How much would you pay for piece of golf history? That's the question GreenJacketAuctions.com hopes to answer in the coming weeks, after the auction house listed a full set of MacGregor irons Ben Hogan used during the 1953 season that saw him win all five official events he entered, including the Masters, U.S. Open and British Open.
According to the auction house's website, only three Ben Hogan-used MacGregor sets exist. Two of those sets were used during the 1953 season -- the other set is owned by the USGA -- which happens to be the same year Hogan started the Ben Hogan Golf Company and stopped using MacGregor irons.
While the USGA believes its set was used by Hogan to win the 1953 U.S. Open., Green Jacket Auctions noticed something about the USGA's mixed set during a recent visit to the USGA's museum in Far Hill, N.J., where the irons are currently housed.
We were most interested in the USGA Museum set, as it also dates to the 1953 Season. According to the USGA Museum, that barely-played set was used by Hogan to win the 1953 U.S. Open. The USGA recently granted us access to their 1953 U.S. Open set, which is displayed in the Ben Hogan Room at the USGA Museum in Far Hills, N.J.
So what happened when we closely inspected the USGA Museum set? Well, let's just say that we were in for the shock of our collecting lives!
The USGA Museum set of Ben Hogan irons attributed to the 1953 U.S. Open was actually a partially mixed set - it was missing the original 9 iron that matched the rest of the set (Ben Hogan Personal Model 1037). Well, guess where that 9-iron resides? YES! - the missing 9 iron from the USGA Museum set is in our possession and is included with our set of Ben Hogan's 1953 irons.
The irons up for auction were previously owned by former PGA TOUR player Jimmy Powell and have a current bid of $7,320. According to Golf Digest, Ryan Carey, one Green Jacket Auctions' co-founders, said the irons are expected to go for upwards of $50,000.