Wednesday, December 12, 2007


If you are a golf club enthusiast and like to collect old golf clubs, you may be sitting on a huge profit. The St Pete Times in Florida profiles Ron Burnham, a golf club collector, who found an amazing find in a thrift store. He bought an original Model 1A Ping putter, circa 1959-1961, for $3. It is appraised for $2000. That a 66666.66% ROI!

Here are the details:

Burnham, a 69-year-old golf professional, found it a few weeks ago while browsing through a thrift store - he won't say which one - in Pasco County. He couldn't believe his good fortune when he saw it. He took it home for only $3.

"You wonder what happened here, how someone could do this," Burnham said. "But you never know."

What makes the 1A model club so special? It was among the first putters made by legendary Ping founder Karsten Solheim before he moved his operations from California to Arizona.

Solheim started Ping after working for years at General Electric.

Rob Griffin, a historian at Ping for 20 years, said this is the model of putter that rings when you strike a ball - that's how the company got its name. The company still offers the model, although it has been modified.

Griffin said a club like the one Burnham bought likely cost around $17.50 when it was first produced in Redwood City, Calif. The club was released anywhere from 1959 to 1961, he said.

Right now, Griffin said, the Ping Scottsdale Anser putter is among the most valuable.

"As time goes on, the Redwood City putters are probably going to continue to rise in value," Griffin said.

That last part is key. It will likely increase in value over time. And this is probably true for a lot of older, classic clubs. To think that my backup retirement fund consists of my baseball card collection...

No comments: