The Titleist 1 golf ball used by Tiger Woods when he scored his first professional hole-in-one has sold for a record breaking $186,000 at Heritage Auctions in Dallas, Texas.
Tiger hit his hole-in-one at the 1996 Great Milwaukee Open, using his 6 iron on the 188 yard par 3 14th hole, in the final round, on his way to finishing in a tied 60th place.
The Titleist 1 ball had been signed by Tiger in black sharpie and is being sold with a notarized letter of provenance provided by the vendor Bob Gustin.
"On September 1st, 1996, I attended the Greater Milwaukee Open golf tournament along with my fiancé Nancy Bolman, at that time, now my wife of 25 years, my wife's sister Diane Beck and her husband David Beck. We brought lawn chairs and set up behind the par 3 14th hole.
"Later in the day, Tiger Woods came to the tee box and hit a six iron into the hole for a 'hole in one.' When Tiger arrived at the green and pulled the ball from the hole, my brother-in-law, David Beck, yelled out to Tiger 'throw the ball out,' which he promptly did and right at us. Dave grabbed for the ball but it bounced off his hand and right into my lap.
"Being an avid collector, I wanted to try and get Tiger to sign the ball. I found a staff member that was able to get the ball to Tom Strong, the tournament director, who was able to get Tiger to sign the ball for me. I also saved the video from the evening news on a VCR tape. That video is still available online at PGA TOUR Video Tiger Woods hole in one 1996."
The $186,000 price comfortably beat the previous record price of $30,328, paid in April 2018 at Green Jacket Auctions, for the ball Tiger used to win the 2005 Masters.
That ball was tossed into the crowd by Tiger's caddie Steve Williams, with a surprised Tiger saying at the time "That will probably end up on eBay".
About your Author:
Adrian Roose has over 30 years’ experience covering all aspects of the rare stamp & memorabilia industry during which he has sold over £50m of unique items, helping build collections for Royalty, household name celebrities and 1,000s of collectors around the world.
Adrian was previously a Director at Stanley Gibbons, a Board Member of Stampex, and Executive Director of Paul Fraser Collectibles, PFC Auctions and JustCollecting, prior to founding The Memorabilia Club.