Used golf stuff usually gathers dust in odd, shadowy corners of flea markets and antique stores. Some items, however, attain legendary status and fetch big collectible prices when their former users bear VIP golfing names such as Nicklaus, Palmer, Hogan, or Jones and so many others. None of them, at least at the moment, can boast ozone-layer collectible prices than Tiger Woods. From golf cards to used putters and other gear, if Tiger used it, breathed upon it or otherwise even looked at it, the item may achieve checkbook-busting status.
So it is with the latest item, this one a used golf ball from the 1997 Masters with impeccable, even adorable, provenance. The ball, which sold for slightly over $64,000 at a spring 2023 Gold Age Auction of golf memorabilia, was given by Tiger to a 9-year-old after he had just bogeyed the 5th hole and was walking to the sixth when he spotted the youngster and gave him the ball.
The young fellow held on to the ball all these years and, along with a newspaper article that named him in connection with the generous action by Tiger, and a Masters ticket of the day, put it up for the recent auction.
$64,000, you say!! It’s just a ball. No, it’s Tiger’s golf ball. One from his first Masters victory. One with provenance to a certainty; perhaps the only such Tiger-related item from that Masters with such a surety.
Mr. Tiger Woods may no longer lead the way when it comes to tournaments, but the memorabilia from that legendary career will surely top the collectibles field for years to come.
And he’s not done yet.