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Playing Hickory Golf


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#1 Bella Woods

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 07:38 PM

Bella has played only Hickory golf since late July of this year
with a few classic club rounds mixed in (Tommmy Armour 693 woods
and PowerBilt Citation blades & putter)

I don't miss the modern clubs/game at all. I actually enjoy the
game much more than before - nowhere near the same frustration on
bad shots etc. Golf is enjoyable (and new) again.

For those of you that enjoy classic persimmon - I say give the hickory
clubs a try too. You can buy reproduction clubs (approved for play in
almost all hickory club events), or find you own "originals". Tad Moore
can help you here - he re-shafted a couple of my "old timers" and did a
great job matching the shaft to my swing - sight unseen.

As far as distance goes, 250 is a good poke with the driver (although
I have seen many 270 drives), and with the iron shots - if you compare
loft to loft on well struck shots - not much difference in distance at
all if you hit the hickory club on the sweet spot. You can also play
classic golf courses as they were intended to be played - something
that has been lost in todays world, and in my opinion a shame.

I have met a lot of great guys playing the hickories too - Bella
recently played in the Mid Pines Hickory Open in North Carolina (if
you call it that - played rather poorly). Was paired with Tad Moore in
the first round on Saturday, and that was a treat. We also played with
a local "Rusty" who ended up winning the senior division. Tad not only
makes classic putters - he is a very good classic putter himself! Many,
many foreign players were in the field too (France, Scotland, England,
Finland, Sweden and multiple Canadians).

I think you may be surprised how well you can play with the hickory
shafts - my hickory handicap is at 11.2 presently - higher than my
previous handicap, but not for long. I am sure I will be in the
single digits next year with them. Some of these guys actually play
to a scratch handicap with the hickory clubs! The hickories are
persimmon woods too, just a "different shaft".

Check out the Society of Hickory Golfers website if you are interested.
I say give it a try if you are into persimmon, you just may like it.


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#2 Maxwell

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 07:56 PM

A few years ago, Donna and I purchased some hickory shaft clubs and a dozen Tad Moore golf balls. Our thoughts were then that after I retired, we would play some Hickory Hacker Golf Tournaments in southern Ontario and up-state New York.
We had planned to purchase period garb, play the game with Hickory shaft clubs and balata balls, have a nice dinner with everyone in the tourney, shake a leg or two after dinner(dance) and then say goodbyes until the next tournament or the next year.
I have a hickory shaft  "Jack White" driver that needs "bone slip" replacement and Donna has a set of Duralite? stainless steel hickory shafts. Time will tell.  
Max & Donna

Edited by Maxwell, 09 November 2011 - 07:57 PM.


#3 astamm8

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 11:15 PM

I was out playing a persimmon round with a friend and he broke out a Tad Moore hickory driver. The difference was interesting with the 'whoosh' of the swing being a new sensation. I hit my one and only shot so far, it was my best drive of the day and very satisfying. I like blades too much to want to try hickory irons, but I definitely see the attraction.

Edited by astamm8, 09 November 2011 - 11:15 PM.


#4 Bella Woods

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 08:56 AM

One thing that I forgot to mention earlier - a lot of the
Societies etc that put on the hickory golf tournaments do
(or have in the past) make a classic club steel shaft division
an option.

For the most part - they do realize that people like to play the
steel shafted classics too. Persimmon either way - just different
shafts.

The only problem they run into is that nobody shows up to play
the classic club steel shaft clubs!!!!

#5 freddiec

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 01:18 PM

Great post Bella. I never imagined that I'd ever be interested in Hickory shafted golf, but as of late I'm definitely intrigued. I'll have to research whats out there and pick some up. They gotta be "a hoot" to play I can imagine.


#6 majic

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 08:58 PM

Bella I enjoyed our day in the sun at Mid Pines.  I like you enjoy the Hickory game and when I go to Scotland and that is often I only play Hickories.  I encourage all the classic lovers to try Hickory because you have a lot of events all over the USA for Hickory play where there is little Classic events. I will be glad to help anyone out.  I always have some clubs that have been demo and i offer them at a discounted price.  I hope to see you in April in Birmingham.  Tad Moore  www.tommorrisclubs.com or www.tadmoore.com

#7 Blade Junkie

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 05:08 PM

View Postmajic, on 11 November 2011 - 08:58 PM, said:

Bella I enjoyed our day in the sun at Mid Pines.  I like you enjoy the Hickory game and when I go to Scotland and that is often I only play Hickories.  I encourage all the classic lovers to try Hickory because you have a lot of events all over the USA for Hickory play where there is little Classic events. I will be glad to help anyone out.  I always have some clubs that have been demo and i offer them at a discounted price.  I hope to see you in April in Birmingham.  Tad Moore  www.tommorrisclubs.com or www.tadmoore.com

Is your Tom Morris range available in the UK Tad ?

