The Signature Golf Ball Collector’s Forum
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Why Signature Golf Ball Collecting?

Golf collecting includes many sub categories, such as, hickory shafted golf clubs, balls, books, tees, pencils, scorecards, ceramics, silver, art, programs, postcards, early golf magazines, and so many other categories. Signature golf ball collecting is one sub category of golf collecting, unlike many categories such as golf art, The Masters memorabilia, or golf antiques, the signature golf ball’s price range is very wide. With well over two thousand different signature golf balls made in the 20th century the diversity is wonderful and availability is high making it a fast growing hobby for many people. A recent online golf auction house sold a “Vardon Flyer” (the Harry Vardon signature ball) for $1298.35, and many other ball sell on eBay for only a few bucks, making the category attractive to many golf fans.

Collecting signature golf balls is more than just amassing sheer numbers of different balls, it gives the collector a starting point to explore the history of the game of golf. The signature golf ball has a history, the company who produced it, when it was in production, and the golfer who has their name on the ball. As you research the history of a single signature golf ball, you find not only, information on the player you also find out about how that golfer has influenced golf fans, golf equipment, and golf itself. You may even find a new favorite professional golfer.

The evolution of the golf ball can be seen through the history of signature golf balls. Featherie with the makes name marked on the leather of the late 1800s, the turn of the twentieth century gutty bramble patterned balls like the “Vardon Flyer.” Great Lakes Golf Company made the mesh pattern Tommy Armour golf balls in 1930 and Worthington sold dimple pattern covers of vulcanized latex starting in 1934. The 1940s saw MacGregor producing the Byron Nelsen signature golf ball and in the fifties, the Ben Hogan Brand was launched. The decade of peace, love, and harmony the sixties, with the invention of “DuPont Surlyn®,” ushered in the golf balls biggest leap since the gutty replaced the feather ball. The sixties could also be called “The Decade Signature Golf Ball” with players like Arnold palmer, Gary Player, Billy Casper, and Jack Nicklaus all having their names on millions of golf balls worldwide.

With signature golf balls made around the world, with endorsements of golfers from many different countries, the international appeal of collecting them is far reaching. With today’s high speed internet access, the global interest adds to the enjoyment of collecting and commutating with fellow collectors around the world. I personally have collecting contacts in all fifty states, Canada, England, Scotland, The Isle of Man, and Australia, showing the global attractiveness of the signature golf ball. 



Logo Signature Golf Balls

 A sub category of the Signature Golf Ball collecting is what I refer to as the “Logo Signature” ball. They will typically have a player, celebrity, or sports figure’s name and a logo that is somehow connected to them on the ball. Most will have a person’s charity event logo on them like the Ed “Too Tall” Jones Golf Classic golf ball.

 Professional golfers who also do golf course design will have balls with a number different courses logo i.e. Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Golf Club.

 Arnold Palmer’s umbrella falls into the personal logo, like Jack Nicklaus’ Golden Bear and John Daly’s Lion.

 A few golf balls have the distinction of having golfer’s endorsement and the logo of a product endorsed by the golfer. Arnold palmer’s Lincoln Mercury and Jack Nicklaus’ Chevrolet logo balls are some of the most sought after Signature Golf Ball.

 The Payne Stewart Memorial, the Arnold Palmer 50th year at The Masters, and the Spalding Moon Ball are examples of commemorative edition logo signature golf balls.

 The hard-core Signature ball collector may only conceder balls produced with the person’s endorsement as collectible, but my line is not as defined.

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