Sotheby's Antique Golf Club Auction

In the market for that special golf club? Then stop by Sotheby's in New York City starting September 20 to view the Jeffery B. Ellis Antique Golf Club Collection. The 800-club treasure trove, one of the most wide-ranging and historically important collec

By: Tom Cunneff

Have you ever found an old golf club in your attic and wondered how much it would fetch on  Antiques Roadshow? Well, your discovery probably has nothing on the collection up for sale by the man who literally wrote the book on antique golf clubs. Jeffrey B. Ellis, author of The Clubmaker’s Art: Antique Golf Clubs and Their History, is auctioning off his 800-club collection at Sotheby’s in New York City, September 27–28. Over the past 30 years, Ellis has amassed some of the game’s most historical and innovative clubs, dating from the 1600s to the 1930s.

The club expected to fetch the most money—somewhere north of $200,000—is a long nose putter by Andrew Dickson, circa 1750. Two square-toed irons, one circa 1600 (below, right) and the other circa 1700, are also expected to go for around $200,000. Some of the more interesting clubs available include the very first metalwood, dating from 1896. The innovative club has an aluminum body with a rear screw that allowed players to adjust the tension of the spring-loaded wood face. In addition, there is a 1916 putter with a telescope to help line up putts. The public can view the clubs in an exhibit starting September 20: sorry, no demo-ing allowed.

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