2022 November Golf Memorabilia Auction - Ends Sunday - Bid Now!
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1894 Championship of the United States Runner-Up Medal Won by CB MacDonald


What many consider a catalyst for the birth of the U.S.G.A., this is unquestionably one of the greatest historical golf artifacts in existence and demands the attentiveness of the golf world's most ardent collectors. The game of golf was the winner for centuries to come when on this day Charles Blair MacDonald, in response to another infuriating runner up performance, finalized an impetus for change. The year of 1894 was perhaps the most pivotal one in the United States for golf history. This medal both pre-dates the U.S.G.A while also strongly encouraging its inception by the voice and influence of its "winner", representing a unique situation in which the runner-up silver medal is coveted and valued more than the first.

"This may be the most important artifact in US Golf History. It not only tells the lost story of our country's first attempts to throw a national championship, but also the birth of the USGA and arguably the amateur and architect who would reshape golf design in America." - Connor Lewis - Founder of The Society of Golf Historians and Host of TalkinGolf History podcast

In 1894 it was announced that there would be two Amateur Championships that would attract the finest players around. Only fitting, these would utilize a pair of preeminent United States venues in the golf-rich Northeast - the first at Newport (Rhode Island) in September and followed by the second set to be played at St. Andrews (New York) Golf Club a month later in October with murmurs of certain clubs joining as one for future championships. The first of two planned tournaments was contested in a stroke play format, while the event at St Andrews was match play. That match play event at St. Andrews Golf Club was considered by many, and still is today, the first US Amateur Championship as it was held under match play format which was the same format as all UK tournaments at that time. But was it not a major championship because it wasn't held by a governing body? In that case the first 11 Open Championships wouldn't count, axing all prior to 1897 when the tournament partnered with the Honorary Company of Edinburgh Golfers and Prestwick. C.B. MacDonald came up short twice in his two chances. The reasons why vary depending on your source. Perhaps MacDonald was under the weather and it was pardon the pun ill timing. Other accounts for a silver prize claim that he was unaware of a wall erect in the middle of a fairway. The commonality is the absolute fact that Charles Blair MacDonald's passionate voice was heard and his influence was great. What was a passionate 'tirade' by some accounts after losing to two 'lesser' competitors became the final straw for a very necessary strong governing body - The United States Golf Association of America. The historic meeting took place in New York on December 22, 1894, less than two months after MacDonald openly expressed his displeasure for winning the silver medal in this lot. The two tournament hosts, along with Shinnecock Hills, The Country Club of Brookline and the Chicago Golf Club (MacDonald's local club that he founded) enjoined and the U.S.G.A. was official.

Intricacies are plentiful in this medal's well-thought-out composition. Examining this medal of great importance and dually aesthetic appeal from top to bottom yields the following observations. Hanging from the cross pin bar exhibiting royal blue calligraphy lettering "Championship of the United States," are crossed transitional clubs. The iron and a driver is the mounting surface area for block numbering with the all-important '1894.' The fabric backdrop for this crossing diagonals design is a navy blue cloth ribbon with a pair of vertical orange colored stitch lines with a subtle staggered horizontal stitch design. Matching the artistry of lettering on the top bar is the identifier of the '1894 US Amateur Championship' host club that couldn't have been more proud in St Andrews Golf Club encircling the centered golfer in shallow relief. Scalloped edging forms this prize's shape, marked with two critical engravings on the backside. "Won by Charles Blair MacDonald" is written in ornate, leaning script through the center, with the John Frick N.Y. maker's hallmark resting in the bottom lobe of the medal. It remains in very good condition, with the ribbon itself showing its age slightly with a negligible part in the fabric on the left side from weight of medal. Crafted using some of the same characteristics as the USGA's 1985 championship medals, including the blue painted detailing and cap donning time-period golfer at the top of his swing. This artifact measures 3 1/2" in length including ribbon element. The medal itself measures 1 1/2" in diameter. Its composition breakdown is as follows: 85% tin, 8% bismuth/silver, 5% antimony, and 2% copper.

Significance of this monumental 1894 Championship of the United States should not and will not be understated, signifying a change in golf history that the game will forever be thankful for. MacDonald would continue his domination of the sport from multiple angles, winning the tournament the next year under the USGA and of course open doors for play at The National Golf Links in 1909. A crowning achievement is not always a victory, as this story and extraordinary golf prize proudly offered by The Golf Auction in this lot demonstrate. This offering will be looked back on as one of the most significant ever, just as the founding of The United States Golf Association is today.

The Golf Auction is proud to present this eclectic group of memorabilia representing all areas of the golf collecting world. Please utilize the categories column to help navigate you towards your preferred collectibles. Bids must be placed before 10pm ET, Sunday, November 27th in order to participate in extended bidding

AUCTION CLOSING RULES:


Place your bids now as this auction will close beginning at 10:00pm EDT Sunday, November 27th. When placing your INITIAL bid in the auction, you must agree to the terms BEFORE confirming your bid. All items with multiple bidders in the auction will be eligible for the extended bidding period. Each lot will have its OWN COUNTDOWN CLOCK set for a 30-minute interval, and the clock will extend 30-minutes from the time of the most recently placed bid for that lot. If no bids are placed on that lot during a 30-minute period, the lot will close. Place your bids now!

1. You must place your initial bids BEFORE extended bidding begins to bid on the item in extended bidding
2. During extended bidding, you are allowed to bid only on items you PREVIOUSLY placed a bid on.
3. All lots with only ONE or NO BIDS will automatically close at 10pm EDT
4. All available lots will begin closing at 10pm EDT

Extended bidding starts at 10pm EDT, and each lot will begin closing with its own 30-minute countdown timer. Lots without a bid during extended bidding will close at 10:30pm ET. We recommend you place your maximum bid(s) prior to that time. Thank you


Please Note: A 19.5% Buyer's Premium will be applied to each item won in auction. If you pay in full with cash, check, or money order the buyer’s premium is discounted by 2.5% to 17%. All sales are final

1894 Championship of the United States Runner-Up Medal Won by CB MacDonald1894 Championship of the United States Runner-Up Medal Won by CB MacDonald1894 Championship of the United States Runner-Up Medal Won by CB MacDonald1894 Championship of the United States Runner-Up Medal Won by CB MacDonald1894 Championship of the United States Runner-Up Medal Won by CB MacDonald1894 Championship of the United States Runner-Up Medal Won by CB MacDonald1894 Championship of the United States Runner-Up Medal Won by CB MacDonald1894 Championship of the United States Runner-Up Medal Won by CB MacDonald1894 Championship of the United States Runner-Up Medal Won by CB MacDonald1894 Championship of the United States Runner-Up Medal Won by CB MacDonald1894 Championship of the United States Runner-Up Medal Won by CB MacDonald
1894 Championship of the United States Runner-Up Medal Won by CB MacDonald
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