Would you pay $180,000 for a golf club?

golfblogValuing golf equipment can take as much concentration as the game itself

With the RSM Classic in Georgia just behind us, we thought it would be a good time to share some information about the complexities of valuing golf equipment. While some golfers have hand-me-down golf clubs from family members or have purchased clubs at a yard sale for $50, most golfers spend hundreds and even thousands of dollars for a set of golf clubs. And then there are those golf enthusiasts with golf clubs manufactured in a different century – some are collectibles, others just ancient but not so valuable.

There is no ‘generic’ set of golf clubs that any player of any level can use. Different kinds of golf clubs are manufactured to execute specific kinds of shots on the golf course, and there are a variety of golf clubs made, their prices varying widely according to the materials that comprise the particular golf club.

A colleague of mine at Enservio, Dave Moe, recently published an article on best practices for valuing golf equipment that articulates well the various kinds of equipment produced for specific shots on the golf course and key value factors to assess them.

At the top end, one of the most expensive wood-shafted golf clubs was purchased in 2007 at a Sotheby’s auction for $181,000. This 18th century putter was extremely valuable because it had the stamp of its manufacturer, Andrew Dickson, making it the oldest verified club with its manufacturer’s stamp on it.

Key Value Factors for clubs

The good news for claims pros is that most of the information needed is usually found right on the head (the face that strikes the ball) of the club, including the brand, model name, and in the case of sand wedges, the degrees, which designates the loft of the club.  Brand is one of the major key value factors when evaluating clubs. Common brands include Callaway, Ping, Hippo and Wilson, to name a few.

For putters, which receive the most playing action, adjusters should note the length of the shaft. Shaft length is important to a policyholder who is replacing the club, but typically has no bearing on the value.

Because manufacturers use different alloys, it’s important to note the material used, whether its stainless steel, graphite, carbon fiber or other. Graphite shafts can increase the value of a club from $25 to $50+ depending on the brand. Some graphite clubs are worth $400 each.

In the world of insurance, software can help in determining the value of specific golf clubs.  Enservio offers software that can access vast amounts of data and track what insurance carriers have paid to replace certain items, including specific golf clubs.

If you missed our September webinar on valuing golf equipment, you can still access Dave Moe’s presentation by visiting: http://www.enservio.com/resources/videos

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