Guide to collecting golf ball markers

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Many people collect golf ball markers and the following information may help that relates specifically to 'commemorative' coin type ball markers. Older coin type ball markers produced by Golfdesign and Creative USA in the 1980s and 1990s are highly prized by collectors and attract high prices for the following reason.

Since the early 1980s Golfdesign USA and Creative USA produced hand painted coin type ball markers for the Majors and these were the 'official' items that were on sale at the events. These ball markers are still produced to this date and can be bought at the events as authorised memorabilia. In the late 1980s and 1990s these companies also produced 'commemorative' ball markers for the earlier years of the US Opens , USPGAs and Opens. Collecting complete sets of these ball markers became very popular indeed. These 'commemorative'  ball markers were 'originals' in design and not replicas of earlier designs - however they were certainly not made in the 1920s, 1930s etc.  All golf ball markers dated prior to 1952 are certainly 'commemoratives' as ball markers were not required as golf rules prior to this date did not allow for a golf ball to be lifted and cleaned on the putting surface. (Unless it lay within 6 inches of a competitors ball – see stymie rule)
In the 1990s the USGA (United States Golf Association) asked Golfdesign and Creative to stop making 'commemorative' ball markers of earlier events - issuing a threat of removing the license to continue to make ballmarkers for current US Opens / USPGAs. From that date ‘commemoratives have not been available and that what makes these ‘hand painted’ golf ball markers so collectible.

(One exception was in 2003 when the USGA allowed Golfdesign to issue a very limited number of magnamark commemorative sets to collectors who were members of the US and British Golf Collector's Societies  - with the strict instruction that these should not be offered for resale. As this request was not entirely honored then the USGA withdrew their permissions once again. 

Only a limited number of these 'commemorative' ball markers were made by Golfdesign and Creative in the 1980s and 1990s and are no longer available. That is why they are so collectable today.

I hope you find this information useful

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