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Tiger Woods' Backup Putter is the 'Golden Grail' of Golf Collectibles and It's For Sale

The red-dot Scotty Cameron is one of perhaps seven in the world and is in the summer event this month at Golden Age Golf Auctions.
This Tiger Woods backup putter is up for auction this month at Golden Age Golf Auctions.

This Tiger Woods backup putter is up for auction this month at Golden Age Golf Auctions.

Golf collector Ryan Carey of Golden Age Golf Auctions knows his stuff. So when he describes a Tiger Woods Scotty Cameron red-dot backup putter as the “golden grail” of golf collecting, take the over on how much it’s going to sell for when the timer runs out on Golden Age’s summer auction.

“The backups are more valuable than the putters he did use in his career,” Carey told Morning Read this week. “It has become the modern marquee piece of golf memorabilia. When people look back on this era, the red dot backup putter will be the golden grail of golf.”

Carey estimated there may be seven of these in the world. One of them can be yours for what likely will be a six-figure selling price in the summer auction that runs through Aug. 28 at Golden Age Golf Auctions. Bidding opened for the putter at $25,000. It was up to nearly $65,000 as of noon on Wednesday.

This is not the putter Woods used to win his majors. He's still got and uses that one. This is one of the backups Scotty Cameron made in 2002 for Woods that he never put into play.

This particular flatstick spent time in different private collections around the world before finding its way to this auction. It was sold in 2003 to a “Mr. Ogaki” and was held at various times in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. It sounds like there was a fair amount of cloak-and-dagger and anxious moments behind the scenes before it cleared customs just before this auction started.

“This is Babe Ruth’s bat. This is the Honus Wagner card,” said Carey, flagging a Honus Wagner card that sold for a staggering $6.6 million in an online auction several days ago. Carey said he thinks the Woods backup putter will sell for six figures in this auction and eventually go for more than a million.

It's not the only item up for auction in this sale. Go and check it out for yourself. Here's three more items that caught my eye. I am not a big-time collector, but there's a whole lot of items to bid on from the obscurely fun to the just plain weird.

Ray Floyd's Gold Ping Putter from 1982 Memphis Classic Victory

PING made this putter to commemorate Raymond Floyd's victory in Memphis. He won three times in 1982 and 22 times in his PGA Tour career.Golden Age Golf Auctions

PING made this putter to commemorate Raymond Floyd's victory in Memphis. He won three times in 1982 and 22 times in his PGA Tour career.
Golden Age Golf Auctions

The current high bid: $365

Why I'd Buy it: It's gold, man. You can have your dogecoin -- I'm sticking with gold. This would be an unbeatable momento to bring out on the course when you absolutely, positively need to make a putt and want help from a relic connected to Raymond Floyd, a hall-of-famer with one of most distinctive swings in the game.

Jack Nicklaus 1979 Venorlandus PSA 10

jack-nicklaus-1979-venorlandus-card

The current high bid: $133

Why I'd buy it: It's Jack. The art has a cool Super 70s Sorts kind of vibe. It's also a fun reminder of the year when Nicklaus didn't win a PGA Tour event for the first time in his career. That led Sports Illustrated to wonder why he was playing like a 'has been.' 

Ben Hogan's Five Lessons Deluxe First Edition

ben-hogan-five-lessons-first-edition

The current high bid: $100

Why I'd Buy it: I have a jones for Hogan stuff and this would satisfy it in a big way. I'd read this for the umpteenth time, convinced this was the time when I'd absorb enough of the master's wisdom to finally break 80. Or, at least never hit a hook again.