We got her! The most iconic piece of modern golf memorabilia - Tiger Woods' personal red dot Scotty Cameron backup putter.
This putter has spent the past 18+ years in the Far East, the Middle East, and Europe. Then, just 2 days before this auction launched, we got word that golf's modern grail had cleared customs and was on its way to our warehouse.
This coveted early 2000s Tiger Woods backup putter has become the marquee modern golf collectible. There are only a handful of pieces of sports memorabilia that we can be relatively certain will be collected for centuries - Babe Ruth's bat; Muhammad Ali's gloves; Michael Jordan's shoes. When it comes to golf, there's one such item that we would add to the list above all others - Tiger Woods' red dot Scotty Cameron putter.
Offered here is one of Tiger Woods' actual Scotty Cameron Newport II putters from 2002 - produced by Scotty for Tiger himself at the height of Tiger's career. Now, this was not the putter that Tiger used to win 14 of his 15 Major Championships; that putter is still owned and frequently used by Tiger. Golden Age's Ryan Carey was interviewed in 2019 for a piece on the Golf Channel with Tiger, and Ryan valued that putter at $3 million-$5 million (note from Ryan: I was low; it's worth more than that now). The offered putter is what's famously known as a Tiger Woods "backup" - a putter produced for Tiger to practice with and experiment with should he decide to switch putters, or should something happen to the original putter and a backup needed to be called into duty. According to Scotty Cameron, he only produced 1 or 2 "backup" putters for Tiger each year they worked together. Tiger would often try out the backups, and even practice with them to ensure they were to his liking, but (so the legend goes) Tiger only used his one trusty gamer in actual tournament play. We spoke to one prominent Scotty Cameron collector who said it is his understanding that 7 or so genuine Tiger red dot "backups" exist, including the offered putter. When another well-regarded collector was asked whether a Tiger backup will sell for $1 million one day, his response was "100%."
As you can imagine, since only a small handful of Tiger Woods Scotty Cameron backup putters were ever produced, even fewer have left Tiger's orbit and reached the collector market. Surely any Tiger Woods putter is highly valuable, but offered here is an actual putter of Tiger's from 2002 - when Tiger's career was at its peak. The most recent Tiger Woods backup putter to reach the auction block was over a year ago when we sold a different one for $155,000. With the prices of high end memorabilia, increasingly seen as alternative investments, skyrocketing over the past year, that last sale price seems like a steal right now.
This putter comes with a very important piece of provenance - an early 2003 letter from Scotty Cameron using the exact words "This Putter was made as a Back Up for Tiger Woods." Bingo. A later Certificate from Scotty also confirms that it was "Made for Tiger Woods."
Letter of Provenance from Scotty Cameron
Certificate of Authenticity from Scotty Cameron