World’s Oldest Scorecard Auctioned For Over $6,000

Golf memorabilia is a special niche within the game, but exceptionally old golf memorabilia from the roots of the game’s history is held in even higher regard.

The latest example of this is a 199-year-old scorecard from Musselburgh Race Track in which a Mr. Cundell — believed to be writer James Cundell — played two five-hole rounds on December 2, 1820.

Up for auction last week, the record of Cundell’s 84 strokes that would be enough to win the Leith Thistle Golf Club winter medal, went for £4,812, including premiums, according to The Edinburgh News, which amounts to $6,297.

The best part of the scorecard is the commentary Mr. Cundell added to explain his poor performance, something any golfer can admire.

“Dreadful storm of wind and rain — atmosphere quite yellow — just like the lurid regions of Pandemonium,” he wrote.

The scorecard, which was once owned by three-time Open Champion Sir Henry Cotton, was sold at Bonhams’ Sporting Sale in Edinburgh.

“(The scorecard is in) remarkable condition considering its age and the atrocious weather at the time Mr. Cundell played his round,” Kevin McGimpsey, Bonhams’ golfing memorabilia consultant, said. “This original scorecard predates the oldest cards owned by the international golf museums.

“The fact it was scored and marked in inclement weather nearly 200 years ago is quite phenomenal.”

As if you needed more reason to like Cundell, another one of his scorecards that has survived for a few centuries shows a tally of 81, and the round was described in one succinct word: disgraceful.