I remember watching episodes of Antiques Roadshow with my mom in the late 90s. My teenage mind could hardly fathom some random plate or an old clock being with over $100k.
I’m sure some of you have the same dream for an antique golf club you found at a yard sale or some old golf clubs that you just discovered in your parent’s attic.
If you’re trying to figure out where to sell vintage golf clubs, this article has some tips to point you in the right direction (and to keep you from wasting your time).
Before we proceed any further, I need to be brutally honest with you: The odds of possessing a valuable old club are very low.
Temper your expectations before putting down a deposit on that yacht you’ve always dreamed of.
What are old golf clubs worth?
The value of old golf clubs is mostly determined by how rare they are. Some golf clubs look old, but that doesn’t mean they’re worth significant money.
In fact, the adage “looks can be deceiving” is quite appropriate when it comes to the value of an old fairway wood or putter.
If you are thinking about selling your old golf clubs but you aren’t quite sure what they’re worth, then I would certainly recommend having them identified and valued by a collector.
As you could imagine, there are plenty of older clubs still floating around. Your first step in determining the value of your clubs is to talk with someone who actually knows what they’re worth. You need to figure out if you have antique golf clubs that carry real value.
Finding a collector or valuation expert can be difficult, but you may be able to get some insights from forums like this one or by browsing eBay to see if your club is listed there.
You can also try enlisting the help of older golfers at your local country club. They may be able to offer some details about your vintage golf equipment.
OK. OK. I get it. But what are vintage golf clubs worth?
The value of vintage golf clubs all comes down to supply and demand. The more rare the vintage club is, the more money it’s worth. Some clubs may be worth $5-$10, while other individual clubs have sold for 80,000!
So how much can your old or antique golf clubs fetch at auction? How much can you expect to pay and then sell them on for? What is the difference between common vintage golf clubs and rare vintage golf clubs?
Well, if you want answers for buying and selling golf collectibles, then you should keep reading this article.
We’ll shine a light on the dusty corners of golf club history, as well as giving you a general idea of what your golf clubs may be worth once they have been placed on the market.
What Is the Difference Between Common Golf Clubs And Rare Golf Clubs?
The difference between a common club and a vintage one is very simple – how many of them are there?
A common vintage golf club may look special (or old), but that doesn’t mean much.
Remember…”looks can be deceiving.”
I ran a par 3 golf course for 7 years. When I first signed a lease on the course, I found a bunch of old wood clubs back in one of the storage areas.
I thought I had stuck gold with these hickory shaft clubs. I could already envision the price that hickory golfers would pay to own one of these bad boys.
You can guess how my rags to riches story ended.
I quickly discovered that even though these wood clubs looked special, they were best used as a wall decoration. Finding a Pro V1 golf ball in the pond was worth almost as much as one of these “antique” clubs.
You should know that rare golf clubs only account for about 5% of all vintage golf clubs. When you see antique golf clubs selling for extraordinary prices, you can be sure that they fall into this small group.
That means the other 95% of older used golf clubs aren’t worth much at all. They can be a cool wall decoration at your lake house, but they aren’t going to help you pay off the mortgage at that lake house.
I don’t want to discourage you though. If you own or can find vintage golf clubs that are truly rare, there is money to be made.
So Which Old Golf Clubs are Worth Money? How to Value Old Golf Clubs.
This is the hundred thousand dollar question. How can you determine if your old fairway woods or irons actually have some value?
As we mentioned early, talking with an antique expert of club valuation specialist is going to give you the best indication of what your clubs are worth, but you can also do some groundwork on your own.
Here are some key factors to look for.
Old but Common Golf Club Attributes
- Chrome, nickel, stainless steel club head
- Dots, lines, hyphen markings on the club face
- Aluminum caps
- Common names or descriptors on the club (accurate, distance, superior, performance…these are all signs of mass production)
- Distances or stamps on the back of the clubhead
Rare Vintage Golf Club Attributes
- Wood club head
- Unusual clubhead shape
- Thick-necked wood clubs that have string whipping wrapped around them
- Deep groove wood shaft clubs
- Smooth face irons from brands you’ve never heard of
- Clubs marked “patent”
eBay is another good way to value your clubs. Look through current and past auctions to see if your make/model is listed.
If you find an exact match and there’s lots of competition, you may be the lucky owner of some valuable vintage golf equipment.
Keep in mind, a vintage club in good condition is probably worth more than a club that’s falling apart.
Also, an old putter often has more value than a fairway wood or irons.
Golf clubs that were made by the companies Army & Navy, Dunn, Forgan, Gray, White, Carrick and Anderson may be an indicator they you may have a rare club.
Where Can You Get Rare Golf Clubs Valued?
If you want to get rare golf clubs valued, your best bet would be a reputable antique appraiser. There are online options you can pursue for this service, or if you live in a populated area, you may be able to find someone local.
If you’re a golfer, your first instinct may be to turn to a golf shop for some insights. While Golf Galaxy, Dicks Sporting Goods, the PGA Tour Superstore and Global Golf are good at recommending the newest Callaway Golf iron set, they probably don’t have a staff member specializing in antiquities.
An experienced appraiser can look at your hickory golf clubs and provide real auction data and actionable insights.
There are also some great books focusing on antique golf clubs. Unfortunately, most of these books were published in the early 2000s.
Where to Sell Vintage Golf Clubs
The Golf Heritage Society offers premium classifieds.
eBay is another great option.
Why Should You Take Time To Value Your Old Clubs?
As I stated earlier, your older clubs probably fall into the category of old common clubs. That means, in spite of their appearance, they aren’t worth much.
If your clubs belonged to your father or grandfather, then they probably have more sentimental value than they do monetary value.
But then there’s the fun realm of possibilities…there’s always that 5% chance that you have some truly legendary vintage clubs. In that case, you’ll be glad you had those old clubs appraised.