Golf fans will have a unique opportunity to support the growth and development of the game around the world following the launch of a series of exclusive Champion Golfer memorabilia collections.
The Open Auction, a first for the UK golf market, features limited edition memorabilia from golf’s original championship and will enable fans to submit bids online for items which have been specially created for the auction website.
Inspired by Francesco Molinari’s win at the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie this year, the ‘Molinari Collection’ will be the first range of collectables to be launched on the new platform, and will include signed limited edition items which commemorate the Italian’s first ever victory in a major championship.
Further planned collections will mark the achievements of several past Open champions, including five-time winner Tom Watson and three-time winner Tiger Woods.
Molinari said: “Lifting the Claret Jug was a moment that I had always dreamed about as a young golfer, and it is now written into the history of this prestigious championship. It was thrilling to celebrate my victory with the tens of thousands of spectators, who created such a memorable atmosphere at Carnoustie, and I am pleased to be able to provide a selection of special mementos from that unforgettable week which will contribute to the future of the sport.”
All net proceeds from The Open Auction will be used to fund the R&A’s activities in golf development, governance of the sport and staging of world class amateur events as part of its commitment to invest £200m over the next ten years to grow and develop the sport around the world. This includes initiatives to increase participation in golf by people of all ages and abilities, including women, juniors and families, and investment in playing facilities and equipment, coaching programmes, golf events and projects to promote the health benefits of the sport.
Angela Howe, Director of the British Golf Museum in St Andrews, which boasts the largest collection of golf memorabilia in Europe, added: “The Open has produced so many compelling stories and memorable moments throughout its cherished history and the launch of the new player collections will provide golf fans with a fantastic opportunity to own their own piece of Championship history as well as supporting the growth and development of golf worldwide.”
The Open Auction will be supported by Pursuit 3 Group, which was also the official auction partner of the Winter Olympics in 2010, the Olympics in London 2012 and Rio 2016, the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and the Rugby World Cup in 2015.
Bids can be submitted online by visiting The Open Auction TheOpen.com/auction