If Tiger Woods wasn’t already the king of golf collectibles, he certainly is now.
The irons Woods used to win the “Tiger Slam” in 2000-01 sold for an incredible $5,156,162 at Golden Age Golf Auctions Sunday night, shattering the record for all golf memorabilia.
The winning bid was almost five times higher than expected for one of the most valuable pieces of golf memorabilia ever auctioned. The Titleist irons Woods used for much of his career was expected to top $1 million.
"Golf collecting has often lagged behind other sports. Not anymore," said Ryan Carey, owner of Golden Age.
"Tiger Woods is becoming his own collecting category, alongside other GOATs like Michael Jordan and Tom Brady," Carey said. "$5.15 million shatters the prior golf collecting record, and puts the Tiger Slam irons among the most valuable pieces of sports memorabilia in existence."
For the past 12 years, the set of irons had been owned by Houston businessman Todd Brock, who had bought the irons at auction in 2010. Brock purchased the irons from Golden Age, which persuaded him to put them back on the auction block.
In 2000, Woods won the last three major championships of the year, followed by The Masters in 2001, giving him four straight major victories and creating the Tiger Slam.
Seven weeks later, Titleist officials gave Woods a new set of irons at the Buick Classic at Westchester Country Club in New York. Woods decided to play with the new irons that weekend, while Titleist officials took the old set to the Titleist Tour Van to verify the specs of the new ones.
Tiger gave the old irons to Titleist VP of Player Promotions Steve Mata, who owned them before putting them up for auction in 2010.
“These irons have been in my office for 12 years, no one even knew I had them,” Brock said. “I am such a fan of Tiger Woods and I thought it was time for this collection to have wider exposure.”
The set includes 2-PW Titleist Forged irons and two custom Vokey wedges. The wedges are both stamped "TIGER." The 58-degree wedge is bent to 56 degrees and hand stamped "56*". The wear mark on the face of the 8 iron is otherworldly, showing where Tiger had struck the sweet spot thousands of times.