Antique golf clubs for purposes of valuation may be broken into five categories.
Pre-1880 Primitive Clubs
All of these clubs would have been made in the UK, primarily Scotland. Most of these will be wooden headed clubs and all will have considerable value as collectibles ranging from the hundreds to the tens of thousands of dollars.
Golf Clubs from 1880 - 1900
Many of these clubs will also be collectible, but very seldom will the value surpass $500. Many clubs from this era will be useable as Gutty Golf players. Currently pre 1900 smooth face iron and long nose wooden clubs sometimes derive their value from playability. This is due to the popularity of hickory golf being played in modern times.
1901 - 1935 Hickory Shafted Common Clubs
Hickory shafted common clubs, especially 1918-1935. Some clubs are often referred to as commons because there were many of them made and because they are not particularly desired. Manufacturing technologies had advanced tremendously allowing for larger quantities of clubs to be made with less effort. Also, with the end of the World War I, many small foundaries that had previously been making some items for the military needed to find something to manufacture in peace time. A lot of clubs were made that simply put, weren't much good for hitting golf balls.
1901 - 1935 Playable Hickory Shafted Golf Clubs
While many of these came from Scotland, more and more started coming from larger US manufacturers. While certainly some clubs from this era are collectible, and spend their days decorating country clubs, offices, and man caves, others are especially suited for continued play even at their advanced age. Currently the popularity of pre 1935 Hickory golf is such that prices of playable antiques are well supported by Hickory golf fanatics, and are often worth well more as playable clubs than as collectibles.
Antique Clubs of non-Wooden Shafts After 1924
These antique golf clubs may consist of pyratone shafts, steel shafts, aluminum shafts, and fiberglass or resin shafts. Many of them have a wood look coating and in the case of pyratone and steel can be identified with the use of a magnet. Unfortunately in recent years the value of these clubs, with a few exceptions, has plummeted from where they were in the 1990's. This collapse in values is somewhat true across all categories. Only the most rare of collectibles and the best playable antique golf clubs have maintained and even increased in value.