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Golden Age Modern Collector Auction Preview

Golden Age Modern Collector Auction Preview
January 26, 2023
Bradley Calleja

After a record-breaking 2022, Golden Age returns with a first-of-its-kind auction that features more than 300 lots of modern golf collectibles.  In 2022, Golden Age established a new all-time high for any golf memorabilia sold at auction with a $5.2 million sale for the 'Tiger Slam' irons and total sales increased by more than 170% year-over-year. In their first auction of the new year, Golden Age is showcasing an array of PSA-graded golf cards, tickets, and badges among hundreds of other pieces of influential memorabilia.

Lots to Watch

Lot #2: 2001 Upper Deck SP Authentic Tiger Woods PSA 10 Auto 10 /900

One of the first golf cards to reach six-figures at auction, Upper Deck's SP Authentic has long been considered the premier piece of Tiger Woods cardboard. In 2021, prices peaked above $100,000 and while valuations have since dropped, this gem mint example has already attracted 41 bids and sits at $36,498 heading into the final days of the auction. At its current price, this PSA 10 would be the second highest sale for a like-graded example over the last four months. In December, one auction house sold a gem mint Tiger card for $25,800, which represented the lowest sale price of 2022. The market could be signaling a recovery though as this particular signed rookie is nearing $40,000 and a different PSA 10 realized $50,400 earlier this month.

Lots #18: 1934 PSA Type 1 Photo of Bobby Jones Congratulating Horton Smith

Fresh off establishing a new record for any golf photo, Golden Age is scheduled to sell another Type 1 specimen that captures an incredible moment in the game's storied history. The image, which has been authenticated and encapsulated by PSA, comes from the inaugural Masters Tournament in 1934 and features legends Bobby Jones and Horton Smith as the subjects. In the photograph, Bobby Jones, who helped design the Augusta National Golf Club and co-founded the Masters Tournament, is seen congratulating Smith for winning the first-ever title for the now famed tourney. The image is inscribed with the names of the golf pros and also includes the date - 3/25/34 - which was the final round of the Tournament. Through 25 bids the price for this Type 1 photo has reached $10,215 and could be headed higher after a flurry of activity occurred in the first 48-hours of the auction opening.

Lot #8: Tiger Woods Signed 2001 Upper Deck Rookie Card

The total population of PSA-graded 2001 Upper Deck #1 Tiger Woods rookie cards is 34,480.

The total population for a signed PSA-graded 2001 Upper Deck #1 Tiger Woods rookie card is 3.

While there are limited-edition examples of Tiger rookies (see the /900 previously mentioned above), the unforced rarity of this card puts it in rare air as arguably the most unique and sought-after Tiger on the market today. The card itself has always been considered a gem, with a hyper-focused Tiger donning his iconic Nike red polo with a throng of spectators and media blurred in the background. As any followers of golf cards knows, unlike other sports collectible legends like Mickey Mantle, Tiger Woods simply does not sign cards that were not meant to be signed. The buyer pool has taken notice to the importance of this signed example as the current bid of $9,847 is poised to set a record for the Upper Deck #1.

Lot #13: Tiger Woods 2000 US Open at Pebble Beach Official Scoresheet

One could argue that no tournament showcased the greatness of Tiger Woods, or any golfer in history, more than the 2000 US Open.

On the trying and tested links of Pebble Beach, Tiger delivered a masterful performance that was so dominant, it's impossible to find a comparable within the game of golf. Instead, you could maybe draw similarities to Secretariat's 31-length victory at the 1973 Belmont Stakes. Even then, the famed racehorse only beat 4 other competitors, not 155 like Tiger was tasked with.

It's not that other golfers haven't won tournaments by wide margins, but more so how far Tiger separated himself from a field loaded with talent. This offering highlights that historic performance and carries Tiger's penmanship as an added bonus. The signed score sheet captures a moment in golf history that has never been replicated at a similar stage since. By the time the last putt had been sunk, Tiger was 12 under par and 15 strokes ahead of the field, closing out a dominating performance that helped cement his legacy at the top of the modern game.

Lot #5: 1961 Masters Badge PSA 10

1961 Masters Badge, population: 1.

From the first run of Masters badges ever produced, this golf collectible grails is the only one that has earned a gem mint designation from PSA. The badge, number 9721, displays the iconic and recognizable logo of the Masters against a pearly white background. Somehow, for a badge that was meant to be worn around the hollowed grounds of Augusta National, this particular example looks untouched, with zero discoloration or damage. The quality is reflected in the PSA 10 graded and also in the bidder activity heading into the weekend. As of publication, this 62-year-old golf collectible has attracted 22 bids and is nearing $10,000.

Lot #10: Historic Collection of Tiger Woods PGA Tour Victory Tickets

In sports cards, set collecting has become an art within the industry as dedicated hobbyists work to secure complete editions of iconic productions like the 1986 Fleer or 1952 Topps. In an age where tickets have solidified as a new category of collectible, it was only a matter of time before well-organized sets started to appear at auction. This lot features the most impressive collection of golf tickets we have seen to date and includes the entry passes to 80 of Tiger Woods' 82 total PGA Tour victories. The only two tickets missing are from less desirable tournaments - the 2000 Mercedes Championship and the 205 Ford Doral. That means every early career Tiger victory ticket is included and the passes/badges to all 15 of Tiger's Majors. Each of the tickets have been encapsulated by PSA and provide a unique way for a collector to display the career, impact, and legacy of the most dominant golfer in modern history.

All Images via Golden Age

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