Golf Ball Markers Collectors Guide 2024

Golf Ball Marker Collection
Golf Ball Marker Collection

Golf ball markers are collectable memories! Collectors often keep there ball marker from a special round – perhaps breaking ninety or even eighty? Or they can be souvenirs of those special golf courses you have visited.

Maybe you found a unique vintage design marker that started your collection. Or, you started with a limited-edition golf ball marker from your favorite team, band, or even college.

Quick to Read

  • Every Golf Ball Marker tells a Story.
  • Markers are personal memories from victories on local courses to attending unforgettable Golf Majors.
  • Golf Ball Markers can also be hunts for valuable limited editions, or luxury versions such as those made from a Rolex!
  • Make sure you keep precious golf ball markers safe, and also on display!

History of Golf Ball Markers – the Stymie Rule

Did you know there were no Golf Ball Makers until 1952 because of the ‘Stymie rule’!
This amazing rule actually allowed golfers to compete head-to-head as Golf players could actually ‘defend’ a hole!

“On the putting green, if two players’ balls were more than six inches apart, there was no provision for the ball nearer the hole to be lifted.   If that ball lay directly in the way to the hole of the ball to be played then the player was ‘stymied.'”.

Did you know the Putting Green was only introduced in 1812 and only defined in 1875

In the early days, golfers often used random objects like coins or pebbles to mark their ball positions on the greens. 

As golf grew, it became more commercial, and companies thought they could be tiny billboards for their brands. These markers then turned from functional pieces into collector’s items, with enthusiasts looking for markers from famous courses, tournaments, or ones featuring unique designs. Clubs and events started creating custom ball markers as memorabilia for participants or souvenirs.

Types of Golf Ball Markers

What is a Golf Ball Marker?

Golf ball markers can be made from just about anything as long as they are ‘artificial and a small piece of equipment’!

Strangely, they cannot be twigs, stones, but a can of beer is ok!
See why in my Golf Ball Marker Guide.

Collecting Golf Ball Markers

Have you ever picked up a golf ball marker at a course and thought, “This could be the start of a hobby”?

Why Collect Golf ball markers? Each marker has its own story, whether it’s from an iconic golf course or a major championship. They can be :

  • Mementos of Golf Courses
  • Souvenirs of visiting Golf Major tournaments
  • A show of affection & loyalty for your favorite team or band

Starting Your Collection Getting started is simple. You can acquire markers from:

See my article on Custom Golf Ball Markers here.

Golf Ball Marker’s Collector’s Club – UK

In the UK there is even a club – Golf Ball Markers Collector’s Club – GBMCC. The forum is no longer active but you can see 3,508 different golf ball markers! They are listed by availability from uncommon to ‘very rare’, by source such as Anniversary, Majors etc and shape such as ‘flat’ ‘Poker chip’ etc.

The Golf Heritage Society, which also offers insights into golf memorabilia collecting – although strangely no section for markers – yet!

There are also collector groups on social media – the Facebook Golf Ball Markers Collectors Club – a private group with currently 348 members.

Expensive Golf Ball Markers

Luxury Golf Ball Markers

Golf ball markers can be worth a small fortune!

Luxury Ball Marks is a company that specializes in creating premium golf ball markers crafted from authentic Rolex watch faces, offering golfers the opportunity to coordinate their ball markers with their luxury wristwatches!

The business, founded by Nick Anderson during his junior year of college, has been operational for about three years. Their ball markers are priced between $200 and $5,000 having established partnerships with renowned luxury watchmakers such as Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Omega, and packaging them with a towel, pivot tool, and a cherry mahogany ring box!

Aside from luxury watch face markers, there are unique markers tied to historic moments in golf, or with a famous golfer’s autograph.

Here’s a mini-guide for quick reference:

AspectInfluence on Value
AgeOlder usually equals rarer, which can mean pricier.
RarityAre they limited edition?
ConditionThe shinier, the better. Scratches and wear can knock down the price.
SignificanceA known history or previous famous owner?
BrandedAre they linked to (or even made from) luxury brands such as Rolex?

How Can I Display My Golf Ball Marker Collection?

Not Golf Ball Markers – but they could be!

Now you have started you collection, you need to show them off!

Shadow Boxes: A classic choice – these framed cases can hang on walls to save space.

Display Case with Dividers: Not many (if any!) options for golf balls, but there are some great ones for coins. Lucky a golf ball marker is often the same size as a coin.

Albums or Books: If you prefer flipping through your collection, specially designed albums can be a handy choice.

Magnetic Boards: Metallic boards with small magnets allow you to quickly swap and sort your markers (if they are metal!).

Custom Display Racks: If you can’t find one ready-made, you can always make your own!

Arranging your collection:

  • Grouping by Theme: You might group markers by courses, tournaments, or brands.
  • By Rarity or Value: Protect your rarest & most valuable markers preferably under a glass screen.
  • Rotate Your Display: If you have too many in your collection, you can keep it fresh by archiving like a museum!

Are your Golf Ball Markers genuine?

As we now know, some markers can be extremely rare and valuable. Authentic markers, especially the older or rare ones will often have some sort of signature or stamp.

  • Maker’s Marks: Look for logos, stamps, or signatures.
  • Materials: Real silver or gold markers have hallmarks.
  • Documentation: Some markers come with stories or certificates – especially if it came from a historic tournament.
  • Ask the community: Send a photo and one of the members will often know. See above for some groups.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a Society of Golf Ball Maker Collectors?

Yes, there’s a dedicated society for collectors – The Golf Ball Marker Collectors Club! – GBMCC.

What Makes a Golf Ball Marker Collectable?

A golf ball marker becomes collectable when it has historical significance, or is associated with famous golf tournaments or players. The most collectible will be a combination of all the above – imagine owning the ball marker used to win the final hole of the first win by Tiger Woods!

Should I Start Collecting Golf Ball Markers?

Here’s a great story about a dedicated golf ball marker collector!

Geoff - everything golf cart

I’m Geoff – Short Game ‘Expert’ and Golf Coach.
(only because I play 9-hole 4 times a week, and I love passing on my favorite Pete Cowen tips to friends & family)
My most memorable golf experience – racing through the streets of Hong Kong in a golf cart to catch the next ferry!