Summer Premier Auction 2015


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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 8/23/2015
Dwight David “Ike” Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States who served two terms as the nation’s Commander in Chief from 1953 to 1961. A native of Denison, Texas, Eisenhower was a five-star general in the U.S. Army during World War II and served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe. In 1951, he became the first supreme commander of NATO and was the last U.S. President to have been born in the 19th century.

It’s been reported that Eisenhower played nearly 900 rounds of golf during his Presidency, and his obsession with the game aided an explosion to golf's popularity during the 1950s. But as the story goes, for all of his association with golf – he even had a green installed on the White House lawn – Eisenhower never played a round in front of a gallery until May 26, 1964, when he participated in a Heart Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania charity golf match at the Merion Golf Club in Ardmore. His partner that day was none other than Arnold Palmer, golf’s reigning king, and thanks in large part to Eisenhower, the duo scored a 3-2 victory over the team of popular professional golfer Jimmy Demaret and Ray Bolger, the popular scarecrow from “The Wizard of Oz.” Despite the stars, the 73-year-old Eisenhower was the intriguing attraction. In the alternate shot format, Ike teed off first and cracked a 220-yard drive right down the middle. A 45-foot putt he holed for a birdie on the 17th hole was the icing on Ike’s cake.

Offered here is Eisenhower’s used custom golf bag and full set of specially engraved “General Ike” Spalding clubs that he used that day in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, and played with more than once at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, the home of the Masters Tournament. The clubs were designed by the great Bobby Jones who customized them with built-up grips for Ike’s arthritic hands. Eisenhower suffered from bursitis so Jones made sure to devise them with that in mind. The red leather golf bag stands 35” tall and has “General Ike” emblazoned across the front in white and includes four red leather head covers. The four Spalding Hydro sealed woods – 1, 2, 3 and 4 – are all registered and engraved “General Ike” with five stars on the bottom and serial numbered in red 1AAAAAA. The accompanying irons – 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 – and pitching and sand wedges are all similarly engraved on the back of the club heads with “General Ike” and the five stars. The black hosel of each iron is stamped in white with the serial number 1AAAAAA. Lastly, the 34” putter is an Acushnet Bulls Eye version with the name of its designer “John Reuter Jr.” engraved on the bottom.

According to the consignor, Newport Sports Museum Founder and Curator John Hamilton, these were the clubs Eisenhower used most often at Augusta. “When Ike died, Mamie [Ike’s wife] gave the clubs to a man from Augusta who had befriended Eisenhower. It’s my understanding that the man was subsequently killed in an automobile crash and that his widow needed money. I was contacted by a third-party and told about the situation. I bought the clubs with the following conditions: ‘All the clubs have to be there and I get to bring two of my friends to Augusta and play 18.’ We worked it out.”

Included in the bag is a vintage green-and-white Augusta umbrella specially embroidered in red with “Mr. President” across one of the green panels; a small red leather bag emblazoned with “General Ike” in white across the front, presumably used to carry range balls; a tan golf cap (size 21 ½) embroidered across the front with “Vote For Ike and Dick” recalling the days of the Eisenhower/Nixon administration; and a black-and-white license plate that simply reads: “I LIKE IKE,” which was Eisenhower’s often-used campaign slogan.

Includes Letter of Provenance from the Newport Sports Museum.

Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $15,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $121,122
Number Bids: 16
Auction closed on Sunday, August 23, 2015.
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