What are some of your favourite courses for hickory play in Scotland ? (outside of the obvious Open venues I guess)

Thanks
'Tis the hickory season ...
Geo Duncan Driver, Brassie
W.Jeffery Bulldog; Tom Stewart irons:
Cleek, Dr. Mashie, Mashie Iron, Jigger
Mashie, Lofter, Spade Mashie, M.Niblick
Niblick, Nicoll Howitzer, Eskitt putter

#8 rex235

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 10:46 PM

View PostBella Woods, on 10 November 2011 - 08:56 AM, said:

One thing that I forgot to mention earlier - a lot of the
Societies etc that put on the hickory golf tournaments do
(or have in the past) make a classic club steel shaft division
an option.

For the most part - they do realize that people like to play the
steel shafted classics too. Persimmon either way - just different
shafts.

The only problem they run into is that nobody shows up to play
the classic club steel shaft clubs!!!!

Bella-

It's great that you have found a place, and kindred spirits, to play both hickory and steel shafted classic clubs.

Since I recently acquired a few hickory shafted clubs, I though at one time it would be interesting to try one of these events.
It appears there is only one slight problem.....

100_8994.JPG
100_8999.JPG

and since there is, to quote your recent playing partner  
"Very little collector value.  Almost no value. Good wall hangers."

Not much to be gained in any LH players showing up ....

#9 Bella Woods

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 08:16 AM

rex235:

95% or more of the hickory clubs that anyone comes
across on average have very little collector value,
and it doesn't matter if they are left handed or
right handed clubs. Collector value meaning an
investment.

Patent clubs, certain name clubs and very old clubs
are the ones that "collectors" want.

Most playable hickory clubs do not have value to a collector
and in many cases - are "no name mutts".

Left handed golf equipment was scarce in the old and classic
days - that is the way it was. You can buy left handed repro
hickory clubs today though.

What difference does it make what side of the ball you tee it
up from when deciding to play in a tournament or not? Left
handed players would be welcome in any of the hickory
tournaments I am sure.

#10 rex235

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 09:18 AM

Bella-

Let me say this-
I understand and agree with you -  
Your response makes light of what your experience has been in collecting equipment, and in playing equipment.  

Which is why the door should be more open than it appears to be.  

To be told "no value"  when these clubs appear to have some playing value is just plain wrong-

and Tad should know that.

There is satisfaction to be gained from a well played golf shot....whether with hickory or classic clubs.  

You certainly can attest to this.
  
Some of my hickory shafted clubs are LH Otey Crisman putters-

Wouldn't they  fit very well with these tournaments?

Or do they not "fit in" at all?

Yes... there now seems to be this "inflection point" when it comes to LH equipment-

Will this point rise to where very little, if any, LH equipment is made...will you need a  PGA Tour Card?

Enjoy those LH players (Congratulations Greg Chalmers!) while you can.....


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#11 hollabachgt

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 03:10 PM

View Postrex235, on 15 November 2011 - 09:18 AM, said:

Bella-

Let me say this-
I understand and agree with you -  
Your response makes light of what your experience has been in collecting equipment, and in playing equipment.  

Which is why the door should be more open than it appears to be.  

To be told "no value"  when these clubs appear to have some playing value is just plain wrong-

and Tad should know that.

There is satisfaction to be gained from a well played golf shot....whether with hickory or classic clubs.  

You certainly can attest to this.
  
Some of my hickory shafted clubs are LH Otey Crisman putters-

Wouldn't they  fit very well with these tournaments?

Or do they not "fit in" at all?

Yes... there now seems to be this "inflection point" when it comes to LH equipment-

Will this point rise to where very little, if any, LH equipment is made...will you need a  PGA Tour Card?

Enjoy those LH players (Congratulations Greg Chalmers!) while you can.....



