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Gold victory medals, contestant badges and money clips highlight the sizable lot of Hale Irwin memorabilia up for auction

July 22, 2023

Hale Irwin's 1979 U.S. Open at Inverness contestant badge is among the items for sale.

Since 1872, the winner of the Open Championship has been awarded a gold medal to go with temporary possession of the claret jug for a year. The medal tradition quickly extended to golf tournaments around the world—and Hale Irwin spent four decades gathering his own documentary evidence. A handful of the gold medals Irwin won for some of his 80-plus victories are now up for auction as a part of a collection of the three-time U.S. Open champion’s memorabilia sale at The Golf Auction.

The medals range from the 14-karat one he earned for his first PGA Tour win at the 1971 Sea Pines Heritage Classic to a 10-karat one from the 2000 EMC Ka'anapali Classic on the PGA Tour Champions. Irwin’s U.S. Open medals aren’t up for sale, but senior major championships are represented in the auction by the one he earned for winning the 1999 Ford Senior Players Championship. Buying a medal certainly isn’t the same as winning it yourself, but the current bid for the Sea Pines one is less than $1,000—a bargain compared to what you would have to spend on lessons and green fees to try to get your game in order.

If jewelry isn’t quite your speed, a selection of gold-plated Scotty Cameron putters commemorating three of his PGA Tour Champions wins are also up for sale. Pulling the headcover off a gold Newport with “2002 The Ace Group Classic Winner” stamped across the face would instantly peg you as a player (or a mark) in your next money match.