For Tiger Woods fans, it is the find of a lifetime - one of Tiger's actual used Scotty Cameron putters.
The putter sold at a charity action by former Buffalo Bills wide receiver Andre Reed. It turns out that Reed is good friends with Tiger, and they were neighbors at Isleworth, where they frequently played golf. Reed claimed that Tiger used the putter and personally gave it to him. Could it really be true?
Our consignor took a risk and purchased this "T.W." stamped circa 1997 Titleist Scotty Cameron TeI3 Newport putter from Andre Reed's charity auction. Then he mailed it to Scotty Cameron's studio to request their opinion.
Even in his wildest dreams, he was not expecting what happened next.
"Do you realize what you have here?"
Those were some of the first words our consignor heard when he received a call from Scotty Cameron's studio with Hank George and Scotty Cameron on speakerphone. It was then explained that as soon as Scotty examined this putter, he knew it was Tiger's gamer. Scotty remembered all about the custom shaft that Tiger required, and how Scotty had to make a custom over-the-hosel connection from the shaft to the putter head.
And then here is the kicker - Scotty Cameron wanted the putter back. What would it take for Scotty Cameron to get it back so that it could be displayed in his museum? It appears that even the man himself doesn't have a Tiger Woods gamer from 1997.
Our consignor politely declined Scotty Cameron's offer, and has decided to put this historic putter on the auction block.
Even casual golf fans know how selective Tiger Woods is with his gamers. Tiger used the same red dot Newport II for over 11 years, and still goes back to it on occasion. But back in 1996-early 1999, Tiger actually used a handful of other Scotty Cameron putters, and put at least a half dozen in play on the PGA Tour. To our knowledge, not a single one of those putters has ever reached public auction.
The collecting market is completely devoid of actual used putters of Tiger Woods, which is why even Tiger's untouched backups sell for such lofty sums (Green Jacket Auctions, April 2018 Auction, $44,401).
This circa 1997-1998 Titleist Scotty Cameron TeI3 Newport putter shows lots of use, and has a dent in the shaft. Our consignor inquired with Scotty Cameron about refinishing the putter, but was advised against it by Scotty Cameron himself.
Certificate of Authenticity from Scotty Cameron
Certificate of Provenance from Andre Reed
**UPDATE** Well, this putter certainly seems to be the talk of the collecting world, and it appears destined to shatter all of our records for page views. We are hearing a lot of speculation, on GolfWRX, on social media, via calls and emails, and elsewhere, that this putter was used in various tournaments on the PGA Tour in 1998-1999. This includes speculation that Tiger won on the PGA Tour with this putter at the 1998 BellSouth Classic, which would make it, we believe, only the 6th putter Tiger ever used in his 79 PGA Tour victories. Unfortunately, there is just no way that we can verify any of those claims in the short term (if ever). Scotty Cameron says that he does not keep track of Tiger's putters after they leave his studio. So even though we know this is one of Tiger's gamers, we are more than pleased to just leave it at that for now. This putter is exceptional, and will certainly be a highlight piece of any golf collection or museum for years to come.