Otey Crisman putters are not allowed for SoHG events. The SoHG ends the hickory era in 1935 and Crisman began making putters after '35

#12 majic

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 06:09 PM

Let me be a little more clear about values.  Most irons with hickory shafts are not good players and unless they have some collector feature have little value.  Sorry.  The woods such as the MacGregor clubs  made in the 20's are pretty good and hard to find. I think by looking at the faces the two woods are MacGregor.  you would need to refinish and check for an insert that is loose and shaft loose.  Some of these MacGregors make good players and with hickory shafts have values in the $200 range and up. Good old woods are the hardest to find.  I make left handed Tom Morris model hickory clubs.  www.tommorrisclubs.com  
The hickory golf experience is something you should try.  Tad Moore

#13 freddiec

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 05:31 PM

I think I was almost bit by the Hickory bug. I've done a good amount of research, looked a beautiful Hickory clubs online and am really interested.  The Steve Elk and Sevam youtube piece of them playing Hickory really got interested in the thought of playing Hickory Golf.  It looks like a lot more fun than I imagined and as I mentioned the clubs look like a lot of fun to play, its something that I think I could really get into. Perhaps sometime in 2012. What I really find interesting is you could probably play really well with only 6 or 7 clubs in your bag, thats so cool.

Edited by freddiec, 18 November 2011 - 05:31 PM.


#14 rgolf06

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 06:11 PM

View Postfreddiec, on 18 November 2011 - 05:31 PM, said:

I think I was almost bit by the Hickory bug. I've done a good amount of research, looked a beautiful Hickory clubs online and am really interested.  The Steve Elk and Sevam youtube piece of them playing Hickory really got interested in the thought of playing Hickory Golf.  It looks like a lot more fun than I imagined and as I mentioned the clubs look like a lot of fun to play, its something that I think I could really get into. Perhaps sometime in 2012. What I really find interesting is you could probably play really well with only 6 or 7 clubs in your bag, thats so cool.

magic,freddie,bella,.....it is very enticing to get into hickory i must say , much like freddiec has commented,however,i have been into the classic steel shafted era for a long time.it seems a little difficult to just jump into the hickory side of it, are there shafts,grips and parts , etc. available to put your discovered treasures into working order again ?i have tons of the classic clubs , which leads to shafts, and heads to cut up to make patches, but the hickories seem more intimidating to me for some reason ....and i am a club repair geek.....what s your thoughts?


#15 Bella Woods

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 06:35 PM

freddiec:

I think you would be pleasantly surprised if you gave hickory golf
a try. Once you get used to it, you can actually play/score pretty
well. Plus, it is very satisfying to hit good shots with the old clubs.

One of the things I really like is that you can play classic (or old
time, if you prefer) courses the way they were meant to be played.

I have a Donald Ross course about a mile from the house that I play
all the time, the first 4 holes were altered to some extent because
of the interstate highway built in the late 1960s - but all of the
Ross cross bunkers still exist for the most part. With the modern clubs
they don't even fit into the equation. I am sure most golfers wonder why
they are even there. The old heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis lost
a lot of money on this golf course in the 1940s and 1950s, as I am told.
Several of the old timers are still around (Ben Davis will be 100 years
old in February of 2012 - and "radio" is in his mid 90s). Both have been
around for 70 to 75 years.

If the wind is blowing in a certain direction, or you don't quite
hit your drive solid enough - the cross bunkers do come into play with
the hickories! And you do not want to be in a deep, fescue "infested"
bunker with a say, 56 yard third shot into a 440 yard par four!

Speaking of the hickory play - several of the Par 4s on the course are
relatively long (for hickory). Number 9 plays about 420 yards, but number
10 is a 451 yard Par 4 into the prevailing wind. Hole number 11 is 424
into the same prevailing wind.

The reason I bring this up - this is a course that was built in the early
1920s during the hickory heyday - a championship course at about 6,700
yards when built. Where in the rules of golf does it say that you have to
be able to reach a Par 4 hole in two shots? I know it is recommended by
the USGA - but I think in the old days it was not always so. So what do
you do when you hit two good shots and are short of the green in two?
You chip up (jigger)and try to make the putt - a really good (read satisfying)
par.

For me - a good distance (yardage wise) for a hickory golf course is between
6,000 and 6,500 in general, depending on the ground conditions, weather etc.
But some of my best scores/handicap rounds have been on a course I played
at 6,686 yards.  

I say give it a shot freddiec!


#16 Bella Woods

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 06:54 PM

rgolf06:

Being an old time classic golf fanatic/geek myself - I think what you
would be surprised at the availability of equipment/supplies that exist
for hickory golf. New and old.

A lot of the classic club supplies work and are appropriate for the wood
shaft persimmons as well.

