It is fairly well agreed that the first man to use a sand wedge in competitive golf was Gene Sarazen.
It facilitated his escape from Prince's bunkers in the 1932 Open Championship at Sandwich and the American went on to win the title in that year.
I can find no record of any outrage at the use of new technology. On the contrary, Sarazen will have been blessed by millions of golfers who are not at their best in the sand.
At any event, to commemorate his achievement, he presented the prototype to the Prince's club and there, on the clubhouse wall, it hangs to this day. Everyone knows what it is and everyone is welcome to take a guess at its value.
Priceless, I'd say. Now you can walk into almost any clubhouse in the land, note an ancient implement in its glass case and very few people would have much of a clue as to its historic significance. Or its value.
Consider the North Manchester Golf Club at Middleton. For 60 years, an antique putter had sat in a display cabinet there. Just another relic of the game, many must have thought.
Was it, heck! Someone discovered that this was a Philp Longnose putter, it was 140 years old and had once been used by the legendary Tom Morris, four times winner of the Open. And it sold at an auction of golfing memorabilia in Edinburgh for £70,000.
"It makes you wonder how many other highly valuable golfing items are hidden away in dusty attics or sitting in faded cabinets in clubs across the country," said Michael Shaw, secretary of the National Golf Clubs' Advisory Association.
Indeed it does. When some old golf balls were discovered at the back of a desk in the secretary's office at The Worcestershire GC some years ago, they were found to be specimens of the ballmaker's craft so rare that when they were sold, the proceeds added substantially to the fund for the establishment of new club premises.
And, incidentally, no company would insure the balls if they were left in a clubhouse rather than in the vault of a bank. (Where, incidentally, atmospheric conditions caused one of the balls to crack).
Shaw added: "The market for sporting memorabilia, particularly golfing memorabilia, is buoyant at the moment, as the sale of this putter proves. Many golf clubs will have no idea of the real value of items that have become so familiar over time that they hardly get a second glance."
Now it follows that where there are things of value, there are those who have a nose for them. There could be a new breed of snaffler along soon, casing your clubhouse and making a list of items worth lifting. Beware!
"Clubs should make sure that their burglar alarms and security systems are up to date," Shaw advised.
"They should also check that paintings, trophies and any other historic items are insured at today's market value."
And a leading insurance broker says this: "Golf clubs are just as vulnerable to deception, dishonesty, fraud, theft and natural events like flooding and lightning strikes as anywhere else."
So, if you find an old hickory-shafted club in the loft, get it valued. Then decide whether you wish to keep it or sell it.
Where to get it valued?
Where to sell it? I asked the NGCAA and they suggested a call to the R&A who could well have a resident expert on hand. Or even make contact with Sothebys.