A Brief History
The Golf Heritage Society started out as The Golf Collectors Society, an international organization dedicated to preserving the treasures and traditions of the game of golf. Founded in 1970 by Robert Kuntz and Joseph S.F. Murdoch, the organization has attracted more than 1,000 members from 15 different countries. The philosophy of the Society has always been to offer a not-for-profit fraternal organization that encourages members to visit, share information, and to establish friendships based on a common interest, the love of golf.
Joe Murdoch and Robert “Bob” Kuntz were two enthusiastic collectors who loved to “talk shop,” and share their love of golf collectibles, books, clubs and other memorabilia. In 1970 they, along with 25 founding members, created the Golf Collectors Society.
Seventeen members and their spouses attended the first annual meeting in 1972, in Louisville, Ky. At that meeting they began the still-active tradition of a hickory golf event that is today called the Golf Heritage Society National Championship. The meetings now attract hundreds of participants and its annual trade show, held in conjunction with the meeting, is the largest of its kind in the world.
The organization’s newsletter, The Bulletin, began as a single type-written page prepared by Joe Murdoch and mailed to the membership. Under his diligence and thoughtful guidance, the magazine continued to grow. Through a succession of editors and 215 editions later, it has grown to a 28- to 40-page quarterly that regularly features stories and articles on golf history, notable golf collections, Society news, and much more. In late 2018, the magazine changed its title to The Golf, an old way of referring to the ancient game and now employed as an homage to this singular and fascinating human pastime.
In October 2018, the Society formally changed its name to the Golf Heritage Society, a move that reflects its changing role in an ever-changing environment. While remaining true to its roots, the GHS is hopeful of establishing a Society that will stand as a robust resource for golf historians, collectors, hickory golfers, researchers and writers. To that end it offers a Speakers Bureau with experts in many fields for engagements from community forums to college presentations, the opportunity to engage with golf collectors across a wide spectrum of memorabilia, a website with links to past Bulletins, and links to dozens of sites dedicated to golf history and much more. Members, too, have access to the quarterly magazine, The Golf, both online and in print.
Modern initiatives find GHS members seeking greater partnerships with fraternal societies, an outreach to junior golfers, such as The First Tee program, that they might be introduced to the great history of the game, a greater presence through social media, and a revitalized overall approach to its mission of serving the history of the game.
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Mission and Objectives
The Golf Heritage Society seeks to promote an appreciation for the history and traditions of golf and to foster friendship among its enthusiasts worldwide, including golfers, writers, historians and collectors of the game’s artifacts and memorabilia.
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Membership in the GHS
GHS membership benefits include:
• Camaraderie with fellow members at local, regional and national GHS gatherings.
· Renowned speakers at GHS gatherings who are highly recognized in the golf industry.
• The annual meeting, held in early autumn, is a must-attend gathering with the largest golf collectibles trade show in the world where members can find rare antiques, and attend informative seminars from experts in a variety of golf-related fields.
• The opportunity to buy, sell, and trade golf collectibles at GHS trade shows and auctions.
• The opportunity to play in hickory club tournaments.
• The Society’s long-running quarterly journal, The Golf.
• A monthly newsletter with updates, member news and interesting golf history side notes.
• A website updated regularly with Members-only resources including an archive of past issues of the Society journal, information on golf collecting, links to fraternal golf history societies and other features.
Membership in the GHS brings connections to golf history and collecting enthusiasts throughout the world. Full members receive a printed Membership Directory along with the quarterly magazine, The Golf. Each issue brings contributions from members on wide-ranging facets of golf history, featured collections and collectors, book reviews, unusual clubs and artifacts, and general news on Society doings from young collectors and the First Tee, to collaborations with such fraternal groups as the Society of Hickory Golfers, the Donald Ross Society, the USGA, and many more.
Whether you are a new collector just starting out, or want to learn more about golf history, the Golf Heritage Society has a place just for you. Joining is easy. Just click the join button to start your journey toward a new way of enjoying the world’s “royal and ancient game.”
The GHS Speakers Bureau
Many GHS members are experts in a variety of categories such as golf history, hickory golf clubs, books, specific collectible niches, etc. Often, they are available for speaking engagements at golf clubs, civic functions, library and school functions and many more.
The GHS Hall of Fame
The GHS Hall of Fame honors members who have made significant contributions to golf collecting, golf history and its heritage, and to the well being of the Society.
The GHS Harris-Wolke Award
The GHS Harris-Wolke Award recognizes members for their generosity of time and expertise in the field of club making, repair and maintenance.