We know for a fact that over 35,000 Tournament Scorecards are in the public domain. If you want a player from 1970 through 2000, you will certainly be able to find one with patience and persistence. Pre-70’s, there are hundreds known, but the quest gets quite a bit harder as these are rarer and much treasured finds. Post 2000 is also difficult as most of golf’s major bodies seem to have made retaining the scorecards a normal policy. The PGA Tour is sitting on the largest cache. It is unknown when or if they will again make them available to the public any time soon. What we do know and track is demand. Demand is on the rise and the number of collector’s is increasing. We have direct knowledge of collector’s in 7 different countries with a good concentration in the USA. Following are the policies of golf’s major bodies as best as we can ascertain:
The Masters: The scorecards are retained by the tournament and are not available to the public.
U.S. Open (USGA): Currently retained for historical reasons. Prior to 1994 various caretakers had various policies (undocumented). For a brief period the scorecards were sold to the general public.
British Open (R&A): Currently retained for historical reasons. Previous caretakers had unknown/undocumented policies but some scorecards did end up in the public domain.
PGA Championship (PGA of America): Currently, winning scorecards are eventually presented to the Champion. The remainder are retained for a set time and then disposed of. Previous caretakers had unknown/undocumented policies.
PGA Tour: Declined all inquiries. We do know that prior to 1998, there was not a stated/circulated policy for either retention or destruction. Some tournaments retained the scorecards and some were licensed for sale through the Authentic Scorecard Collection Company.
European PGA Tour: Declined all inquiries but scorecards were formerly sold by the European Tour for a number of years through 2006 and possibly beyond.
Asia PGA Tour: Declined all inquiries
This obvious TREND toward retention speaks volumes. © Tournament Scorecards