Skip to content

PBA Galleries tees off spring rare golf books sale April 13

Rarely found complete copy of ‘A Round of the Links,’ 20 finely etched plates of Scottish golf greens by John Smart, one of approximately 100 copies. Estimate: $5,000-$8,000. PBA Galleries image


SAN FRANCISCO – On Thursday, April 13, PBA Galleries will offer more than 500 lots of fine golf books and memorabilia, including many cornerstone works in the literature of golf. Of special interest are four of C.B. Clapcott’s important historical papers, rarely seen at auction. Absentee and Internet bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

Also included are a complete copy of John Smart’s collection of 20 etchings of Scottish golf courses (above), an 1868 edition of the Royal Blackheath Rules, several important early USGA Open programs, and many other rarely seen works. Works by Bernard Darwin, Bobby Jones, A.W. Tillinghast, Harold Hilton, John Behrend and other mainstays of any golf library appear in profusion, a number of the fine limited edition publications of Grant Books, in the special limitations, are also well represented.

Four lots of exceedingly rare C.B. Clapcott’s writings are up for auction. All are the self-produced typescript editions in the original stiff paper wrappers. The titles in the sale are: The Match Dinners of The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, 1744 to 1932 (est. $5,000-$8,000); The Early Days of The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers (1744 to 1764). Some Facts and Conclusions Relative Thereto (est. $4,000-$6,000); The Oldest Golf Club. ? (est. $4,000-$6,000); and The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers. Its Titles in the Past (1744-1948) (est. $4,000-$6,000).

Another highlight of the sale is A Round of the Links, 20 finely etched plates of Scottish golf greens by John Smart. One of approximately 100 copies, rarely found complete with many copies having been broken up for framing of the individual etchings (est. $5,000-$8,000). A rare volume by a committee that included the great Bobby Jones advocating the use of golf clubs as bird sanctuaries on behalf of the Audubon Societies (est. $3,000-$5,000).


‘Golf Clubs as Bird Sanctuaries,’ published by the National Association of Audubon Societies. Estimate: $3,000-$5,000). PBA Galleries image


The first mention of the game of golf in a printed book is in the Scottish Acts of 1566, banning play on Sunday. It was felt that that free time on a Sunday should be spent on shooting or archery because it fulfilled a military need (est. $3,000-$5,000).

Signed by more than 40 professional golfers, From Tee to Cup by the Four Masters (below) is illustrated with photographs and has signatures of Jack Nicklaus, Gene Sarazen, Byron Nelson, Gary Palmer, Arnold Palmer and many others (est. $2,500-$3,500).


‘From Tee to Cup by the Four Masters,’ signed by more than 40 professional golfers including Jack Nicklaus, Gene Sarazen, Byron Nelson and Arnold Palmer and many others. Estimate: $2,500-$3,500. PBA Galleries image


Also featured are two lots related to Walter Hagen. An experimental one-of-a- kind putter designed by and made for Hagen. The club is a brown sheath steel shafted putter with a special carved wooden head and a rounded face and is stamped “Walter Hagen” on top of the head (est. $2,000-$3,000). A photograph of Hagen taken and signed by George S. Pietzcker, the photographer responsible for many of the iconic images of the golfing greats of the early 20th century (est. $2,000-$3,000).


Photograph of Walter Hagen taken and signed by noted photographer George S. Pietzcker. Estimate: $2,000-$3,000. PBA Galleries image


The sale will begin at 11 a.m. Pacific Time (2 p.m. Eastern).

For more information, contact PBA at 415-989-2665 or


[av_button label=’View the fully illustrated catalog and bid on LiveAuctioneers.’ link=’manually,’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’medium’ position=’center’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=” av_uid=’av-p2iiau’]