Golfing has long history, and its enduring popularity has produced a wide variety of eq

uipment and related items to collect. Although antique pieces are rare and expensive, there is plenty to suit even the most modest budget.

Many of us have inherited a passion for golf from our parents or grandparents. Some may even have been lucky enough to have been passed on something more tangible, such as a well-worn set of clubs or a cherished memento of an early Open.

By the late 19th century, golf had become tremendously popular. Enthusiasts eagerly pursue the wide range of equipment, such as clubs, balls, bags, and club-head covers,
sold during the Victorian era.

Absolutely anything with a golfing theme - including books, artworks, ceramics, and silverware - is of interest. Antique equipment catalogues make a fascinating addition to any collection, for example, with some dating from the late 19th century available for £150-250; later examples usually cost less.

Established ceramic factories such as Royal Doulton, Spode, and Clifton started producing wares decorated with golfing images in the 1890s. Early pieces in perfect condition can sell for £100-1,000 or more, whereas golfing ceramics from the 1950s onwards can often be bought for around £10-50.

Not a week goes by without a professional golf tournament being played somewhere, and each one produces more memorabilia: tickets, trophies, programmes, and posters. Many of these items can be picked up relatively inexpensively - a British Open Championship programme from the early 1980s might set you back around £10-20.

Older pieces, or those linked with significant competitions and golfing landmarks, will attract higher price tags - a programme from the 1962 Open Championship might sell for £400-600, but one from the 1930s or earlier will generally be worth about ,£800-1,200 or more.

Clubs, of which there are 14 distinct varieties, form a central feature of many collections. Market prices are linked to age,rarity, quality, and condition. Iron- headed clubs that pre­date the introduction of the steel shaft in the 1920s are particularly prized, as are the early long-nosed woods that were in use until the mid-19th century.


 These can be worth from ,£2,000 up to £50,000. Later examples, such as 1930s steel- shafted clubs, can be found for less than £50, but they may rise in value as they become rarer.

Modern clubs can also be collectable. Rare early Ping putters from the 1960s can sell for more than £1,000, with some more recent examples from the 1980s already reaching around £100-200.

The first golf balls, called 'featheries', were hand made from stitched animal-skin casing stuffed with boiled feathers. Featheries with no identified maker can be picked up for around £800-1,200, but the mark of a recognised manufacturer such as Andrew Dickson or Henry Mills can often boost this to £10,000 or more.

Featheries were replaced in the mid-19th century by balls made ofgutta-percha (a whitish, rubbery substance). A genuine gutty' can fetch more than <£1,500, especially if it carries the stamp of a notable maker, such as Archie Simpson or Allan Robertson. Unbranded examples can be found for around £300-£500.

At the end of the 19th century, rubber-core balls made by Haskell arrived on the scene and these were used until the more controllable dimple-patterned balls came into play some years later. Haskell balls are scarce: a standard example in good condition may fetch more than £80-120.

Golfing has been a favourite celebrity pastime since the mid-20th century when Hollywood stars such as Bing Crosby and Bob Hope helped to popularise the sport. Any golfing items with a celebrity pedigree are attractive both to fans of the star and the spoil. Equipment associated with professionals does have some worth, but unless it's linked to a truly international name, such as Jack Nicklaus or Tiger Woods, the effect on value will be minimal.

There is a strong market for golfing publications, particularly classic instruction manuals and books by renowned course architects and famous players. Books written by or about modern greats such as Seve Ballesteros, Tony Jacklin, or Nick Faldo can be picked up for £5-10 or less. But they could be worth around £20-100 if endorsed with a celebrity signature.

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