Featured on 13 October 2014
(Click for link to Golf Today Website article)
The original article was written in Italian and this is a translation
from the transcript.
Gary Dempster, the history of golf in a room. Ale Marcoli
October 13, 2014 alemarcoli
Dedicated to Pia.
In the wonderful world of golf happen to come across truly special
people, like Gary Dempster who collects memorabilia for over 20 years
in the history of golf and especially the Ryder Cup. Balls, bags, clothes
and even trophies, all collected and cataloged in his home in
I had the pleasure of chatting with Gary told me, as well as anecdotes
about his passion for golf and his incredible collection.
Hello Gary, tell us about yourself, who are you?
I'm Scottish, born in Aberdeen 47 years ago and now live near Glasgow.
In addition to being a collector you are also a good golfer, how did your
passion for this sport?
My parents are not golfers, I started at 15 years thanks to two of my
classmates who were playing on the weekend, and sometimes I would
go with them. Lately I have not, unfortunately, a lot of time to devote
to golf, between work commitments and this year I have only played
Living in Scotland you're surrounded by fantastic golf. What is your
favorite golf course?
I would say without a doubt Turnberry. Do not have the pressure of
having to meet deadlines as St. Andrews, the scenery is wonderful and
when you get to 10 and see the lighthouse you realize that is a very
How did your collection?
I started in 1994 looking at items for sale on eBay. At one point I came
across a caddy bib from the Shell Houston Open autographed by Justin
Leonard. At the time I could not believe that they could buy items like
This on the internet. I made my bet and I won the auction, the rest is
What is the heirloom that you paid for?
I have 5 original trophies won by Tony Jacklin (winner of 2 Major) which
cost me £ 2,000.
What are the relics you're most fond of?
My best piece is a score signed by Ben Hogan with a perfect
An American site to me recently estimated £ 7,000, adding that it is the
only preserved specimen of a score of competition of the legendary
golfer. Having signed as a marker, it should be noted that Hogan
Brought this score in his pocket for 18 holes.
They are also able to get the original shirt worn by Philip Walton during
the 1995 Ryder Cup that year was played in New York and Europe for
the first time would have won on the road, thanks to the winning putt
One of my most special autograph is definitely what I asked Costantino
Rocca in 1996 during the Scottish Open at Carnoustie. Just the year
before Constantine was entered in the history of golf for that fantastic
putt at St Andrews, and I was able to get me to sign the program
quell'Open Championship, right on page 18 of The Old Course!
With all these autographs will need to be very careful to false,
how do you recognize the originals?
I have worked in the Police as a fingerprint expert and I met many
people from the Department of calligraphy. Sometimes I asked their
advice on some of the signatures that I was not sure.
Is there anything you would like but you're not yet managed to get?
I'm still looking for the ball and glove and autographed personally by
How do you find all these things? Friends? Caddie?
During all these years I have built a database of contacts: master
caddy, caddy, and people working in circles. I know also players like
Paul Lawrie and Stephen Gallacher, who have always been very
generous. The caddies are the people who in the end I procure the
majority of things.
After the Ryder Cup in 2010, for example, the caddy master at Celtic
Manor asked me if I wanted some object, I replied that I had really
enjoyed the glove worn by Nike Francesco Molinari ... amazing but
I found it!
About the gloves, the caddy Marcel Siem is delighted to decorate the
gloves of his "boss," I took this to a charity auction.
Also beautiful are the balls that Duffy Waldorf was decorate her
children before each race to keep them close to him:
The Ryder Cup has just ended and you're able to get the caddy bibs
Westwood and Poulter, two tee and an original flag. How did you do?
Well, let's say I have friends who have worked behind the scenes at
Have you ever publicly shown your collection?
I organized two exhibitions until now. The first was at St. Andrews in 2012
at the Hotel Scores. Some organizers of the "St. Andrews Golf Festival
"have contacted me to offer me to exhibit my memorabilia and I must
say it was very successful.
The second show was this year in my country, Ayr, just after the
European victory at Gleneagles, in collaboration with a group of local
charities. It was a great initiative since the Ryder Cup was held just in
What are your future plans?
I believe that at the end allestirò a museum to display all my collection,
I think it deserves it.
During these years, you've undoubtedly come across special people.
Whoimpressed you the most?
One of the people with whom I have had the good fortune of speaking
is Jack Fleck, winner of the US Open in 1955 at the time was still an
unknown player but he managed to beat Ben Hogan in a playoff at
the time the strongest, who felt already victory in his pocket.
One day I decided to write to Fleck ask for his autographed ball and a
glove. He replied that he was changing bag, and that I could have his
old one. Then I called his office and the secretary told me that Fleck
was entering at that moment, and handed it to me. I spent twenty
minutes listening to fantastic stories about his life, Ben Hogan and golf.
Sadly missed last March, I still get chills thinking about that phone call.
In the end I received not only his old bag, but also its honorary
membership of a club, a ball, a pair of shoes and a glove, all
I talked to many people, but for me the most special is definitely Jack
You can see the collection of Gary on his official website
http://www.scottishgolfmuseum..co.uk/ or on his Facebook page