July 6, 2022

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Houston investor auctions off Tiger Woods ‘Grand Slam’ irons for $5 million

3 min read

Five-time Masters champion Tiger Woods returned to the famed Augusta National Golf Course this week to play his first competitive rounds since a roll-over car crash in Los Angeles last February shattered his right leg, leaving many to wonder if he’d ever swing a club again. 

So it seemed the perfect time for Todd Brock, a private equity investor from Houston, to put his collection of Tiger Woods’ Titleist 681-T irons up for auction. The set, which filled Woods’ bag during his run of four straight Grand Slam victories in 2000 and 2001—so-known as the “Tiger Slam”—went for a record $5,156,162 at Golden Age Auctions. This obliterated the record for golf memorabilia previously set when two-time Masters winner Horton Smith’s Green Jacket—the wearable trophy only champions have the honor of slipping on—went for $682,000 in 2013.

“I’ve had [Tiger’s irons] for 12 years now, and I haven’t told anybody that I owned them,” Brock told ESPN’s Tom VanHaaren. “They were in a really nice frame in my office and I’m not an investor in memorabilia, so nobody was seeing the irons. I’ve had the opportunity to see these for 12 years and it’s like a Rembrandt, where somebody takes it to their castle and it’s never seen again. I felt blessed that I got to hang out with them and look at them, but it’s time for somebody else to do something bigger and better with them.”

FILE - Tiger Woods, right, receiving his Masters green jacket from champion Vijay Singh, of Fiji, after winning the 2001 Masters at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., April 8, 2001. In a 25-person survey, this ranked as his third-most significant Masters title.
FILE – Tiger Woods, right, receiving his Masters green jacket from champion Vijay Singh, of Fiji, after winning the 2001 Masters at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., April 8, 2001. In a 25-person survey, this ranked as his third-most significant Masters title.DOUG MILLS/AP

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Seven weeks after completing his feat at the 2001 Masters, Woods handed the clubs to Titelist director of player promotions Rick Nelson and VP of player promotions Steve Mata to help dial the brand in a new set of irons they’d crafted for Woods ahead of the Buick Classic in New York. When he decided to put the new clubs in play that week, Mata took the old set home.

Brock, a self-described “Tiger Superfan” who seems to know a good investment when he sees one, secured the irons for a mere $57,242 in 2010 when Mata put them for auction. At the time Brock used a polygraph test submitted by Mata as well as photo comparisons to prove the clubs were authentic. Brock plans to donate the money made at auction to his family foundation.  

The price for all sports memorabilia has exploded in recent years, and golf has similarly increased no doubt due to the mass-market popularity of Tiger Woods. Golden Age previously sold two Masters trophies sold for more than $500,000 each, last summer Woods’ backup Scotty Cameron putter from 2002 sold for $393,300, and this week a ticket to the first 1934 Masters, won by Horton Smith, went for $600,000. 

Tiger’s clubs, considered a holy grail item by many in the golf world, opened at only $25,000 but eventually fielded 58 bids. No word on who won them, but we hope they have a solid swing. 



 

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