The silver Ping Anser 2 putter includes the inscription ‘Friend of Golf 1990’.
At first I wasn’t sure if the Harmon on the club was indeed Old 98, but after a little Google digging I confirmed that this was indeed dedicated to the Wolverine great. It turns out Harmon was associated with a group formed by a bunch of UCLA grads called Friends of Golf, and even inspired the Ben Hogan Award, a Heisman-like trophy for the a top “collegiate golfer/scholar”:
In 1990, the late Tom Harmon, a FOG [Friends of Golf] Director and former football great and Heisman Trophy winner, got the idea for a similar trophy that would honor annually an outstanding collegiate golfer/scholar. Harmon gained the endorsement of his long-time friend, Ben Hogan, and thus, in 1990, the Ben Hogan Trophy was established. The College Golf Coaches Association annually selects the All-American College Amateur Golfer of the Year who is awarded this coveted trophy. The player’s name and that of his University are inscribed on a replica of the original Waterford crystal trophy that is permanently on display at the Bel-Air Country Club.
Harmon was indeed a friend of golf, covering the sport on TV as a broadcaster, appearing in the 1953 movie ‘The Caddy’, and certainly played his share. And he went out on top–he died in 1990 at age 70 after winning a golf tournament at the Bel-Air Country Club. Sadly Harmon wasn’t around to see the first recipient of the prize he inspired.
Elsewhere on eBay:
- A schedule from the Wolverines’ 1933 college national championship team. It was probably from a matchbook cover. I love this part – so where were the games played that year? Either “HERE” or “THERE”!
As indicated by the original owner, the mighty Blue crew played Minnesota to the 0-0 deadlock in 1933, retaining the Little Brown Jug and retaining the national title. (The Gophers won the next three national championships FWIW).
- How about this 1929 Big Ten “Book of Athletic Events”? It includes a ad from 1910 Michigan captain and All-American Albert Benbrook with a cool sketch of the old boy complete with a likeness of himself back in his playing days: