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  • Hickory Clubs - History.
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  • Vintage Golf Club Pricing Guide | Golfweek;

Values in the vintage club market fluctuate wildly based on many factors. Clubs with a particular tournament or player history are one area of the market where you could find value in a contemporary club--but not necessarily. A famous story first rose to the surface in the mid s. A man in Texas purchased an old Hogan 1-iron out of a bargain bin. When he noticed the dime-sized wear mark on the sweet spot, he started to wonder if this could be the famous 1-iron used by Ben Hogan himself to force a playoff in the U.

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Eventually, the man contacted the USGA and Hogan himself to authenticate the club that had disappeared from Hogan's bag sometime between the famous shot and the playoff the next day. The club was missing for some plus years. Clubs like this one, if authenticated, would certainly generate a significant sum at auction.

Clubs owned by champions and presidents and celebrities can fetch tidy sums based solely on their previous and famous owners. As with other antiques, authentication always poses a challenge with vintage golf equipment. While identifying certain clubs as an iron made by Tom Stewart of St.

Andrews, for example, is often not difficult, precisely dating them is much more difficult.

Dating the Age of Vintage or Antique Wood Shaft Golf Clubs

Patent numbers were not printed on most clubs until the 20th century, if even then. Beyond that, slight variations in design and imprint from year to year make it nearly impossible to identify clubs by year. The clubs from the 17th and 18th century were not signed by the makers, but the names of several makers can be found in royal archives. Most of the clubs were long nose play clubs see photo left under , usually with 5 or 6 different lofts, irons were scarce in this period because they could easily damage the very expensive feathery ball.

Most of the players would only have one iron, initially a spur nose heavy iron and in later times a track iron.

Dating the Age of Vintage or Antique Wood Golf Clubs

In the late 18th and 19th centuries makers of golf clubs started to mark their name onto clubs. The heads of long nose clubs were made from beech and the shaft from ash or hickory, the grip was usually made from soft sheepskin. The heads were long and slender and only with the arrival of the first rubber ball the gutty see photo belows right in did the woods become was thicker and stronger.

Antique Golf Club No. 3 - Long Nose Brassie Spoon c 1870

After the arrival of the gutty see photo above right , irons began to become more and more popular. The Golf Club Grip - It's important to spend some time and energy up front to effectively determine whether the grip of an antique golf club is original or if it may have been replaced once or twice.

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If it's original, the texture of the clubs grip can offer meaningful insight into its age. Older golf clubs were generally equipped with flocked suede grips. It was quite common for clubs that were made after the early 's to be supplied with leather grips.

An accurate assessment here is critical as you continue your analysis. The Club Face - The club face on an antique golf iron is often smooth since they were originally manufactured without grooves, though many players manually scored their club faces. The grooved marking of faces on antique iron clubs was not introduced until the first few years of the 20th century. While this will not rank as an exact method of dating an old golf club, a smooth face would certainly indicate that it is a club that dates prior to The Metal Club Head - Simple test.

Prior to , a different grade of steel was used to manufacture club heads.

5 Steps to Determine How Old Antique Golf Clubs are:

This inferior grade of steel, as you would expect, results in clubs which today look more dated; dark colored, sometimes even rusty. An old golf club that still exhibits a shiny club head would point to a piece dated post Like with most antiques the patina is a big part of the value, and most of the time the best way to preserve the value for antique hickory wood golf club collectors , is to do nothing.

How to Find the Value of Antique Golf Clubs

At times an old golf clubs value can be dramatically harmed by polishing, refinishing, or shaft repair that can compromise it's original integrity. Never perform any restoration or modification on any antique golf club until you have had a chance to check with a reputable antique dealer, particularly one familiar with golf collectibles that can help you understand what will enhance the clubs value vs.