There is sports memorabilia. There’s rare sports memorabilia. And then there is the Elder Wand: Tiger Woods’ uber-famous Scotty Cameron Newport 2 putter. The sleek, Titleist blade putter that has been in Tiger’s bag for all-but-one of his 15 major championships. And now, it belongs to someone else.
Well, not exactly. Tiger is still the owner of the original Elder Wand. He still uses it in competition regularly, steadily wearing out the sweet spot on the gorgeous, cherry-plumb blade. But he is not the owner of every Elder Wand.
Even a piece of equipment as reliable as Tiger’s famed putter is not infallible. For years, Tiger has kept backups close in case of emergency. And over time, those backups have begun to leak out into the public sphere.
This weekend, the newest of those backups went up for sale through Golden Age Golf, an auction house for historic golf memorabilia. The putter is a mirror image of Tiger’s famed putter and originates back to Tiger’s 2002 season — the year after the “Tiger Slam.” According to Golden Age Golf, Scotty Cameron only produced one or two of these “backup” putters per year, and it is believed that only around a half-dozen of them exist.
According to Ryan Carey, the founder of Golden Age Golf, the price tag on the real Elder Wand is somewhere in the mutiple millions. But there’s a healthy market for the backups, too, as collectors first learned in late 2020. It was then, almost a year ago, when a similar backup Elder Wand sold for a little more than $155,000, a massive sum for a backup piece of equipment.
The latest Elder Wand carries a unique artifact with it: a letter from Scotty Cameron specifying the putter was built for Tiger Woods. It made its way to Golden Age Golf by way of the Middle East, where it lived for the last two decades. By the end of the week, bidding on the 2002 putter had already risen $115,000 … and there was still more than a day of bidding left.
When the dust settled, the final pricetag of golf’s most famous putter blew away any prior expectations. The final number: $393,300, believed to be the most ever spent on a golf club.
It’s unlikely this will be the last we see of the Elder Wand in the collectors market. And if the current trends in memorabilia continue, Golden Age Golf says we could see a putter in a similar ilk sell for upward of $1 million.
A pretty penny for a very pretty putter … even if the three-putts aren’t.