Rory McIlroy’s rise to the top of his sport has been astronomical in recent years and his commercial appeal has followed him skyward.
In 2013 the Northern Irishman signed a huge deal with Nike apparently worth $10 million a year according to Forbes. Add that onto the $4.3 million he has already earned through career wins (as of June 2014), then it doesn’t take a genius to work out that the 25-year-old is a very rich man.
Tiger Woods’s wealth is also very well documented and he still golf’s highest earner on the circuit.
With all these millions being hurled left, right and centre, golf is one of the most lucrative sports in the world. It is little wonder, then, it tends to also be a leisure pursuit for those hardly short of some spare cash.
While amateurs may not have these mega contracts to provide them with the latest hi-tech equipment and fashion, they can at least fill their bags with the same clubs as the pros, if prepared to stump up the money.
But, if someone has bottomless pockets, they could assemble a set of custom clubs that even the professionals would struggle to get their hands on. Here are some examples.
Andrew Dickson Long-Nosed Putter - $181,000
Bought at auction by American golf enthusiast Jeffery B Ellis, the antique was made of wood in the 1800s. Whether the club is in the correct condition to play is unknown, but Ellis would probably be hoping it will be having coughed up a ridiculous amount for it.
Square Toe Light Iron Golf Club - $151,000
Apparently there aren’t many antique golf clubs left in the world – less than a dozen to be precise. This club was made in the 1600s with a square toe (hence the name) and again was auctioned.
Barth & Sons Golden Putter First Lady Special Edition - $150,000
The First Lady Special Edition comes in at a cool $150,000, thanks to its 24-carat gold shaft and crystal inlays.
If this specialised club is a bit too pricey, then the regular putter is a mere $3000.
Long-Nosed Scraped Golf Club - $91,000
This was another club made available during a 2007 auction. The club was billed as a long-nosed scraper and dated back to the 18th century. Despite its age, the club was still in top notch condition and sold for a handsome price.
Titleist Scotty Cameron Tiger Woods Stainless Masters Winner Limited Edition - $20,000
Made of pure metal material, this is the very putter Tiger Woods used during his golden era almost 15 years ago – an era where he won 17 majors. This is a very limited edition of the more modern Titleist club and worth a huge sum.
So a note to any aspiring golfers: ensure that you can afford to play the game. If you can afford to splash £100,000+ and purchase yourself a golden-shafted Barth & Sons putter, then by all means knock yourself out.