Rookie Card Year: 2001
Investment Rating: 8.5
Few players have seen the highs and lows that Tiger Woods has experienced as a professional golfer. The same can be said for the popularity of many key Tiger Woods cards and memorabilia options. Tiger Woods autographs are among the most coveted in all of sports, right up there with Michael Jordan. Deals with Nike and Upper Deck have limited the availability of his autographed memorabilia, thereby preserving the value of the items even amidst his slump.
Almost single-handedly, Woods made golf items worth collecting again. He transcended the sport and fans bought up anything that had his name or autograph. As Woods tore through tournaments, it was a foregone conclusion that he would go on to break virtually every major PGA record.
But injuries and personal issues derailed his career. That said, it looks like the worst is behind him. Woods has found his winning touch once again. And even though he's still not as dominant as he once was, Tiger Woods cards, autographs and other memorabilia are showing their staying power.
Tiger Woods Rookie Card Guide
Many will debate which cards are Tiger Woods rookie cards. 1996 SI for Kids was the first, but it was part of a perforated sheet found in a magazine. The Grand Slam Ventures card was part of a box set but it had reprints in ensuing years. The Upper Deck and SP Authentic Tiger Woods cards are the first to be inserted in traditional packs. It's important for collectors, especially in instances like these, to use their own preferences. There are valid arguments for all four cards listed below.
Sport Illustrated has the distinction of producing the first recognized Tiger Woods card. While this might seem like a good thing to you or me, SI went as far as to write letters to card grading companies asking that they refrain from grading any of the cards because they hadn't intended for them to be collected as trading cards. A bizarre reaction to be sure, but likely brought about because they didn't want to risk having to pay Wood's now sizable licensing fees. Whatever their reasoning, the collecting community sure appreciates their contribution to the Tiger Woods card collecting scene. The 1996 Sports Illustrated for Kids Tiger Woods is his most sought after card that doesn't boast an autograph.
The ugly duckling of Tiger Woods rookie cards, this card was distributed as part of the 63-card 1997-98 Grand Slam Ventures Master Collection box set, which featured a card of every Masters winner between 1934 and 1998. Though without the benefit of a strong brand behind it, it has still amassed quite a following in the collecting community as a viable mid-range Tiger Woods card option.
The 2001 SP Authentic Tiger Woods card is autographed and numbered to 900. The card image evokes the calm and collected player that has dominated the sport for so many years. Although he is not wearing the iconic red polo that both intimated other golfers and excited fans and collectors, this Tiger Woods rookie card shows him entering the prime of his career. The simple yet modern design is further enhanced by the on-card autograph.
Even though it is not sought by premium collectors, the 2001 Upper Deck Golf Tiger Woods rookie card does present a reasonably priced option for collectors looking to buy a meaningful Tiger Woods card that won't break the bank. Woods is wearing the aforementioned red shirt typical of "Sunday Tiger" and is in the middle of a celebration after sinking a putt. The card has a dated look, especially when viewed in comparison to the SP Authentic card.
1998 Champions of Golf Tiger Woods Masters Collection PSA 8
Tiger Woods 2003 SP Authentic #38 NP BGS 9.5
TIGER WOODS Rookie Card
2001 Upper Deck Premier Edition Tiger Woods Rookie? 24 packs 5 cards per sealed
Tiger Woods Autographed Memorabilia Buying Guide
Below you will find an example of what Tiger Woods' authentic signature looks like. This can be used as a first point of reference for determining the legitimacy of autograph memorabilia, but is not a substitute for having your items authenticated by a well-respected professional autograph authentication company.