Golf Memorabilia: What to Collect

Fans can collect a wide variety of golf memorabilia and as the sport has become more popular, more items have become desired.

Trading cards– Golf trading cards, while issued previously, didn’t start becoming really popular until the 1990s with the printing of Pro Set brand cards. Since then, others gotten on the bandwagon. Upper Deck may be the largest mainstream manufacturer of golf cards and in addition to base cards, the company issues cards with game-used pieces of clothing and autographed cards.  Of course, Donruss did golf cards in 1981 and '82 and there were several sets featuring famous golfers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  Players like Bobby Jones and Gene Sarazen were in some multi-sport sets like the Goudey Sport Kings and American Caramel sets of the 1930s.

Golf balls – Balls are small enough to store conveniently and some collectors choose to display them in a wall display case. Fans can collect "game-used" balls that are used by golfers in tournaments or standard non-used balls with autographs on them. Many golfers are happy to autograph balls at a practice range or before or after their round in a tournament.

Photographs – Photos are collected in any sport and a framed picture can add significantly to a game room or office. The most popular photos are usually color and glossy and are perfect for autographs. And with the technological advances of digital cameras, you can even take good shots at tournaments (not during a backswing, of course) and have them blown up to the desired size. High-quality cameras will allow you to take photos that can be printed on 16X20 size stock, or sometimes larger.

Gloves – Many times after a tournament, a player will give his gloves away to fans. These gloves can make for nice collectibles and can be left unsigned or autographed by the specific player.

Hats – Similar to gloves, players will also sometimes offer up their hats or toss them into the gallery after a round. While you might not be crazy about wearing a hat stained by sweat from a golfer, they can make for nice collectibles. Want an autographed hat? Take a hat down to the roped-off areas after a tournament where players generally will sign autographs. You can even make it a bit more authentic by doing some research and having a hat with the player’s official sponsor logo. He or she may be even more willing to sign it.

Clubs – For obvious reasons, most players are not quick to give away golf clubs. They get used to them and, especially when successful, will rarely part with them. But if you catch a player near the end of a season who has a club that is particularly worn and not brought about a lot of success, you might get a break. You also can occasionally find game-used clubs up for auction online. Clubs can be kind of difficult to sign, but if you want to have a club autographed, the best part of the club is generally on the face.

Check the links on the left to shop for golf-related memorabilia on eBay.