If you’re a collector or would like to build a small, but important collection of golf autographs, here are five players who would be considered must-haves.
Tiger Woods – When it comes to collecting golf autographs, it all starts with Tiger. Widely respected as the best player in the game today, he may be the best of all-time. He has 14 career majors and despite not winning any in 2010, still has a great chance at surpassing Jack Nicklaus’ all-time record of 18. Tiger is the top earning money winner and also a savvy businessman. He knows the value of his autographs and is known as a ‘tough get’ because he doesn’t sign as much as other golfers. Because Tiger rarely signs and his autographs are so popular, they are also widely forged. For this reason, if you are unable to get an item signed in-person by Woods, you should take extreme caution when buying an autographed item from a third-party. Click here for certified Tiger autographs on eBay.
Arnold Palmer – Palmer was perhaps the most popular golfer of his era and when he shows up at tournaments, he’s still one of golf’s most beloved figures. He doesn’t have the track record at majors of Woods or Jack Nicklaus, but his seven titles are still more than most players. Palmer is a Hall of Famer and has had almost as much success off the golf course than on it. His career was at its peak in the 1950s and 1960s and was one of the sport’s first stars on television. Palmer happily signs and also autographs a large number of items for his charity and business ventures. Click here for Palmer signed items.
Jack Nicklaus – Nicklaus may be the best golfer of all-time as evidenced by his 18 career majors. He didn’t just break Bobby Jones’ record of 13, he shattered it and until Woods came along, there’s been little argument that he was golf’s best player. Nicklaus, a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, didn’t just win majors – he won in general, as evidenced by his 115 career wins. Click here for certified Nicklaus items up for auction or sale.
Babe Didrickson Zaharias – Golf was only one sport played by Zaharias and she is regarded as perhaps the greatest female athlete of all-time. Zaharias was an excellent baseball, basketball, and track and field star, but golf may have been her most dominant sport. She won ten career LPGA majors and nearly 50 golf tournaments. Now deceased, her autographs are scarce. Add in the fact that she is often depicted on photos as a track and field star and her golf-related autographs are even more difficult to obtain.
Bobby Jones – Jones is the Babe Ruth of golf autographs. With 13 majors, Bobby Jones held the record for major golf championships until Jack Nicklaus broke it many years later. But the unique thing about Jones was not that he won so many, it’s how he won them. Jones won his 13 major titles while retiring before the age of 30 partially due to health reasons.
Consider that he won all four of golf’s major titles in 1930 and then retired following that year and you have the definition of ‘going out on top.’ Had he been able to play competitively into his 40s like Nicklaus and he could still be the all-time leader in majors. As you’d expect, his autographs aren’t inexpensive. Pricing for balls is scarce and you won't find many on eBay because golf autographs weren’t widely signed at the time, but a signed photograph generally sells for thousands of dollars.