On the day the US decides whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be its next president, a Boston-based auction house is selling golfing memorabilia that once belonged to George H.W. Bush and John F. Kennedy.
“Presidents play golf to relax,” Robert Livingstone, executive vice-president at RR Auction, told CNN.
“The stress of that office, to be able to go out … that’s the great thing about golf, isn’t it? You go out and you play for three hours or so and you can escape the pressures of being the commander in chief.”
Bush, who served from 1989 to 1993, was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in recognition of his “Lifetime Achievement,” such is his love for the sport.
His Titleist Scotty Cameron “Big Sur” chest putter — with “George Bush” engraved on the face in white text — is the auction’s highlight.
Also up for grabs is a Callaway “Big Bertha” golf bag with a Cape Arundel Golf Club membership tag, engraved “President George H. W. Bush, Member” and several golf balls bearing his signature or presidential seal.
“The presidents need to be playing golf, it’s one of those symbolic things that tells you the personality of a president,” Livingstone explains.
“I don’t think of him as this athlete but he did play college baseball at Yale, so he was always an athletic man,” added Livingstone.
“So it’s another personal item that reflects that and elevates your understanding of a man’s personality — that’s what a golf archive does.”
Also included in the auction is JFK’s personally-owned and used golf ball.
A previous auction at RR also included a golf ball set which once belonged to JFK — it sold for over $30,000 — though Livingstone estimates the current collection will fetch a more modest sum of just over $5,000.
“Kennedy was such an avid golfer,” Livingstone says. “He would often practice on the White House lawn and we’ve had golf balls with John F. Kennedy’s name engraved on them … or sometimes his would just say ‘The President.’
“And so those are probably the most valuable golf-related items that we get, are the ones related to JFK.
“Some of them are actually scooped up by White House workers that would keep them as souvenirs because he would leave them on the lawn.”
The auction takes place on Tuesday November 8.