Here it is - perhaps the single most iconic piece of modern golf memorabilia - Tiger Woods' personal red dot Scotty Cameron backup putter.
This coveted 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 circa 2005 - produced for Tiger in the prime of his career. Now, this was not the putter that Tiger used to win 14 of his 15 Major Championships; that putter is still owned and still 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, and that was before collectibles started being appreciated as a legitimate alternative asset class. It's worth more than that now - probably over $10 million"). The offered putter is what's famously known as a Tiger Woods "backup" - a putter produced for Tiger modeled after Tiger's legendary gamer should a backup need 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. Last year we asked one of the industry's top collectors 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. The most recent Tiger Woods backup putter to reach the auction block was over a year ago when we sold a different one for $393,300. After that record sale, you may wonder how many more have surfaced and sold publicly by us or anyone else in the world? Zero.
With the prices of high end memorabilia, increasingly seen as alternative investments, skyrocketing over the past year, that last sale price seems like a bargain right now. And will almost certainly seem so in years to come.
When it comes to Tiger Woods backup putters, the dream is to somehow put that putter into Tiger Woods' hands - almost always an impossible feat. Well, we know that the offered putter was handled by Tiger Woods himself - as Tiger beautifully autographed the face. Then, on October 1, 2005, Tiger auctioned this putter at a fundraiser called The Tiger Woods Learning Center Block Party, which was held at The Grove in Anaheim. The event raised money for the foundation's first TGR Learning Lab campus. Our consignor's parents were early supporters of Tiger's charities. They attended that 2005 event at The Grove in Anaheim, CA, and being transfixed by Tiger Woods up on stage and in the giving spirit, our consignor's father kept outbidding anyone who bid against him for this legendary putter when Tiger Woods put it up for auction. The putter was then put into a shadowbox, where it has lived for the past 17 years until it finally surfaces again in this auction.
Certificate of Authenticity from Scotty Cameron