The Masters trophy Sam Snead won in 1954 after the epic playoff with Ben Hogan. The claret jug when Snead won his only British Open at St. Andrews. The gold medal for the 1942 PGA Championship, the first of his seven major championships.
Those are among 14 lots from the Sam Snead Collection that will be the centerpiece of Heritage Auctions' offerings next month in Chicago.
"We consider it the most significant golf collection that's ever been offered,'' said Chris Ivy, director of sports at Heritage Auctions.
Snead, who died in 2002, was the most prolific winner in PGA Tour history with 82 victories. Jack Snead, his son, said the trophies and memorabilia for years have been displayed at The Greenbrier Resort, the restaurant chain called Sam Snead's Taverns, the occasional museum and at home in Hot Springs, Va.
This is the first time the items have been offered at auction.
"We've been thinking about this, trying to decide what to do because our company has so much stuff,'' Jack Snead said Tuesday. "We just thought maybe it was time to share it with golf fans and historians. We've had most all of dad's trophies on display at The Greenbrier [where Snead served as club pro emeritus] over the last 16 or 20 years. I don't know. I'm not too keen with museums. We've had some weird experiences with museums when we've loaned things out.
"We're going to have tons of stuff we'll maintain ourselves,'' he said. "The rest we'll let it go out and see what happens.''
The first offering will be Aug. 1-2 in what Heritage calls "Platinum Night Sports Auction'' at the Muvico Theater in Rosemont, Ill. The online bidding began Wednesday night.
Two other auctions involving the Snead Collection are planned for the fall and next spring.
The Masters' trophy and silver claret jug are each expected to bring in $100,000 or more. Ivy estimated the entire collection will get several million dollars. "A collection of this magnitude hasn't been offered before,'' he said.