The elusiveness of Arnold Palmer's personal golf clubs is the subject of much frustration for advanced collectors. Unlike virtually every golfer in history, Arnold Palmer kept nearly every golf club he ever used. Palmer began doing this rather early in his career, and amassed a personal collection of over 10,000 golf clubs! In doing so, however, Arnold Palmer has created an insatiable demand for his clubs among collectors. Sure, every now and again, a Palmer-used club from his Senior days may become available at auction, but clubs from the 1960s are virtually unheard of. In this auction, we have the extreme privilege of selling Arnold Palmer's early 1960s irons (in lot 8), and the early 1960s putter in this lot.
Presented here is an actual putter of Arnold Palmer's from the early 1960s, when Palmer was still a Wilson staff member (he left to start playing his own line of clubs in 1964). Palmer originally sold this putter and a set of irons "for a friendly price" to fellow professional golfer and good friend Walker Inman, Jr. at an exhibition match in 1963. Even though Wilson no longer has its records from that period, a Wilson historian believes that this putter would have been produced for Palmer in late 1961 or early 1962.
Back in 2011, Golden Age's own Ryan Carey brought this putter to Mr. Palmer's office at Bay Hill, where they discussed the putter. Mr. Palmer handled the putter like he was greeting a long lost friend. Among other things, Mr. Palmer pointed out the marks on the hosel from when he used vice grips to lessen the offset of the putter.
This early 1960s Wilson "Designed by Arnold Palmer" putter is autographed by Arnold Palmer on the face.
Letter of Authenticity from James Spence Authentication (JSA)
Letter of Authenticity from Golden Age Auctions