What better way to pass some time than to return to a bygone age and play the game as it was intended – relying on hand and eye co-ordination and holding your nerve! Hickory golf forces the golfer to relax, slow down and rely on their technique and not the technology as is so often the case in the present day. The clubs can be made from up to ten components of various materials from metal sole plates to long leather grips resulting in a hand-crafted tool that, as most would agree, holds a certain charm and beauty.
Hickory golf is still very popular today with hickory competitions held throughout the year worldwide. In fact, during the Dunhill Links Championship in 2004 at St Andrews, a ‘Hickory Challenge’ was held on the Old Course that saw some of the world’s foremost players take part in an exhibition match using hickory clubs. Spectators looked on as top golfers Vijay Singh and Ernie Els took on the Old Lady with the traditional clubs.
Some of the OCE Team recently made the trip to Kingarrock Hickory Course in the grounds of Hill of Tarvit Mansion House near St Andrews to experience it first hand. Some fared better than others to begin with but after a few holes we had all slowed down to the pace of that long-gone – but not forgotten – era. The afternoon was finished off with a very civilised glass of traditional ginger beer and some shortbread – the perfect way to end the day and prove that, even back in the 1920s, the post-game analysis was of paramount importance! The Old Course Experience has included a round of hickory golf at Kingarrock in our recently launched ‘Heritage and Traditions Tour’ for 2012 that will afford a lucky few the chance to experience this style of the game so be sure to get in touch with us if you are ready for the challenge!