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Playing Hickory Golf


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#511 Kathy Marie

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 06:49 PM

+1 Aussie_steeler, I enjoyed your WIMB too.


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#512 majic

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 09:05 PM

Aussie_Steeler I had a huge collection of Gibson and love their clubs. They are getting harder to find as people learn about how well they play. Thanks for your kind words on my club. I take great pride in making clubs that replicate the old clubs that cannot be found. Like the Dominie Sander. Tad

#513 Kirasdad

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 12:34 AM

AS, I loved the article. Great info, and great advice. I started playing hickory four years ago, and quickly loved playing golf the old(e) way. I, like you, had been losing enthusiasm for the game for a variety of reasons, but the rise of technology was certainly one of the factors. Called "bomb and gouge" over here, it's a style of golf that consists of: hit it as far as you can, and hack it out and on with a wedge that used to be an 8 iron. It's golf that is devoid of the sort of shotmaking that I think makes the game fun. Hickory brought all that back for me. When I started I enthusiastically bought any hickory club I could lay my hands on from ebay to flea markets, garage sales and the occasional club show when I traveled to a tournament. My first USHO I carried 12 clubs, but frankly only four of them were playable on any sort of consistent basis. I soon discovered that I played and scored better when I carried far fewer clubs, but at least the implements I carried were more reliable and produced good results with a good swing and strike. I played for awhile with only six, a brassie, four irons and a putter. All good clubs acquired from either reliable ebay sellers, who I happen to know are players, and members of the Society of HG, or my California buddy Chris MacIntyre, he of the MacIntyre ball you mentioned, who lives about 100 milies south of me. Chris has a vast knowledge of the hickory game and gear, and I am lucky he lives close enough to play the odd round here and there, so I can expand my knowledge of all things hickory. I got both of my woods from him, my brassie and spoon. They are superb golfing tools. Everyone knows how hard it is to find good payable original woods, and without Chris I would be far worse off in that part of my bag. Chris has also worked on all my clubs, redid all my grips just the way I wanted them, and straightened out the shafts and replaced the shaft on my niblick which is the only hickory shaft that I have broken since I started. They are pretty tough. I do live in fear that my brassie might break, or the head will crack. It's my go to club, deadly off the tee, a fairway finding machine. If anything happens to it, I will be seriously distraught.

Three years ago when I was playing in my first big event, the Hickory Open held in French Lick, Indiana that year, I was sitting at a table with a bunch of the guys after the first days play, big round table, eight or so guys sitting there chatting, one of them was Tad Moore, who I had met briefly at the club show the night before. So one of these fellows was talking about a "set of irons" that he had purchased I think off of ebay that he was putting into play with apparently, decidedly mixed results. He opined however that "once he got used to them" they would play "as well as anything". Tad stared at him for a few seconds and then laughed as said, "oh, no they won't". The subject was changed to something else, but his comment made a big impression on me. I mean, come on, Tad has forgotten more about golf clubs than I know. After the tournament, in which I had decided mixed results, some really good shots and some equally wretched ones, I went home with a resolve to not just play anything I found, but instead try and find better sticks and/or redo the ones I had, that had potential. I had swingweights all the way from B8  to E1, flexes all over the place. Clubs I had no business using. I had an nine degree driver that couldn't hit more than six feet off the ground with my normal move. Then, of course, I tried playing it forward, teeing it higher, putting my hands behind it, all in an effort to get more air, that instead resulted in, well more height certainly, but I had trouble hitting it at all straight. It was military golf...left, right, left. I found a good deal on a flanged niblick and snapped it up and stuck it in the bag cause "everyone knows you need a flanged niblick for bunkers and such" well, if you find a flanged niblick for fifty bucks you know the reason is...wait for it....it's a piece of crap. I didn't know that then. That puppy cost me a tons of shots, leaving balls in bunkers, or skulling them out and over the green were a far too common occurrence. I sold it on ebay for a profit "cause everyone knows you need a flanged niblick for bunkers and such." Hickory players see a club like that and start bidding. I  didn't  say it was a POP (piece of poop) I just said it didn't work for me. My regular 55 degree niblick with maybe 3 degrees of bounce does a far better job for me that the banished, unlamented flanged one, and it will have to do until I come up with the bank for a  good one. Now, I'm not Bobby Jones or anything, and I miss plenty of shots on my own, but I'm a decent player who just didn't know what he was doing. I have much more knowledge now, and articles like the one you linked to us only increases it. Thank you, and thanks to Tad for all the informative posts he has written on this forum.

