Golden Age Golf Auctions was formed in early 2006 by prominent golf collectors Ryan Carey and Bob Zafian because of the difficulty in buying and selling quality, rare golf memorabilia in the United States. At a time when auction houses were routinely setting record prices for sports memorabilia, golf memorabilia had been left to the wayside.
For the golf collector, this meant scouring baseball-heavy auction catalogs in the hope of finding a handful of golf items up for auction. The added fact that these golf lots often contained inaccurate or misleading information led to much frustration to golf collectors. After its first auction in the summer of 2006, Golden Age Golf Auctions quickly became the place to find authentic golf antiques and golf memorabilia. It's now a few years later, and Golden Age Golf Auctions has never looked back.
The reputation of Golden Age Golf Auctions and its two principals, Ryan Carey and Bob Zafian, has enabled the company to do business with a "who's who" of golfing elite. Golden Age Golf Auctions has bought, sold and appraised golf memorabilia for PGA Tour stars, Major Championship winners, golf museums, famous golf clubs, and celebrities. Its auctions have been discussed on The Golf Channel, and have been mentioned in periodicals such as Sports Collectors Digest and Golf International Magazine.
This reputation, and resulting exposure, has enabled Golden Age Golf Auctions to sell golf memorabilia to collectors all across the globe - 13 different countries at last count. Due to increased demand from collectors, Golden Age Golf Auctions officially launched its Authentication services in 2008 and golf collection Appraisal services in 2009. After initially authenticating and appraising primarily golf autographs, Golden Age Golf Auctions has more recently been enlisted to assist with large collections of both individuals and institutions.
1935 Masters Program Sold for $9,156 at the Fall 2009 Auction.
The guys behind Golden Age Golf Auctions
A practicing attorney by trade, Ryan has always had a true passion for all things golf. A few years ago, when searching the globe for rare golf memorabilia, it became abundantly clear that more needed to be done for the golf memorabilia industry. After brainstorming with another widely-regarded expert in golf memorabilia, Bob Zafian, Golden Age Golf Auctions was born.
Ryan was a contributing author of the 2006 GilChrist's Guide to Golf Collectibles. His expertise and knowledge of areas such as Masters history and memorabilia has been extensively quoted by newspapers, magazines and sports websites; his personal favorite being his substantial involvement in the cover story on Masters Green Jackets in Golf International Magazine's 2008 Masters Preview Issue. Ryan's golf memorabilia expertise spans an array of categories, including Masters Tournament memorabilia, golf flags, antique golf clubs and balls.
A true pioneer in the golf memorabilia industry, Bob’s collecting interests actually started with baseball. In 1978, Bob went to work for Roy White, then outfielder for the New York Yankees. This provided him with invaluable personal connections with many great athletes, including Thurman Munson, Reggie Jackson and others. Over the next couple decades, Bob’s collecting interest grew, and he sought-out and obtained thousands of autographs at sporting events, rock concerts, charity functions and, most notably, golf tournaments.
It was during this time that Bob became widely-known throughout collecting circles; if you wanted an autograph that was hard to find, and wanted to be sure that it was authentic, Bob was the first call to make. This fact was never more apparent than when he was enlisted to help sell one of the most famous pieces of Rock and Roll memorabilia in existence – “The John Lennon Album”. The John Lennon Album was the album that the Beatles legend autographed for would-be killer Mark David Chapman earlier on the same evening of that historic murder.
The album fetched a whopping $460,000 – a record price that has never been topped and likely never will. During the last 20 years, Bob’s personal and professional focus has been on golf autographs and golf memorabilia. He has personally amassed one of the largest golf autograph collections in existence. Impressed with this extensive knowledge of golf autographs, leading authenticator PSA/DNA asked Bob to come on board in 2007 as a consultant/authenticator strictly handling golf autographs. He remains in that capacity as golf autograph authenticator today.