The Oldest Swingers Are Back In Town

Golf CollectingMore
than 500 lots of rare golfing memorabilia will be auctioned
on 7 July at Bonhams in Chester to include presentation putters,
named clubs, wrapped golf balls and a wonderful selection of
photographs and literature.

Highlight of the sale will be a 19th century long nose presentation
putter, unusually decorated to the crown with a large carved
Scottish thistle. The handiwork of a highly skilled clubmaker,
this putter has stamped ‘Goudie & Co’ on the shaft.
It is only the fourth engraved long nose presentation club to
be recorded and is estimated to sell for £6,000 –

A collection of items of golfing memorabilia estimated to fetch
between £3,000 and £5,000 was a canny purchase at
a recent Staffordshire car boot sale. The items, of little interest
to the stall holder, were stashed in three cardboard boxes under
the table – in all likelihood to be binned at the end of
the day if there were no reasonable offers. The present owner
paid £12 for the job lot, thinking that the letters and
photographs of golfers in the 1920s and 1930s may reveal one
or two interesting items.

The boxes turned out to contain the personal correspondence,
diaries and photographs from the 1920s and 1930s of lady golfer
Mollie Moore, a member of Stratford-on-Avon golf club. Captain
of the club at that time was Samuel Ryder, who first donated
the Ryder Cup in 1927 for competition between professional golfers
from Great Britain and America. Ryder was a seed merchant who
made his fortune by coming up with the idea of selling seeds
in small packages. He will, however, always be remembered for
the competition he gave his name to, now highlight of the international
golfing calendar.

In one of Mollie Moore’s albums entitled ‘A Souvenir
of a Week-end in the life of the Lady Captain of the Stratford-on-Avon
Golf Club 1929’, the first photograph is of ‘Our Captain
Mr Samuel Ryder’. The album contains over 60 photographs,
mainly of a 36 hole four ball match played on 14 September 1929
between Mitchell, Havers and two of the Whitcombe brothers for
a first prize of £100 put up by Sam Ryder. The album is
estimated to fetch £750 – 1,000.

Golf balls are mass produced today, but up until the 1850s,
the leather-covered balls were stuffed with feathers, and the
process was a labour of love. First the hide was softened with
water and alum, then cut into pieces and sewn together with
waxed thread, leaving a tiny hole to turn it inside out. It
was then crammed with as many boiled feathers as possible.

Included in the sale is a well-preserved example of a feather
golf ball, 150 years old, and now retired from the game. Estimate
£1,250 – 1,750.

For more details visit the Bonhams
web site.

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