The Hurdzan Golf Collection

I innocently began collecting on December 25, 1968, the day I received two antique books on golf course design. I frankly had no idea that such things existed, and I was fascinated by the thought that there might be more out there. I began searching in second-hand bookstores, yard sales, antique shops, and any place else I thought I might find books. The good news was that back then, golf collectibles were pretty cheap. The bad news was that I was a very poor graduate student living in Vermont. Not to be stymied, I saved every nickel I had to buy more books, and I kept a want list for my relatives who needed ideas for a birthday or Christmas gift. I treasure these books and have read them cover-to-cover.

As time went on, I eventually moved back home to Columbus, where I heard about a newly formed organization called the Golf Collectors Society. Lo and behold, there was a member of this new society living in Dayton, Ohio, by the name of Bob Kuntz (you can guess where this story is headed). I first met Bob in 1972, and shortly thereafter, found that my innocent beginnings as a book collector had grown into a full-fledged addiction to anything golf. You name it – wood-shaft clubs, golf balls, magazines – and I wanted it. I still didn’t have much money at the time, so Bob would help me select what he felt was a wise purchase. Later on, my collection began to feature ceramics, glass and silver, artwork, toys, records, comics, ephemera, etc.

One of my very best memories in collecting takes place in the mid-1970s. David White, knew that I wanted an original copy of Dr. Alister Mackenzie’s famous book “Golf Architecture,” but that I didn’t ever have a financial prayer of owning one.

One day David approached me and said, “I bring you a message from an old friend,” whereupon he gave me Mackenzie’s book as his gift. I was speechless. Over the years I have had many other such experiences from fellow collectors and I have found great joy in returning the favor to others.

In the late 1970s or early 1980s, Bob and I had such a strong relationship that he agreed to sell me his library on the condition that he could maintain and improve it for as long as he wanted to, and then it could be merged with my own collection. Subsequently, Bob and I first reached an agreement to purchase his club collection, exclusive of the MacGregor sets, and later the balance of his entire golf collection.

We rarely ever sell an item, but I enjoy trading duplicates with other collectors. My special interest is in golf course design-related memorabilia, and so those are my most cherished items. In a few instances, I have paid a princely sum for something special, but most often I just “found” it at the right price, and I often am given things at no cost because folks know I will protect and preserve their gift.

We don’t make any claims about our collection being the biggest, most diversified or even the most unusual. But, we are confident it has provided us untold pleasures, increased our knowledge of golf’s rich history, and allowed us to make some wonderful friends around the world.

As time went on, I eventually moved back home to Columbus, where I heard about a newly formed organization called the Golf Collectors Society. Lo and behold, there was a member of this new society living in Dayton, Ohio, by the name of Bob Kuntz (you can guess where this story is headed). I first met Bob in 1972, and shortly thereafter, found that my innocent beginnings as a book collector had grown into a full-fledged addiction to anything golf. You name it – wood-shaft clubs, golf balls, magazines – and I wanted it. I still didn’t have much money at the time, so Bob would help me select what he felt was a wise purchase. Later on, my collection began to feature ceramics, glass and silver, artwork, toys, records, comics, ephemera, etc.