Golf Club Collecting

This a great article on collecting golf clubs in an article by Missy Sullivan interviewing Jeff Ellis, author of The Clubmaker’s Art: Antique Golf Clubs and Their History, and a second volume, The Golf Club: 400 Years of The Good, The Beautiful and The Creative:

Collecting Classic Clubs
Missy Sullivan, The Forbes Collector

“Collectors often start with classic clubs (1930s-’60s), which usually go for a couple hundred bucks. One popular model has been the MacGregor Tommy Armour 945 Eye-O-Matic persimmon driver, with which Nicklaus won most of his majors. At its height in the 1980s, that club would sell for upward of $2,000–and in Japan, upward of $5,000. The whole Japanese market, which was based on hero worship, crashed when the best players started changing their clubs. Now the 945 E-O-M sells for a few hundred bucks. The lesson: Hero worship doesn’t appreciate.

Some of the more common clubs that have appreciated include the Cran cleeks, made by Spalding between 1897 and 1920. Ten or 15 years ago, they brought $400 and $500; now they sell up to $1,500 for a really nice one. I recommend sticking with the historic wood-shaft-era clubs, where the important name was not who endorsed or played a club, but who made it.”

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