The putter Sam Snead used to win the 1946 British Open, his first and only British Open victory, and a set of 12 clubs belonging to President Dwight D. Eisenhower have sold as part of Heritage Auctions’ Sports Collectibles Golf Catalog.
Snead’s putter (above) sold for $31,825. According to a letter signed by Slammin’ Sammy on November 12, 1993, the club was purchased in the R&A golf shop in 1946 after Snead learned that St. Andrews did not allow center-shafted putters like the Bulls-Eye he planned to use. In historic fashion, Snead went on to win the British Open using the putter, a Thomas Stewart Gobbler model that was handmade in Scotland.
Eisenhower’s clubs, a set of four woods and eight irons (below), sold for $41,825. Heritage Auctions initially purchased them from the family of Gene Stout, formerly the head pro at Augusta National who taught Eisenhower during his presidency. Each Spalding club is imprinted with Eisenhower’s signature, along with that of Bobby Jones, who endorsed the set.
Many other Snead items were sold during the auction, including his 1942 Wanamaker Trophy ($143,400), 1952 Masters Trophy ($113,525), the 1939 Ryder Cup Captain’s Trophy ($31,070) and several medals commemorating victories and runner-up finishes.
The driver Snead used to win more than 100 tournaments between 1936 and 1953 was up for auction, but did not sell. The minimum bid was $250,000.