A STONEHAVEN man whose home had been taken over by his huge collection of golfing memoribilia has hit upon a novel solution - by creating the world’s first online golf museum.
Gary Dempster (44) was forced to put his beloved collection - the result of a 15-year hobby - into storage while he moved, and decided to catalogue the unique collection, which has been given to him over the years by an array of professional golfers and caddies.
Mr Dempster, who was a member of Stonehaven Golf Club between 2004 and 2010, spent a year photographing and cataloguing 2,000 items for his website www.scottishgolfmuseum.co.uk.
He said: “I got a bit morbid and thought if anything happened to me nobody would know what these items were and why they are special. They might find an old club and not realise that it belonged to a famous player. So I thought it would be a good idea to catalogue everything that I have collected over the years.”
Mr Dempster added that there is no commercial side to his website, just a desire to share his personal collection with other golf enthusiasts. The website, which was set up in September, has proved very popular and has attracted interest from all over the world.
Gary names his most prized possession as a scorecard from the 1960 USPGA championship signed by all-time great Ben Hogan.
As the collection has grown it has taken up more and more room, with Gary remarking that it “took up the whole flat” in Stonehaven. It is now in storage, with some pieces at his parent’s house in Aviemore and some in Troon, but Gary hopes to one day find a permanent home for the items with a real museum.
He said: “I had hoped to open a real museum, but it was too expensive so I thought why not set up a virtual museum for the time being? In the long--term though, I would like to see the entire collection housed in a proper museum.”
He added: “It’s a labour of love. I would hate to sell anything from the collection. People realised I was serious and I get a lot of people contacting me with donations, which wouldn’t happen if I was selling rare items.”