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Tiger Woods is not usually known for shooting high numbers; however, his auction statistics are very different to his golf.
Earlier in the year, a set of irons reported to have been used by Woods for his era-defining Tiger Slam of 2000-01 sold for more than $5 million, and this trend has continued with this signed Scotty Cameron ‘Red Dot’ Newport 2, which eventually sold for $328,577 after 47 bids with Golden Age Auctions (opens in new tab).
The providence of the putter is hard to trace because the 2019 Masters champion regularly had backups that he used in private, however his own signature on the putter face certainly suggests that he tested this model at the very least. He would usually test very similar models to his regular tournament putter to ensure that they were to his liking, and this seems to have been cut in that mould. Woods used the same flat stick for 14 of his 15 Major titles.
The putter was originally signed by him at a 2005 fundraiser, and the current owner had held it for 17 years before putting it on auction this year. Four of Woods' past back up putters have been sold at auction before, and this was the second-most expensive. In August 2021, a 2002 Newport backup sold for $393,000, whilst in 2015 and 2018 two sold for $29,000 and $44,000 respectively. Another in 2020 sold for $154,928.
It is clear from these numbers that the worth of the 15-time Major champion’s memorabilia is increasing as his items continue to comfortably top auctions. With an increase in hundreds of thousands of dollars from 2015 to now, it will be very interesting to see if this trend continues when Woods’ next item appears on the market.
Indeed, this auction included many other rare, coveted items, demonstrating the increasing attraction to Woods' collecting category. Arnold Palmer’s legendary ‘Old Faithful’ putter was the second-most expensive item, going for $126,680. Another Woods putter from 1999 was the third-most costly item, fetching $86,525, and attracting 28 bids in the process.
Woods' personalised Nike wedge, which was mostly used by his former coach Hank Haney, auctioned for $39,816, an astonishing $19,000 more than 18-time Major champion Jack Nicklaus' tournament-used 1980s bag and clubs, which auctioned for $20,432.
The debate may roar on as to who truly is the golfing GOAT on the course, however on the shelves it’s a one-horse race. Tiger Woods’ aura has grown to levels that very few can compete with in the sporting world, as his items are reaching numbers that are usually only ever seen with names such as Michael Jordan or Tom Brady. For the game of golf, long may this sustained interest in one of our greats continue.
"The golf collecting industry has traditionally lagged behind other sports. But that’s been changing in a big way as collectors race to acquire the best Tiger Woods items," said Ryan Carey, Golden Age Auctions (opens in new tab).
Hugo studies French and Spanish at Durham University and will graduate in 2023. He has always had a passion for the game of golf and everything around it, and took up the game aged seven. He currently holds a five handicap and had his first and only hole-in-one aged 18 in Scotland. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy.
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