Inexpensive Bobby Jones Golf Card Hidden in International Homeland Events Sets
Bobby Jones’ most affordable tobacco card is hidden in plain view
Widely recognized as one of the top golfers of all time, the cards of Hall of Famer Bobby Jones are quite desirable. Part of the reason for that is, of course, because of his immense ability. But another reason for the expensive nature of his cards is that he simply is not found on as many issues as, say, baseball players are.
There are golf cards in the pre-war era, obviously. Even some sets were dedicated entirely to the sport. But golf cards were not produced with the same enthusiasm as baseball cards. And most of the pre-war golf cards that did exist were ones printed outside of the U.S.
Ironically, it’s there that you’ll find what is arguably the best bargain for the American golf star.
Wills, a famous cigarette maker in the UK, issued a set in 1927 called Homeland Events. The set was mostly a non-sports series that featured a hodgepodge of events and locations around the United Kingdom. That series was believed to have been distributed outside of the UK (the London Cigarette Card Company lists it as an ‘Overseas’ set in their reference catalog). A similar, but slightly different set, was issued five years later in 1932.
A third Homeland Series set (parallel to the 1927 Wills set) is said to have been issued in 1928 by Lambert and Butler. However, details on that one are murkier so for the time being, I’m going to focus only on the two Wills series’.
A few sports made their way into each set, but a golf card in the pair of sets is what has garnered the most attention. In each set is a card featuring The Old Course in St. Andrews in Scotland, host of significant tournaments, including The Open major tournament and the British Amateur. The cards are notable for not only picturing golf, but because they include pictures of Jones.
To be fair, Jones is really only all that visible on one of the two cards. The 1927 Wills card has a nice closeup of the green and Jones as he is putting. Shown here is that card.
The second card of Jones below is similar but a little different. There, Jones is not really visible as the shot was taken from farther away.
Also different are the writeups on the backs of the two cards. The 1927 card mentions Jones is putting during the final round of the Open Championship, which he won. That would mean the image was taken from the 1927 Open since that was the only one he won at St. Andrews.
The back of the 1932 card mentions Jones is putting on the 17th hole of the Amateur Championship Final. You’ll also notice that the bottom of the card’s back is different from the style seen on the 1927 cards.
Jones’ being referenced on both cards is what has driven the values on them. Even still, the cards still don’t sell for all that much with values usually starting around $20-$30 for modest raw copies. In fact, an entire set often won’t cost you much more than just the Jones card alone.
What is particularly interesting is that the 1927 version does not sell for much more at the moment, despite the fact that it probably should.
It not only has a better image of Jones but it also is five years earlier. Jones’ rookie cards, in fact, are from a separate 1926 Lambert and Butler issue, so the 1927 Homeland Events card is effectively a second-year card of the legend. Despite that, you rarely see much of a premium being paid for it over the later edition.
Either way, though, these are still probably the most affordable tobacco cards from the era of Jones that you will find.