#17 rgolf06

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 01:02 PM

bella, i live in danville ,va....lots of donald ross layouts around here that are so fun to play with classic clubs...i am going to check into the modern classic category in the hickory a**. of carolina, and get in touch with josh at louisville and tad to see bout pricing.....detroit, wow.....i worked for ford for a while , i loved going up there.....never played there....also, i am going to suprise some folks with this...but am a detroit sports fan planted in the south.....and never lived in michigan....

View PostBella Woods, on 18 November 2011 - 06:54 PM, said:

rgolf06:

Being an old time classic golf fanatic/geek myself - I think what you
would be surprised at the availability of equipment/supplies that exist
for hickory golf. New and old.

A lot of the classic club supplies work and are appropriate for the wood
shaft persimmons as well.


#18 Bella Woods

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 05:48 PM

rgolf06

Funny you should bring that up - I was a big Green Bay Packers football fan from Detroit
back in the Bart Starr, Paul Hornung, and Jim Taylor glory days of the 1960s.

Jim Brown and Johnny Unitas were also my "idols" in the 1960s. The Detroit Lions were in
the doldrums in those days.

We did have the legendary Joe Don Looney though!

Let us know what you find out about the the classic club section/options for the Hickory Association
of Carolina.

Edited by Bella Woods, 19 November 2011 - 07:19 PM.


#19 majic

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 09:27 PM

There is a growing number of hickory players in VA.  A lot in the Charlottesville area and then a further North.  All hickory play.  Check with the Carolina Hickory Golfers.  Here is one of my Left Hand Drivers.  Tad

Attached Thumbnails

  • photo.jpg


#20 majic

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 09:32 PM

www.carolinahickory.com  This group is made up of players from South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and some snow birds during the Winter Months.  Tad

Attached Thumbnails

  • P1070171.JPG


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#21 rgolf06

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 11:41 AM

tad, they played an event here in town at danville golf club a few days ago, did you come up here to play?
ray

#22 majic

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 12:10 PM

Ray that is the Carolina Hickory guys.  Wish I could have.  You should give it a go.  www.carolinahickory.com  The head guy is Bill Engelson. A good friend.  I will snd you the sticks to play.  They play once a month somewhere in the Carolinas.  A lot of times Ross courses. Tad

#23 rex235

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 11:02 AM

View PostBella Woods, on 10 November 2011 - 08:56 AM, said:

One thing that I forgot to mention earlier - a lot of the
Societies etc that put on the hickory golf tournaments do
(or have in the past) make a classic club steel shaft division
an option.

For the most part - they do realize that people like to play the
steel shafted classics too. Persimmon either way - just different
shafts.

The only problem they run into is that nobody shows up to play
the classic club steel shaft clubs!!!!

Bella-

Along with Tad, I consider you one of the lead authorities on PowerBilt clubs.

An old friend of mine would like to sell his collection, which includes the following PowerBilt irons
100_9729.JPG

yes, these are the ones with the cream colored Heddon shafts, and dot punch faces.

Also included are Bill Kaiser persimmon woods
100_9738.JPG

He is interested in finding a nice home for them, and  has some really nice pieces, so he allowed me to take photos.
(NOTE- A set of  MacGregor Colokrom Tourneys with "TP" stamp are part of this collection- Charley Penna  has stated these were part of a special run. )

#24 Bella Woods

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 06:11 PM

rex235:

The irons look to be 1936, 1937 or 1938 Model 75 (does that say Reg No 7590 on the irons? -
can't read it. PowerBilt called the shafts "light hickory" color.

The woods look to be early 1940s. I think that laminated "fiber" insert showed up about 1940.
I always liked the Bill Kaiser woods - You know - I have never heard anybody say anything bad
about Bill Kaiser - I think he was very well liked, and he built the PowerBilt brand from the
bottom up.

Very nice clubs.

Edited by Bella Woods, 01 December 2011 - 06:12 PM.


#25 Bella Woods

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 06:26 PM

Speaking of Hickory Golf.......

Bella picked up this 1928 Jack White Gullane Driving Brassie (from Scotland)
recently. Not the best picture - but my excuse is a new phone and it was getting
dark.

43 1/2" - D-2 swingweight- 12 degree loft- stamped Jack White signature on the
original shaft.

Jack White Gullane Driver.jpg


#26 rex235

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 07:33 PM

View Postmajic, on 20 November 2011 - 09:27 PM, said:

There is a growing number of hickory players in VA.  A lot in the Charlottesville area and then a further North.  All hickory play.  Check with the Carolina Hickory Golfers.  Here is one of my Left Hand Drivers.  Tad


OK Tad....'Tis the Season....