One of the coolest thing about hickory is the education one gets in studying the history of the game and the equipment and how the various clubs one fits one's style and swing. So one earns the good shots struck with the good clubs. You don't just go to the store and have the flightscope tell you everything you need to know.

Edited by Kirasdad, 08 August 2014 - 12:41 AM.

Set For Some Seasons/hickory version
Jeffrey brassie/Starr spoon
Forgan mid iron/Champion mashie
WE Webb mashie nib./W and Dit. nib.
Bonnie B lofted niblick
Brass flanged no name putter

#514 Kirasdad

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 02:56 PM

Oh...and plus 1 on the Callaway Super Soft. Great ball for hickory, best I've tried, soft off the club and lively, 7-10 yards past my old gamer the Wilson Duo.
Set For Some Seasons/hickory version
Jeffrey brassie/Starr spoon
Forgan mid iron/Champion mashie
WE Webb mashie nib./W and Dit. nib.
Bonnie B lofted niblick
Brass flanged no name putter

#515 majic

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Posted 09 August 2014 - 12:05 PM

Great choice for a good hickory ball. I think the persimmon woods seem to feel better and respond well to the softer core balls. The SoHG is playing its USHO at Asheville Country Club an old Donald Ross and is to bad we don't have a Darrell Survey there.
Enjoy your hickory game and share your experiences here on Wrx. Tad


#516 Aussie_steeler

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Posted 09 August 2014 - 06:14 PM

Thanks for the positive feedback.

I had fun writing the article and our intention was to generate some more interest on the Australian Golf Heritage Website.

Our society prescribes to the pre 1935 rule ( however I play Tad's woods in my club competition rounds to prevent damage to my players)

Hopefully other members will send in their Whats in my bag.

Alan Grieve and Perry Somers would be good articles.

Although my playing partner has two lovely sets, A nicoll precision and a Walter Hagen matching set.

One day I may fall into a matching set that I like.

#517 Blade Junkie

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 04:26 PM

View PostAussie_steeler, on 06 August 2014 - 04:38 PM, said:

I was recently asked by the Australian Golf Heritage Society to help out with a new section on their website.

Here is the link to my " Whats in my bag" article

http://www.australia...#WIMBDarronWatt

Excellent stuff Darron !  Hope you manage to make it across for another World Hickory Open one day ! And your turn for the Australian championship this year methinks ...  :)

View PostKirasdad, on 08 August 2014 - 02:56 PM, said:

Oh...and plus 1 on the Callaway Super Soft. Great ball for hickory, best I've tried, soft off the club and lively, 7-10 yards past my old gamer the Wilson Duo.

Thanks for the recommendation chaps. I've just bought a couple of dozen of these to try out. Carpet putting feels good (though my carpet putts always seem to go in lol)


View PostAussie_steeler, on 09 August 2014 - 06:14 PM, said:

Thanks for the positive feedback.

I had fun writing the article and our intention was to generate some more interest on the Australian Golf Heritage Website.

Our society prescribes to the pre 1935 rule ( however I play Tad's woods in my club competition rounds to prevent damage to my players)

Hopefully other members will send in their Whats in my bag.

Alan Grieve and Perry Somers would be good articles.

Although my playing partner has two lovely sets, A nicoll precision and a Walter Hagen matching set.

One day I may fall into a matching set that I like.

Would be great if Lachie came on here and posted some pics of his sets.

