This October, the Golf Collectors Society’s annual trade show is coinciding with World Golf Hall of Fame’s ‘Celebration of Golf’
Jim Jeselnick of Chesterton, Indiana, is looking forward to Oct. 13-14 this year. Those are the dates of the 48th annual meeting and trade show of the Golf Collector’s Society (GCS), for which he is president – the 17th since the group’s founding in 1970.
“We’ll be at the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, Florida this year,” Jeselnick says, “and our big trade show will coincide with the hall of fame’s Celebration of Golf.”
The WGHoF is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year and the visit from the GCS is a happy confluence of golf heritage-minded collectors and golfers. For one thing, the annual meeting of the GCS is marked by just about every serious golf collector in the world and for good reason – it is the biggest such trade show of its kind in the world.
“We’ll greet collectors from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., China and many other corners of the world,” Jeselnick says.
“The GCS is the world’s first and largest international organization dedicated to preserving the treasures and traditions of the game of golf,” he added. “The society was founded in 1970 in Dayton, Ohio and currently has over 800 members.”
The Celebration of Golf is expected to attract several thousand people to the WGHoF on Saturday, Oct. 13. Those who visit the trade show will see an enormous variety of golf collectibles on display, from antique hickory golf clubs, to priceless ceramics, rare books and much more.
While the GCS will host its annual members’ meeting and a hickory golf outing, two other activities are open to the public. One is the trade show. The other is an auction of rare golf artifacts by PBA Galleries on Thursday, Oct. 11 in the Legends 2 meeting room of the World Golf Village. Included will be items from the personal collection of Dr. Michael Hurdzan, the noted golf architect (Erin Hills among others), as well as medals, trophies, artwork, and books.
(PBA, by the way, accepts absentee bids by mail, phone, fax, or email. Pre-registration is required at www.pbagalleries.com or by calling 866-999-7224.)
The annual GCS Trade Fair, scheduled for 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13 in the Village’s Grand ballroom, should be packed with dozens of tables brimming with rare, unusual, and just plain fun golf items for sale. Guests are encouraged to bring in their golf collectible items for a complimentary appraisal and to register for door prizes.
Also on the GCS agenda are two educational sessions on Friday morning following its annual members’ meeting. Dr. Tony Parker, WGHoF historian, is scheduled to present a history of the golf bag (in the early days clubs were carried by caddies under the arm). That will be followed by noted PGA instructor and golf collector Dr. Gary Wiren on the subject of collectible golf balls. Wiren has one of the world’s foremost collections of rare golf artifacts and he is an accomplished speaker.
Once the presentations and meetings are finished, GCS members will head to the Slammer and Squire golf course for their annual hickory golf tournament. Mashies and niblicks will be the order of the afternoon.
Later that evening, the Society’s annual banquet will feature a keynote talk from Deane Beman, former U.S. and British amateur champion and commissioner of the PGA tour for 20 years. Beman also helped start the Senior PGA, now called the Champions Tour, as well as The President’s Cup.
Icing on the cake for both golf collectors and the visiting public are scheduled events for the WGHoF’s Celebration of Golf weekend. Angela Ivy, director of marketing for the WGHoF, has announced that on Saturday the Hall of Fame will offer complimentary admission to its world class golf museum. Also planned are a hole-in-one contest, golf clinics, a demo day, children’s activities, and free afternoon golf for juniors on the Slammer and Squire golf course.
As Gary Player says in the popular television advertisements for the WGHoF, “You must come!”