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Sports memorabilia is popular, especially baseball, football and basketball-related items. But March Madness is over and during first full week in April, attention turns to golf and more specifically, the annual tournament known as "The Masters." Kovels looked at Masters memorabilia that auctioned recently and chose 11 items any golf enthusiast would love. They are pictured with their selling prices.

While some golf collectors enjoy a diverse range of collectibles, others limit their interest to autographs, equipment, clubs, artwork, or prominent tournament memorabilia. The Masters tournament is a popular focus. It’s been described as the toughest ticket to get in sports and many collectors enjoy hunting for old admission tickets, referred to as “badges.” Others look for pins, programs, scorecards, caddy hats, photographs, souvenirs, items related to past champions and much more. And an autographed Masters pin flag would be prized by any collector.

 



1.  One of the “holy grails” of golf memorabilia would be a Masters trophy. Arnold Palmer won the tournament four times and one of his trophies, meant for a museum that wasn’t built, found its way to the auction block. The trophy, a sterling silver replica of the Augusta National clubhouse, sold for $444,012 in 2016, the second highest price ever paid for a piece of golf memorabilia. The highest price was $682,229, paid in 2013 for the green jacket awarded to 1936 Masters champion Horton Smith.

2.  1964 Masters Badge, plastic, signed by Arnold Palmer, $3,144.



3.  Masters program from 1934, its first year, when it was called the Augusta National Invitational Tournament, rare, $10,742.



4.  1935 Masters ticket, cardboard, signed by Horton Smith (the first winner) and Bobby Jones (club and tournament founder), $9,766. Only a handful of items from the 1935 tournament are known to exist, and even without the signatures, this ticket would still sell for a very high price.



5.  1953 Masters Tournament Spectators Guide, $257. Tournament won by Ben Hogan.



6.  Masters pin flag, autographed by golfer Tom Watson with the years that he won, 1977 and 1981, framed with plaque, $795.



7.  Masters tournament-used pin flag, not a replica, used in a recent tournament, $1,026.

8.  2005 Masters Badge, signed by Tiger Woods, plastic with pin, $2,858.



9.  1966 Masters Par 3 Contest winner's trophy tea set, won by Tony Dill, sterling silver, $14,147. Tea sets were awarded to the winner of the Par 3 contest for only a few years; it was replaced by a crystal bowl in the late 1960s. The Par 3 contest takes place on the Wednesday of Masters week.



10.  Eight 2006 Masters souvenir glasses, $128.


11.  1960s Masters Tournament Courtesy Car license plate, metal, $116. Used on the front of a player’s Cadillac courtesy car in the 1960s.

 

Other prices: A lot of 50 undated Masters pin flags still in their original plastic wrappers sold for $2,659; an Augusta National Golf Club plate with a drawing of the iconic clubhouse, a flower map of the United States with the pin flag in Augusta, Georgia, given to club members from 1992 until 1997, $175; and a 2016 ball marker with Masters insignia map and cloth pouch, $281. Unsigned Masters badges can sell from about $60 into the thousands, depending on how old and who won that year.

The Masters is an annual competition held at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, and is the first of golf’s four “major” tournaments each year. The golf course was established by golfer Bobby Jones and opened in 1933; the first competition, called the Augusta National Invitation Tournament, was played in 1934. The title “The Masters” was adopted in 1938.

Pictures and prices courtesy of GreenJacketAuctions.com.

 

 

 


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