A set of golf clubs purportedly used by Tiger Woods to win all four major golf championships in a row—called his “Tiger Slam”—sold for $5.16 million at auction Saturday evening, even though Woods once said they aren’t the same clubs he used to win the titles in 2000 and 2001.
Golden Age Golf Auctions says Woods used the Titleist golf clubs to win the last three majors of 2000 and then the Masters in 2001, which made him the first player in the modern era to hold all four titles at the same time.
The clubs are the most expensive golf memorabilia to ever sell at auction, beating out the previous record of $682,000 in 2013 for the green jacket gifted to Horton Smith at Augusta after he won the first Masters tournament in 1934.
The clubs were sold by Texas businessman Todd Brock, who bought them for only $57,242 in 2010 and displayed them in his office in Houston, according to the auction house.
According to the auction house, Woods gave the clubs to Steve Mata, Titleist’s vice president of player promotions, less than two months after winning the 2001 Masters when Mata delivered a new set of irons and wedges to Woods. But in 2010, when the clubs were first up for auction, Woods told reporters it wasn’t the right set, and that the real “Tiger Slam” clubs were actually still in his garage (Woods’ team declined to comment after a Forbes request). Golden Age Golf Auction—which also facilitated the 2010 sale—says the golf clubs are authentic, citing a 2010 affidavit from Mata and the results of a polygraph test he took, a Golfweek magazine article from 2000 that matched specs of the clubs and a 2020 statement from from former Titleist Director Rick Nelson, who says he was there when Woods gave Mata the clubs.
$1.7 billion. That’s how much Woods has earned over the course of his 26-year career, according to a Forbes estimate. About $121 million of that is prize money, which he’s won more of than any other professional golfer in history.
Tiger Woods is currently competing in the Masters, his first golf tournament since he was severely injured in a car accident last year. Woods posted a strong opening round on Thursday, but on Saturday he shot a 78, the worst Masters round of his career. He told reporters that his back—which has been operated on five times—was “not as limber and as loose as it normally is.”
This week, the daughter of soccer legend Diego Maradona claimed a jersey that’s expected to fetch more than $5.2 million at auction is not the one her father wore when he scored his infamous “Hand of God” goal during the 1986 World Cup quarter final against England, as auction house Sotheby’s claims. Dalma Maradona said the shirt up for auction is the one he wore during the game’s first half, when no goals were scored, and that her father switched his jersey at halftime because it was too hot in Mexico City, where the tournament was held that year. Sotheby’s acknowledged in a statement to Forbes that Maradona did wear two different shirts during the match, but maintained that the jersey it is selling was proven to be authentic.
Inside Tiger Woods’ $1.7 Billion Career (Forbes)
Diego Maradona’s Daughter Casts Doubt On Authenticity Of ‘Hand Of God’ Jersey Up For Auction (Forbes)
Golf Clubs Claimed To Have Been Used For ‘Tiger Slam’ Up For Auction—But Woods Has Denied They’re The Right Ones (Forbes)