The R&A has announced the launch of series of exclusive Champion Golfer memorabilia collections that golf fans around the world will be able to bid on.
The Open Auction, a first for the UK golf market, features limited edition memorabilia from golf’s original championship and will enable fans to submit bids online for items which have been specially created for the auction website.
Inspired by Francesco Molinari’s historic win at Carnoustie this year, the ‘Molinari Collection’ will be the first range of collectables to be launched on the new platform and will include signed limited edition items which commemorate the Italian’s first major victory.
Further planned collections will mark the world-renowned achievements of several champion golfers, including Open ambassador and five-time winner Tom Watson, as well as three-time Open champ Tiger Woods.
“Lifting the famous Claret Jug was a moment I had always dreamed about as a young golfer and it is now written into the esteemed history of this prestigious championship,” said Molinari.
“It was thrilling to celebrate my victory with the tens of thousands of spectators who created such a memorable atmosphere at Carnoustie and I am pleased to be able to provide a selection of special mementos from that unforgettable week which will contribute to the future of the sport.”
All net proceeds from The Open Auction will be used to fund the R&A’s activities in golf development, governance of the sport and staging of world class amateur events as part of its commitment to invest £200m over the next ten years to grow and develop the sport around the world.
This includes initiatives to increase participation in golf by people of all ages and abilities, as well as investment in playing facilities and equipment, coaching programmes, golf events and projects to promote the health benefits of the sport.
Angela Howe, Director of the British Golf Museum in St Andrews, which boasts the largest collection of golf memorabilia in Europe, added: “The Open has produced so many compelling stories and memorable moments throughout its cherished history and the launch of the new player collections will provide golf fans with a fantastic opportunity to own their own piece of championship history as well as supporting the growth and development of golf worldwide.”
To find out more – or to start bidding – log-on to TheOpen.com/auction