The long-lost Green Jacket of Horton Smith—the first Masters Champion—has been sold at auction for nearly $700,000.
Smith, born in Springfield, Missouri in 1908, turned professional in 1926. His first professional win was the 1928 Oklahoma City Oopen. He won eight times in 1929.
He was a star on the early PGA professional circuit, topping the money list in 1936. In all, he won 32 PGA tour titles. His last win was in 1941.
Smith won two titles on the modern Majors list: the 1934 and 1936 Masters. He has gone down in history as the first Masters winner. He played in every Masters until his death in 1963 of Hodgkins Disease.
He also was the only golfer to defeat Bobby Jones in the Grand Slam Year of 1930, at the Savannah Open.
Following his professional career, Smith served as club pro at the Detroit Golf Club and as president of the PGA from 1952 – 1954.
Photo at left: Horton Smith (right) and Walter Hagen
Press release below
First Masters Tournament Champion’s Green Jacket Shatters Record Price Paid for Golf Memorabilia This Weekend by Fetching $682,229
1934 & 1936 Masters Champion Horton Smith’s Green Jacket was expected to sell for $100,000, then sets record price by selling for $682,229.
TAMPA, Florida, September 9, 2013 – Tear up the record books! The original Green Jacket awarded to the first-ever Masters Tournament Champion Horton Smith shocked the golf world by fetching almost $700,000 Sunday morning on GreenJacketAuctions.com. The $682,229 final bid is the highest price ever paid for a piece of golf memorabilia.
Last month, golf memorabilia auction house Green Jacket Auctions received a call that immediately sent shockwaves throughout the golf community.
“I think my family has something that people have been looking for,” the caller said.
Hanging in the back of the caller’s closet outside of Atlanta, Georgia was one of golf’s Holy Grails: the original Green Jacket from 1934 & 1936 Masters Champion Horton Smith. As it turns out, a distant relative of Horton Smith owned the jacket, which his family kept tucked away for many years, never knowing that the golf world was searching for it until recently.
The Masters Tournament began awarding Green Jackets to its Champions at the 1949 Masters when newly minted Champ Sam Snead and the 9 previous Masters Winners were first given their jackets. These so-called “Original 10” Green Jackets are among the most coveted pieces of modern golf history, the bulk of which are owned by Augusta National Golf Club or the World Golf Hall of Fame. But the Green Jacket awarded to the first Masters Champion, Horton Smith, had been “lost” for decades.
About the Auction
The Summer Golf Auction hosted by Green Jacket Auctions concluded on Sunday September 8, 2013. The auction featured 378 lots of rare golf memorabilia, which eclipsed the $1 million mark for the first time in the auction house’s 7 year history.
About Green Jacket Auctions, Inc.
Tampa, FL based Green Jacket Auctions, Inc. is the largest online golf antiques and memorabilia auction house in the world. It hosts quarterly auctions of rare golf memorabilia, which are participated in by collectors and institutions from around the world.