The National Golf Clubs’ Advisory Association (NGCAA) is urging golf clubs to check their display cabinets after a 140 year old ‘Philp Longnose‘ putter was recently sold for £70,000 at an Edinburgh golfing memorabilia auction.
Legendary four-time winner of the Open Championship, Tom Morris, originally used the putter in the 1870s. It had been sitting in a display cabinet at the North Manchester Golf Club in Middleton for more than sixty years.
Michael Shaw, NGCAA national secretary, said, “It makes you wonder how many other highly valuable golfing items are hidden away in dusty attics or sitting in faded cabinets in clubs across the country. The proceeds of the sale of some valuable old golf balls found in the back of a filing cabinet discovered when The Worcestershire Golf Club relocated to a new club house a few years ago provided a very nice windfall when sold by auction.
“The market for sporting memorabilia, particularly golfing memorabilia, is buoyant at the moment, as the sale of this putter proves. Many golf clubs will have no idea of the real value of items that have become so familiar over time that they hardly get a second glance.
“Clubs should make sure their burglar alarms and security systems are up to date. They should also check that paintings, trophies and any other historic items are insured at today’s market value. This may be much more they expect. If something valuable is discovered, it’s worth checking the legal ownership of it.”
Martin Nugent, insurance broker at UK and Ireland Insurance Services, agrees that too many clubs don‘t realise their valuables are at risk. “Golf clubs are just as vulnerable to deception, dishonesty, fraud, theft and natural events like fire, flooding and lightning strikes, as anywhere else.
“If a club owns valuable silver, tableware, paintings, sporting prints, memorabilia, trophies and similar treasures they should always be insured at current value by memorabilia specialists.”