Roger looked at the well-maintained, bright green jacket.
People had been hounding him for years to sell it. Current life events had made money more necessary. So, he let out a long, painful sigh and sent out the text message, “Okay, I’ll auction it.” The other side exploded with thrilled responses.
He sat in the back, looking at the buzzing bodies of the auction house and thought back on the day he had found it.
Roger wandered along the Toronto streets, enjoying the day and doing a bit of thrift store hunting. Little did he know something was waiting for him.
He casually pushed the flimsy hangers along the pole, cringing at the amount of tattered corduroy and ’80s designed blazers that were going for only a couple dollars.
A tacky biker’s jacket, a mis-racked windbreaker, and far too many denim-leather hybrids. But then … something bright green caught his eye. “It can’t be.”
Roger grabbed the jacket. His eyes immediately went for the left breast pocket.
If it was what his gut told him … He spotted the round black and green patch expertly sewn onto the outside. Inside a gold circle was an embroidered outline of the USA. Then, there was a little golf flag. “Oh my god,” he muttered.
To anyone else, it would have looked like a jacket for a colorblind golf fanatic.
Even the $5 price tag would have been too much for some people. But Roger was a golf fan and knew exactly what he was holding in his hands. Next, was to check the inside tag. His hands shook with anticipation.
“Damn,” he said, feeling the excitement fall a little.
Aside from the maker’s label, there should have been a second “treasure” – someone’s name. That would have been miraculous. But still, the jacket was still valuable. The question was … how did something like this end up in a thrift store?
The first step was to reach out to golf friends and a few “specialists” – all of them gaped at Roger’s find and begged to buy it.
He politely declined. He was a fan of the sport as well and having this in his home was amazing. However, the golf-collector’s world wouldn’t leave him alone.
For years, people hit him up, asking if he had changed his mind and was interested in selling.
And for years, his answer was no. However, life brought on difficult circumstances that made sentimental attachments impractical. He picked up the phone and gave the news he was going to finally put it up for auction.
A golf journalist from the UK was so confident that he was going to get it, he asked to hold onto it during the event, to make sure that nothing happened it to.
As the auctioneer announced the opening big of $5000, Roger let out a surprised huff. Not bad for a $5 investment. So what was the final bid?
The UK journalist indeed fought and won for the golf jacket for $139,349!
People politely clapped and Roger could finally let the escape go. It was painful to watch his beloved blazer leave in the hands of another, but at least that person would appreciate it. The question everyone asks is, “why that much?!”
First, the logo on the breast pocket is of the Augusta National Golf Club.
It’s one of the most exclusive and coveted places in the world for anyone who swings a club. It was founded by Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts and opened for play in 1932. But it wouldn’t be until 1949 that it became a prestigious tournament symbol.
Unlike other clubs (which run as non-profits), the Augusta is a for-profit club and does not release its working information.
How does the jacket factor into all of this. Well, first, anyone who is a member gets to wear one – but it’s strictly forbidden to wear one outside the club grounds. Why?
Only tournament Masters are allowed to don the bright green symbol outside the club grounds.
They also have their name stitched into the back label. To put this into further perspective, wearing one gives a considerable amount of clout. While people can come in and play, being a member is different. One difference is the membership fee.
It runs somewhere between $10,000 and $30,000 just to join (and get your blazer).
After that, you’re expected to pay an annual fee of around $10,000. Guests of course are welcome, but that wasn’t always the case when (not that long ago) some discriminatory rules were upheld.
Women weren’t allowed to play. Players could only be caucasian and caddies had to be black.
It was in 1990 that Ron Townsend was invited. In 2012, the club bowed to public opinion and pressure and finally allowed two women to play in the tournament.