Auction News

Will historic Masters prize sale set golf trophy records?


Sam Snead earned three Masters trophies. The first, won in 1949 at Augusta National course, is currently up for auction.

Its sellers believe the silver trophy, a model of the Augusta clubhouse, could realise over $1million. With five days left to secure it, the latest bid is at just over $100,000.

The 1949 Masters was historic.

Not only was it the first of Snead’s three wins, it was also the first time that the champion was awarded a green jacket.

Snead may be the greatest golfer of all time. Only Tiger Woods has won as many tournaments as he did.

Slammin’ Sam’s 135-title haul includes those Masters, an Open, and three PGA Championships. His career took in wins in six decades.

Sam Snead in 1967, still playing two decades after his historic first Masters win.

Masters trophies are extraordinarily rare. The official item handed to a tournament winner is the real thing, and more importantly, the only thing. No copies are made.

The trophy was first presented in 1993, since when it has been awarded to 23 winners. When the prize was introduced previous winners were given the opportunity to buy the trophy their achievement deserved.

No relatives or descendants were allowed to make a purchase, and only 9 champions bought them.

Sales of sports prizes often take place when former athletes need to realise money. It is unlikely that any modern golfer – certainly not one who has won the Masters – will find themselves in that situation.

Sellers Golden Age Auctions say: “Only a scant few Masters Tournament trophies have ever become available, and will ever become available. In the ensuing decades, perhaps 2 or 3 collectors in the world will ever have the chance to own an official Masters Tournament trophy.”

An unawarded trophy was sold in 2021 and made more than $500,000.

The trophy is 13.5″ wide by 6.5″ tall. It weighs 20 pounds. It is made of sterling silver on a wood base, and is engraved “Masters Tournament, Augusta National Golf Club, Sam Snead 1949, 282.”

It is unlikely the trophy will become the most expensive item of golf memorabilia ever sold. That distinction belongs the $5.2-million set of clubs said to be owned and used by Tiger Woods to complete the Tiger Slam of titles in 2001.

The Sam Snead Masters Trophy auction is open online now, until November 19, 2023.

Just Collecting