And finally…Feather-filled golf ball sells for £6250 at St Andrews auction

Image courtesy of the Eden Club.
Image courtesy of the Eden Club.

As British Open golfers get underway at St Andrews today, it was birdies of a more literal sort that produced an early windfall at the ‘Home of Golf’ last night.

The sale of a 19th century feather-filled golf ball turned out to be the first big money haul in a week that will see the famous tournament’s winner take home £1 million for the first time after the tatty-looking sphere fetched a staggering £6250 at an auction in the Fife town.

The ball was one of 37 lots in an exclusive Lyon & Turnbull auction at luxury private members establishment, the Eden Club, on the night prior to the major’s big tee-off this morning.

It was made by William Gourlay around the year 1830 and was originally part of a collection belonging to The Royal Perth Golfing Society.

In the 19th century the Gourlay family achieved an unrivalled reputation as feathery ball makers.

They also moved down to Musselburgh in the 1840s when McEwans the club makers set up there.

Among the lots, a rare Royal Dublin Golf Club Irish Open medal, won by Andra Kirkaldy in 1894, sold for £11,250.

An unmarked leather golf ball sold for £2,000 and a 19th century water colour of the Old Course, St Andrews sold for £1,187.

Paul Roberts, vice chairman of Lyon & Turnbull, said “There was a great deal of interest in the medal which is considered to be the 1st Irish Open Championship medal ever awarded.

“We took the specialist golf sale to Fife and The Eden Club to coincide with The Open Championship. One hundred specially invited guests attended the auction and there was considerable interest from telephone and online bidders across the globe.”