In the wake of the thrilling drama of Tiger Woods winning the 2019 Masters, scummy opportunists have predictably flooded eBay and the internet with golf balls supposedly autographed by him. The problem is Tiger stopped signing golf balls somewhere between late 1996 (soon after winning his first PGA Tour event) and April 1997 (when he won his first Masters). In fact, even though Tiger had an exclusive autograph contract with Upper Deck Authenticated for many years, he never signed a single golf ball for UDA, when he was being PAID generously to sign.These are all forged autographs.
There's one anecdotal story of Tiger signing a golf ball for someone at a fairly recent NASCAR race, which if true, would make it one of the extremely few he has signed in the last 22+ years. Obviously, that means of the thousands of Tiger Woods autographed golf balls out there, 99.9% are forgeries. For Nike golf balls, which were first produced in the early 2000s, that percentage probably increases to 99.99% or more.People need to know how to identify forged autographs.
The Top Flite golf ball pictured here is dated 4/15/95, matches known authentic Tiger signatures from that era, and is almost certainly authentic. If the Tiger signed ball you own doesn't look a whole lot like this, I'm sorry but you almost certainly own one of the countless worthless forged celebrity autographs.
By the way, almost the exact same thing applies to Phil Mickelson autographed golf balls. Again, since the mid 1990s, Mickelson has almost NEVER signed golf balls for anyone except his children, and at least 99.9% are forgeries.