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Auction Action: Golden Age 2023 Masters Week Auction

Auction Action: Golden Age 2023 Masters Week Auction
April 6, 2023
Bradley Calleja

It's a tradition unlike any other and to celebrate, Golden Age showcases multiple golf grails connected to the greatest players and tournaments. In this edition of Auction Action, we preview the 2023 Masters Week Auction and highlight the top lots scheduled to sell.

Lots to Watch

Lot #2: Tiger Woods' Personally Used Scotty Cameron Newport Tei3 Putter

Scotty x Tiger.

The historically dominant duo take center stage at yet another Golden Age Auction with this match-used putter which could become the most expensive putter ever sold at auction.

And in this case for Cameron, it's the putter that got away.

For context - The Newport Tei3 Putter is a classic design from master craftsman Cameron himself, who is renowned for creating some of the most coveted putters in the world. Tiger Woods began using this putter in the late 1990s, and it quickly became a staple within his bag as he scored his way to 14 major championships, including four Masters titles.

After this putter was officially retired, Tiger gave it to his friend, NFL Hall of Famer Andre Reed. Talk about impressive provenance.

Years later, Reed auctioned the putter for charity and after the winner reached out to Cameron for a Certificate of Authenticity, the legendary clubmaker reached out and requested to buyback his creation, citing its ties to iconic golf moments.

In recent months, this Tei3 putter has been trading on Collectable with a market cap range between $500,000 - $700,000. For a six-figure golf club it's already attracted significant attention with 30 bids driving the price above $184,000 with two days remaining in the event.

Lots #17: c1910s Silver Queen Advertising Figure

Population: 2*

*Known to exist.

Extreme rarity meets golf history with this revered collectible. Created to promote the Silver Queen Golf Ball brand in the early 1900s, which was known for its innovative design that used a rubber core instead of a solid gutta-percha core. To simplify the golf ball lingo, this design made the ball more durable and allowed for greater distance on shots. The Silver Queen Advertising Figure was produced by the St. Louis Ornamental Iron Works, which was also responsible for producing the Silver King Golf Advertising Figure. The figure was created using intricate metalworking techniques, and the attention to detail is evident in the detailed yet cartoonish features of the statue.

Today, the Silver Queen Advertising Figure is a highly sought-after piece of sports memorabilia. It represents a bygone era of golfing history and is a testament to the enduring legacy of the Silver Queen Golf Ball brand. Collectors and fans alike treasure the Silver Queen Advertising Figure as a valuable piece of sports history and as a symbol of the golden age of golf. While there are rumors of a third Silver Queen, we'll wait until we have definitive proof before we update our population as only two have ever appeared publicly. The other was sold in 2018 by Golden Age for $71,000 while this latest specimen has reached $22,663 through 42 bids before premium.

Masters Grails

Lot #16: 1933 Augusta National Grand Opening Clubhouse Photo [PSA Type 1]

The 1933 Augusta National Grand Opening marked the birth of one of the most iconic golf courses in the world and this photo from Golden Age captures on of the earliest scenes from the now sacred golf grounds.

The course was the brainchild of Bobby Jones, who after his retirement from competitive golf in 1930, turned his attention to designing and building his dream golf course. He enlisted the help of renowned golf course architect Alister MacKenzie, and together, they set out to create a masterpiece.

The course was built on the site of a former indigo plantation in Augusta, Georgia. Jones and MacKenzie worked tirelessly to sculpt the land, using the natural contours to create a course that was both challenging and beautiful. The result was a par-72 layout that featured wide fairways, strategically placed bunkers, and undulating greens.

The Grand Opening of Augusta National took place on January 13, 1933. The first tournament featured an impressive field of golfers, including some of the best players of the era. Horton Smith, a relatively unknown golfer at the time, emerged as the champion, shooting a four-round total of 284 to win by two strokes.

This 7x9 image predates any photo taken during that match and opens at a time when golf photographs at Golden Age are on fire. Prior to December 2022, the most expensive photo sold by Golden Age was for $27,570. Over the last three months, the auction house has sold three different Type 1 photos for more than $46,000 including a record-breaking $82,247 sale of an image from that inaugural Masters. Through 32 bids, this early tournament photo is already priced in excess of $18,700.

Lot #5: Tiger Woods' Final Round Golf Ball from 1997 Masters Tournament

The 1997 Masters Tournament will forever be remembered as the moment that Tiger Woods announced himself as a superstar in the world of golf. At just 21 years old, Woods easily outpaced the field at Augusta National Golf Club, setting records and captivating audiences with his incredible play.

Woods had already achieved a great deal of success in his young career, but the 1997 Masters was his first major championship as a professional. He entered the tournament as one of the favorites, having won two events already that year, but few could have predicted the level of dominance he would display.

From the opening round, Woods was in complete control. He shot a 70 to take the lead, and he never looked back. Over the next three rounds, he continued to play at an incredibly high level, shooting rounds of 66, 65, and 69 to finish the tournament at 18-under-par. His 12-stroke victory was the largest margin of victory in the history of the Masters, and it remains one of the most impressive performances in golf history.

Golden Age is now set to sell this incredible find - the golf ball used by Woods during his final round at that '97 Augusta National tournament. The consignor of the ball was only 9 years-old when Tiger handed him the golf ball and the story is backed by multiple witnesses including a Washington Times reporter who featured this handoff in an article highlighting Woods' win. With 34 bids and more than two days remaining in the event, the golf ball in addition to a Masters badge and the Washington Times article have reached $12,000.

Lot #55: 1986 Masters Badge signed by Jack Nicklaus [PSA 10, Auto 10]

The Golden Bear had his golden moment at the 1986 Masters Tournament.

At 46 years old, Jack Nicklaus defied the odds to win his sixth green jacket and his 18th major championship, cementing his place as one of the greatest golfers of all time.

Nicklaus had already achieved incredible success in his career, but by 1986, many believed that his best days were behind him. He hadn't won a major championship in six years, and he had been struggling with injuries and a loss of form. But the Masters proved to be a turning point for the future Hall of Famer.

The tournament began inauspiciously for Nicklaus, with a first-round score of 74 putting him well off the pace. But he gradually found his form over the next two rounds, shooting a 71 and a 69 to move up the leaderboard.

It was during the final round, however, that Nicklaus truly shone. He started the day four strokes behind the leader, Greg Norman, but he quickly began to close the gap. A birdie on the ninth hole gave him momentum, and he followed it up with birdies on the 10th, 11th, and 13th holes.

As the pressure mounted, Nicklaus showed incredible composure, sinking a long birdie putt on the 16th hole to take the lead. He held on for the final two holes, sinking another birdie putt on the 17th, to finish with a score of 65 and a total of 9-under-par.

Nicklaus' victory was remarkable for many reasons. He was the oldest player ever to win the Masters, and his six green jackets were the most in the tournament's history. This original badge commemorates one of golfs most stirring moments and is matched with a signature of Nicklaus himself. Both the badge and the penmanship earned a perfect 10 from PSA, making it a true gem mint grail that has already pushed above $6,000.

All Images via Golden Age

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