The putter Arnold Palmer used to win the 1964 Masters sold at auction on the morning of Masters Sunday, 2017 for the phenomenal price of $97,691.
Palmer used the putter to win that Masters, his fourth green jacket and his seventh and final major overall, by six strokes. His nearest challengers included Dave Marr and a fella by the name of Jack Nicklaus. Palmer didn’t need to use the putter often that day — he only three-putted once the entire day — but he closed with a flourish, sinking a 20-footer to finish his bravura performance at -12.
The putter showed the characteristic marks of Palmer’s tinkering, with weights added and removed. Palmer indicated he had used the putter to win a dozen or so tournaments in the mid-1960s, because when you’re Arnold Palmer, such victories can tend to blend together.
“This particular putter is one that I used for two or three years in the middle 1960s, during which time I was fortunate enough to add some 12 or 13 tournament victories to my record, including the 1964 Masters Championship,” Palmer wrote in a letter donating the putter. “I’m not sure that I shouldn’t have kept this one and tried it again at the present time.”
Palmer donated the putter in 1980 to the New Plymouth Golf Club of New Zealand with the intent of raising awareness of youth golf. The club had used it as the trophy for its junior tournament, but determined that the club’s increased value, in the wake of Palmer’s death, meant both potential liability and potential opportunity. The club intends to use the funds raised from the sale to help revitalize its course.
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at email@example.com or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.