Sunday, August 12, 2012

Par For The Course

I think it really takes a special person to collect golf cards.  Specifically, collecting golf cards prior to the Tiger Woods era.  Let's face it, golf is not the most action-packed, exciting sport to watch or to even play for that matter.  It is most definitely one of the hardest sports to master.  If you are anything like me, you enjoy the game but it frustrates the crap out of you.  After about 8 or 9 holes, it essentially becomes just a day out of the office.

I'm no expert on the sport or for that matter, the golf sports card market.  But just based on my own observations, up until Tiger exploded onto the scene, it seemed golf cards were only for the hardcore fans because I know of no casual collectors.  I'm sure most collectors know or at least have seen pictures of the golf cards in the Goudy Sport King sets of the 1930s and the US Carmel set in 1932.  Some of those are iconic in the sports card world.  I believe the first recorded set of golf cards was a cigarette set from 1901.  But up until we had "personality" guys like Jack Nicklaus or Arnold Palmer, I don't really think golf had the attention that it does today.  

Since Tiger, there have been golf sets released on a fairly regular basis and the sport has taken a huge leap in popularity.  When you check the master checklist, there are now over 12,000 golf exclusive cards (meaning they came from a golf only set).  11,600 of those were since 1981.  Plus are numerous sets like Sport Kings, Allen & Ginter, and Goodwin Champions that regularly include golf subjects.  

But even still, there isn't the target audience in the card market like the other sports.  Golf takes a back seat (way back seat) to baseball, football, hockey, basketball, even NASCAR.  I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that most collector's out there probably either don't own a golf card or if they do, they probably could tell you every one of them.

Up until the Garage came into existence, I don't remember owning a single golf card, other than this one.  

I don't really remember how I got it but I'm sure it was in a trade.  But that card was long gone before I started blogging.  I think I remember trading this one away for some 1992 Upper Deck Baseball commons or something like that.  

While in the Garage, some golf cards surfaced that I figured I would share with everyone.  Including the one above, there were these.

The Chi Chi Pro Set along with the Ben Crenshaw were in a little folder marked by the Pro Set logo.  I can only assume this was some type of promotional giveaway or a prototype released to dealers.  The Tom Watson is a 1981 Donruss card.  When I looked it up, it is apparently considered his "rookie" card.

 And then there was this little box

Obviously the set is still sealed and I have no intention of opening it.  I am guessing the Pro Set cards above came out of this set.  Since it is blurry, there are 100 cards in this set which include 75 PGA Tour cards and 25 Senior Tour cards.  It also says "1 Collectible" on the bottom.  I'm not really sure what that means.

I guess you never know what you'll find in the Garage.


  1. Those Pro Set products from the 90's may have been way over produced... but I'm a huge fan of their simple set designs (especially the 1990 -Payne Stewart - design).

  2. Yeah something about that green border and his green shirt (and knowing he was probably wearing knee high green socks) is just cool.