The strength of Sam Snead’s enduring legacy continues to be showcased in auctions, as his 1949 Masters Championship Trophy realized $143,400 in Heritage Auctions’ inaugural Golf Catalog Auction, Dec. 6-7, in Dallas.
“Clearly the name ‘Sam Snead’ continues to carry enormous weight in the sport of golf,” said Chris Ivy, director of Sports Auctions at Heritage, of the bidder reaction to The Sam Snead Collection. “Our marketing team did a marvelous job of bringing new bidders into the process, but most of the success is a tribute to Snead’s iconic status in American sport.”
The spoils of Snead’s many professional victories took top lot honors, with four lots soaring into six-figure territory – rarified air for artifacts from the links. In addition to the Masters Trophy, awarded for the legend’s first of three Masters Tournament Championships, Snead’s 1969 Ryder Cup Trophy sold for $131,450. Rounding out the quartet were Snead’s 1946 British Open Championship medal and 1949 PGA Championship Wanamaker Trophy, each commanding a hefty $101,575.
While the contents of Snead’s trophy case dominated the leaderboard of the event, a few intriguing offerings managed to break the Top 20, notably a hoard of 3,545 signed personal checks for $34,058 and the sand wedge used to beat Ben Hogan in the famous 1954 Masters playoff round for $26,290.
The auction’s second day featured rare and important golf collectibles that did not derive from The Sam Snead Collection, a grouping once again dominated by Championship hardware.
Top honors were claimed by Hall of Fame golfer “Long Jim” Barnes, whose 1921 U.S. Open Gold Medal realized $44,813. This Golden Age of American sport likewise supplied the second-place finisher of Session II, the 1920 U.S. Open Amateur Championship Gold Medal claimed by Charles “Chick” Evans. This early rarity saw the hammer fall at $33,460.
Other auction highlights include:
- Snead’s 1951 Ryder Cup Captain's Trophy, which sold nearly three times its estimate to end at $83,650.
- The Masters Championship Gold Medal Won by Snead in 1954, which sold for $53,775 following interest from six bidders.
- The 1960 inaugural Masters Par-3 Championship Trophy Tea Set won by Sam Snead at the first tournament brought $50,787.
- A 1951/1959/1969 Ryder Cup Captain's Ring presented to Sam Snead doubled its estimate to close at $41,825.