A Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) Championship gold medal awarded to iconic U.S. golfer Walter Hagen in 1962 sold for $43,200 US (about $58,600 Cdn.) at a Texas auction last weekend.
Hagen won the PGA Championship five times, including four consecutive victories from 1924-27, “which explains his standing as one of golf’s all-time greats alongside men named Nicklaus, Woods and Hogan,” according to sellers with Heritage Auctions, which offered the medal during the firm’s Aug. 19-20 Summer Platinum Night Sports Auction.
“The medal hails from the 1926 PGA Championship held at Long Island’s Salisbury Golf Club and looks very much like a prize awarded to the man who became golf’s first million-dollar earner, down to the diamond.”
With a diameter of 50.8 millimetres, the medal weighs 122 grams with 21 karats of gold. Its obverse reads “Professional Golfers Association of America” alongside Hagen’s name and “1926” engraved below beside a real inset diamond. The reverse features a woodland scene with two victory figures and a “Henning Ryden” maker’s mark.
In “pristine condition,” according to Heritage, it fell short of its estimate of $60,000 US (nearly $80,000 Cdn.).
Hagen remains the only golfer to win more than two consecutive PGA Championships. His 1962 victory marked the eighth of 11 career major championships for Hagen, who Heritage described as “unquestionably golf’s foremost celebrity playboy.”