf figurine is valued around $500. Silverplated inkwells from the 1900s are worth close to $500 as well.
A 1905 Lenox tankard with a silver rim is worth over $1,000.A sterling Kerr & Co. 1920s Whiskey flask features knickered golfers is over $800.
One last golf item to keep your eyes open for are books. In excellent condition books form the early 1900s such as an original “Scotland’s Gift: Golf by C.B. MacDonald is worth around $700. In comparison a reprint is valued around $10. You may also find some more recent books like the Golf in the Making by Henderson and Stirk from 1979. It is valued at over $100.
If you love golf, you will find items to collect. There is no need to start with the expensive items mentioned in this article. Collect items you find fun whether it be golf balls, tees are flasks featuring the sport.
It will soon become a hobby you can enjoy even on a cold rainy day.