Golfer's secret horde of 3,000 clubs

Neil McLellan - a 19 handicapper - died leaving a shed load of equipment he couldn't use.

Bob Warters's picture
Fri, 1 Apr 2005

Golfer's secret horde of 3,000 clubs

The news that a huge store of over 3,000 golf clubs has been found in two garden sheds by the relatives of a retired merchant banker, who died without improving his 19 handicap, will come as no surprise to many of us who have tried to buy a better golf game.

Neil McLellan from Dunblane in Scotland, spent thousands of pounds on buying the latest equipment and tried desperately to improve his scores at his local golf club.

But despite a series of lessons and the best golf gear money could buy, he passed away to that great course in the sky, in the knowledge that there was no substitute for talent.

He discarded dozens of drivers, irons, putters and wedges, as well as instruction books, videos, and training gizzmos in his bid to knock shots off his handicap, preferring to store them in his shed in case he suddenly found ‘the secret’.

He never did and yesterday hundreds packed into an auction room to buy the equipment he left behind in 40 lots and which will bolster his estate.

The auctioneers claimed it was the largest private collection of modern golf equipment in the country.

"Most of it has been used only once," said Sybelle Thomson, a partner in the auctioneers.

"Mr McLellan didn’t buy sets of clubs but preferred to buy them individually so we grouped them together in mixed sets in a wide range of golf bags he left."

A bachelor, Mr McLellan spent much of his career in the Far East and took up golf on his retirement 15 years ago.

Bob Jamieson, the pro at Dunblane Golf Club said Mr McLellan was "a real gent, but more of an enthusiast than a skilled player."

Tell us on the forum about your passion for buying golf equipment, the ‘secret’ purchases you have made and the horde of clubs you keep hidden away.

Why not sell it in our classified section.