The 3 iron was part of the original set of clubs Seve Ballesteros used to win his first Open Championship in 1979 at Royal Lytham and St Annes and is exactly as it left his bag right after the victory, says the auction house.
Ballesteros (1957-2011) learned to play using a 3 iron given to him by his brother, developing a wide array of shots on the local beach where he grew up in northern Spain.
He turned professional aged 17 and retired in 2007 having racked up 93 tournament victories including five majors: the British Open in 1979, 1984 and 1988, and the US Masters in 1980 and 1983. He was also the winning European Ryder Cup captain in Spain in 1997.
The Golden Ram Pro Model No 3 Iron is stamped with his initials SB to the toe end of the blade. It is fitted with True Temper Dynamic S Flex shaft stamped 2 183 to the neck ferrule. It has a Golf Pride Swing Rite grip – the catalogue adds “please note this grip is fitted slightly to the left-hand side of centre as preferred by most the top tournament players”.
From an earlier era comes a magnificent silver and enamel trophy dating from 1913. It was presented by Sir Henry Seymour King 1st Baronet, vice president of Tunbridge Wells Golf Club and is 18in (45.5cm) high including the base.
The Challenge Cup is mounted on three lions rearing, with six silver plated plaques engraved with winners’ details from 1913-2003, and comes complete with original oak fitted case featuring folding brass carrying handles.
The club’s centenary book The First 100 Years – The Story of The Tunbridge Wells Golf Club records that Sir Henry, an international banker, mountaineer and politician who had served for many years in India (and was a Knight Commander of the Order of Indian Empire), came to stay at the Spa every year.
He became very fond of the club and insisted on putting up expensive prizes, one of which is the trophy on offer here estimated at £1200-1500 (eventually he had to be persuaded to stop since nobody else could match his generosity).
According to Mullock’s, the trophy has now come on the market following the sale of the golf club.