What is the length? Shaft Flex?   Use DG S300-S400 in Persimmon.

Price?

#27 rex235

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 07:44 PM

View PostBella Woods, on 01 December 2011 - 06:11 PM, said:

rex235:

The irons look to be 1936, 1937 or 1938 Model 75 (does that say Reg No 7590 on the irons? -
can't read it. PowerBilt called the shafts "light hickory" color.

The woods look to be early 1940s. I think that laminated "fiber" insert showed up about 1940.
I always liked the Bill Kaiser woods - You know - I have never heard anybody say anything bad
about Bill Kaiser - I think he was very well liked, and he built the PowerBilt brand from the
bottom up.

Very nice clubs.


Bella-

Thanks for your reply.

Yes, the Reg No is 7590 for these irons.
Here is a photo of the Soleplates of the Bill Kaiser Driver....
100_9740.JPG
Will post some more photos of classics this Season...

#28 majic

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 08:25 PM

Rex i am doing some 'special" things for the Xmas season.  Take a look at www.tommorrisclubs.com or www.tadmoore.com in hickories .  Let me know what is of interest.  i will send some other pictures of woods.  I can make a great pricing for you.  just drop me a line at tad@tadmoore.com

ANYONE that is interested here or in the UK I will be glad to quote you prices.  Just drop me a line.  Tad

#29 Bella Woods

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 07:06 PM

View Postrex235, on 01 December 2011 - 07:44 PM, said:

View PostBella Woods, on 01 December 2011 - 06:11 PM, said:

rex235:

The irons look to be 1936, 1937 or 1938 Model 75 (does that say Reg No 7590 on the irons? -
can't read it. PowerBilt called the shafts "light hickory" color.

The woods look to be early 1940s. I think that laminated "fiber" insert showed up about 1940.
I always liked the Bill Kaiser woods - You know - I have never heard anybody say anything bad
about Bill Kaiser - I think he was very well liked, and he built the PowerBilt brand from the
bottom up.

Very nice clubs.


Bella-

Thanks for your reply.

Yes, the Reg No is 7590 for these irons.
Here is a photo of the Soleplates of the Bill Kaiser Driver....
100_9740.JPG
Will post some more photos of classics this Season...


Rex235:  

I would love to see more photos of the Bill Kaiser woods - here are some excerpts from  the original
1937 Louisville/PowerBilt Catalog relating to the Irons:

1937 PowerBilt Catalog (2).jpg

1937 PowerBilt Catalog.jpg

1937 PowerBilt Catalog (3).jpg

#30 gvogel

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 10:31 AM

I've been playing hickory for a couple of years now and have become a "friend of Tad."

I started playing because my local muni used to be the Country Club of Buffalo before around 1932, and hosted the US Open in 1912.  The course is a bit shorter now than it was then because it lost a couple of holes to a VA Hospital; but at around 5700 yards it makes a fine hickory course in the summer.  Walter J Travis came in a year or two before the tournament and redesigned about half of the greens.  I love the scale of the mounding around, and on, the Travis greens.  It is a human scale that I find lacking on courses designed after the 1950's, for the most part.  For me, it is a great pleasure to be able to play a course that was influenced by a guy who won both the US and British Amateur Championships in the very early part of the last century, and who was an early pioneer in designing courses in this country.

On the subject of length, I enjoy courses around 5800 yards because at that length I get to hit a variety of clubs for my second shot.  When a course gets to 6200 yards I start to be limited to fairway woods all the time.  The course that we played in Birmingham, Highland Park, was a fine distance for hickory at 5800.

In terms of driver distance, I carry my hickory driver 15 yards shorter than my Titleist 910 D2 on good shots.  And, it is certainly less consistent.

One of the great things about hickory for me is that I can play with 10 clubs and be fully equipped.  As the clubs are heavier, and the shafts tend to have more "feel", it is easier to play more shots with the same club.  For example, from 40 yards short of a green I have used a 5-iron (modern 7-iron loft) or mashie to run the ball onto the green in some conditions.  Once I found one niblick (wedge) that I liked, I was able to simplify my choice of lofted clubs.  That means I can carry them easily, and walking 5800 yard courses is no sweat.

There is much to recommend about playing hickory golf!

Ping G25 driver and fairways
Titleist AP1 irons

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