Speaking Rob van Tuyl, who exhibited part of his golf brand collection at the museum in August 2019 and gave the museum a series about Alan Shepard, the astronaut who hit a golf ball from the moon.
When Rob van Tuyl read an article in the Dutch Golf Newspaper about the donation of a bow of golf brands to the Dutch Golf Museum, he had to react as a connoisseur. “In my eyes, they weren’t real golf stamps. There are pictures of the so-called ice bottle, painted by Hendrick Avercamp, and this is different from golfing, was his critical reaction. And thus the first contact with the museum was established.
One thing led to another and at the beginning of September he travelled with his wife Marjon from his hometown Alphen aan de Rijn to Afferden in Limburg to exhibit part of his collection in the Dutch Golf Museum. The opportunity was immediately taken to play a round of golf at the Bleijenbeek golf course. His great passion since he gave him baseball.
Around 3400 golf stamps have been issued worldwide. Rob van Tuyl owns a large part of it. However, he does not call himself a philatelist. “You have to imagine that the printing presses of the past were not all the same, so the stamps could differ from each other. For real philatelists, the search for these imperfections and deviations is particularly interesting.
I only collect on the basis of the theme of golf and baseball stamps and it is only about those images,” he explains.
Van Tuyl played fanatical baseball at Ajax and later at BSC Alphians He had not yet embraced golf, but he already started collecting golf stamps.
“In 1990, during the Haarlem Baseball Week, I accidentally found myself sitting next to Leon Vanverre from Antwerp. An enthusiastic Belgian who told me that his house was a kind of baseball museum and invited me to come and have a look. Van Tuyl’s interest was piqued and he too began to collect baseball and golf stamps.
In the process he met more and more collectors and it soon became clear that there was a need for a collecting club with its own catalogue. In 1991, together with Vanverre, he founded Swing Time Philately, an association for golf and baseball stamp collectors.
At the turn of the millennium, Swing Time Philately had more than a hundred members. Currently there are more than forty from ten different countries. Stamp collecting is less popular than it used to be, but is still in third place among the collecting hobbies, van Tuyl knows.
Searching and discovering specific golf stamps gives me a lot of pleasure, it’s all about the details. For example, I have a stamp sheet with a stamp of political leader Kim Jong-un of North Korea in my possession that you would not initially define as a golf postage stamp. Only when you look at him with a magnifying glass do you see that the paperweight on his desk is a golfer.
The same goes for the first wave postage stamp issued, a Japanese stamp from 1953. On it is a mountain with a tree on it. If you look very closely, you will see that it is a view of Mount Unzen Golf Club.”
In his exhibition in the Nederlands Golfmuseum, Van Tuyl highlights a number of themes, including ladies and gentlemen in golf, Dutch golf stamps and a series about Alan Shepard, the astronaut who knocked a golf ball off the moon.
This stroke is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the furthest golf ball ever struck. The museum is allowed to hold the latter series after the end of this temporary exhibition that lasts until the end of October.
Whether it is because of his golf stamps that Rob van Tuyl eventually exchanged the sport of baseball for golf, he does not want to claim.
But he does see a similarity between the two sports. “In both sports you have to hit a ball with a stick, but that’s where the similarity ends. It is nice that I can practice this sport together with my wife. We are both retired and often combine golf with a trip, so we have already seen a lot of golf courses in the world,” says van Tuyl, who after his working life at Schiphol was still eager to travel for years as a tour guide for FOX Vakanties. But most of all he can be found at Golfclub Zeegersloot in Alphen aan de Rijn. And when he’s not on the golf course, he’s doing Swing Time Philately. A special hobby that led him to the Dutch Golf Museum.