Golf Connections host Mitch Laurance adds to ‘US Opens Month’ with the proprietor of the wonderful new Old Golf Shop in the middle of Pinehurst Village (vopnc.org), Bob Hansen, who is also the current resident of Donald Ross’ Dornoch Cottage, off the 3rd fairway of Pinehurst #2.
Mitch begins the show by asking Bob to talk to describe the Shop and how he came to open this fabulous, small museum devoted to the best in golf history. Listen as Bob explains his collection, and what is available to the public in the Shop, with artifacts and treasures going from the middle 1700s to the early 1900s. Bob explains what that culture entails, and why ‘the culture of the game’ is so important. He talks about his own collection, which Bob has collected over a 50 year span and contains pieces from 1650- 1880, about the pieces that he represents for others in the shop, and why we’re all grateful to be able to share a game with the richest history and traditions of any in the world. Bob explains that the purpose of the Shop is to give people a chance to acquire pieces that will ‘take them deeper’ into the game, and give them a chance to experience more than just ‘buying a set of clubs and some balls”. It’s Bob’s hope to add to golfers’ lifestyles away from the course.
Mitch talks to Bob about the passion for sharing collections, and Bob explains why it’s important to be in Pinehurst, and to be able to show the true history of the game to Pinehurst’s many visitors. Mitch asks Bob why the Shop is designed in the particular, warm style he chose, and Bob details the style and how they managed to get the Shop up and running in only 4 days, though the idea for the Shop had existed for a long time. He talks about how he can help people get used to how they can display the works and pieces that they purchase.
Mitch asks about a few of the particular favorites in the Shop. Bob talks about clubs from 1800-1820, about paintings from the 19th century as well as paintings by the man Bob feels is ‘the best golf artist’ anywhere, Richard Chorley (chorleygolfprints.com), including one painting of Baltusrol done in 2005. Citing the depth and detail of the work by Chorley in the 4 or 5 original pieces he has in the Shop, as well as various unusual autographs. Wonderfully preserved and unusual specialty clubs are also a particular specialty. The most unique current collection, according to Bob, is the collection of balls through the ages. Bob notes it is ‘the 2nd or 3rd best collection in the world’, including balls that ‘many collectors have not even heard about’. Bob thanks the preservationists in Scotland in the 1830’s-40’s who thought enough to preserve these artifacts.
Mitch urges visitors to Pinehurst to come to the Old Golf Shop, which Bob explains that he’d wanted to use the name since 1973, and is now happy to bring back that name and dedicated it to a good friend who first introduced Bob to the world of golf collecting. It is a particularly emotional story to Bob, who has brought so much in the way of golf history to many people.
Mitch thanks Bob, and reminds visitors that Golf Connections is produced and broadcast by the Zeus Radio Network for TheGolfDirector.com.