You will find many Wilson 8802 Putters for sale on ebay. Wilson remade this putter several times with some variations. How can you tell if the putter is a ligit original? Well, you can start with the following criteria:
- If the putter has the word "original" on the bottom of the head, then it isn't an original 8802.
- The Bottom of the club should only have "The Wilson 8802" with "Wilson" in red. The word "The" and number "8802" should be in black.
- The head of the club was done in a chromed satin, or frost as some might call it, finish. It should not be like a car bumber bright chrome.
- The shaft should have 5 steps with the first step measuring 6 inches from the end of the putter head hosel. I am not positive on the length of the shafts produced for the 8802, but for what it is worth, the two original shafts that I have had in my possesion measured exactly 35" from the bottom of the putter blade to the butt end.
- The shaft band should be a head speed band with two green triangles with the words "Head Speed" within each of the triangles.
- The original grip is a black leather grip with a silver thread spiraling the entire length and should have a specific logo on the cap that consists of two flags. One flag is red and the other is blue. A grip end cap with the Wilson shield is a dead giveaway that the grip is not the original grip used on an original 8802.
- The face height of the putter head measures exactly the the diameter of a nickel which measures 0.831 inches (just a tad over 53/64"), not just close, but exactly. Remakes of the original 8802 have a face height slightly larger than a nickel (between 1/16" and 1/8"). It is quite easy to place a nickel on a remake and make it appear to be the same dimension, so do not be fooled. Many people come by a 1990's vintage of the 8802 and want it to be the 1964 vintage. I am sorry to say that it isn't. A 1990's version measures 0.902" which, as I said earlier, is larger than a nickel by just a tad more than 1/16".
When Arnold Palmer left Wilson in 1963, Wilson took his name off the putter and renamed it The Wilson 8802. The number 8802 was simply the putter's item number in the Wilson catalog at the time. Thus we have The Wilson 8802 produced and marketed in 1964. Also note: The Wilson Arnold Palmer putter (1962) and the Wilson Designed By Arnold Palmer putter (1962-1963) are not identical to the The Wilson 1964 version of the 8802 or later vintage models. There are some subtle differences in the head shape and the width of the flange and the height of the neck. The differences are subtle to be sure, but real.
Most importantly, if you are a buyer, look for the above mentioned descriptives in the 8802 putter listing you are interested in, and if you are a seller, you should provide this information in your listing if you are selling an authentic Wilson 8802 1964 vintage putter. If you don't see these descriptives, then don't bid unless the seller can provide authentic details as described in this guide.
I hope that this guide will help both sellers and buyers of this Collector item.r