Re: Perry Somers WITB ... it's on this thread somewhere ... he also likes quite light swingweights as I recall!

Perry came 4th in the Swedish Hickory Open a couple of weekends ago, won by Johan Moberg (a Swedish Club pro) on +1 for 36 holes. Johan had a Hole-in-one on the 13th hole at Bro Balsta followed by an Eagle on the 14th.  I don't think I ever heard of anyone being 4 under through 2 holes before, let alone with original hickory on a pretty tough course!
'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

#518 Kirasdad

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Posted Today, 01:41 AM

In my slow recovery from my injured neck of 4 months ago I have been able to play again only recently, and then only with a set of graphite shafted irons (Taylor Made Racs) given to me by my wife's cousin (thanks Jerry) and my modern driver and fairway wood a TM and a Callaway. This equipment is lighter and easier on my body. While this mode of play is better than not playing at all, it is not where my golfing heart resides, which is more in the hickory/vintage arena. I have entered the Mid Pines Hickory tournament in Nov. and I need to "get my hickory on", if you will. Been feeling gradually better so decided this weekend I would resolve to play a full round with my hickories, and hope for the best, physically.
The course for the round was Brookside #2, here in Pasadena. The Brookside golf complex (courses 1 and 2) is Pasadena's finest public golf facility known for hosting the LA Open (course 1) for a couple of years and being nestled next to the Rose Bowl. Nice traditional layouts designed by Billy Bell where you can run the ball onto many of the greens. Course 1 is a 7000 yard beast, course 2 is smaller, and trickier, a 6025 yard gem, perfect for hickory.
I don't know what it is about Labor Day weekend, heat, cookouts, whatever, but I had a 4:55 tee time and there was almost no one on the course. Accompanied by Kira as caddy and photographer at large, I stuck my peg in the ground at just about 5:00 and with no warmup (no range balls obviously) gave it a lash. In the bag was my usual 7 clubs plus two new additions. I have been searching for a driving brassie for a couple of years. My Jackson brassie is a fairway machine, but at 18 degrees it's really more of an over length spoon at 42.5 " than a proper driving club. 210 is my max with it unless I hit a sprinkler head or a flat rock. I knew I was giving up precious yards, but just couldn't find what I was looking for at a few club shows or on ebay. They were either way too much dough, or I didn't have any confidence the club was a player. Finally, this summer I purchased an A.B. Jeffrey 13 degree brassie from the workshop of the late Ralph Livingston. Roger Hill handled the deal, a guy I know and trust, and he had hit the club a few times and informed me it was the real deal. Considering the pedigree the price was pretty reasonable, so I purchased it. A wise choice, as I was to find out. The other new club in the bag was my homemade jigger. All the guys that I have talked to regarding Mid Pines tell me the jigger run up play is a must on the Ross layout. Just having bought the Jeffrey I wasn't in the mood to shell out more coin on a real jigger on ebay that I didn't know anything about, and was almost certainly overpriced to boot. I figured I would just hit a knock down mashie, or something of that order when I remembered a club I bought for 2 dollars when I first started playing hickory. It was a Spalding 4 iron, I was trying to put together a play set, had no clue what I was doing, and thought "2 bucks, great!" The ebay seller, of course, neglected to mention that the club had been altered for a juvenile. When I took it out of the box it was a 4 iron the length of a putter. I chalked it up to experience and tossed it in the closet where it hasn't seen the light of day since. I got it out, took it and had the loft checked, (32 degrees) put some lead tape on it to get it to C5, and viola...a jigger. Been messing around with for a couple of weeks and it works nicely. A little punch and run beauty that is great from 50 to 100 yards. I have never taken a full swing with it, nor do I intend to.

The first few swings of the round were pretty tentative. No warm up, and I'm flinching a little, hoping my neck doesn't turn on me. Got under my first three drives with the Jeffrey, 160 yard sky balls. I had played a few holes with the new brassie when the club first arrived and it felt very good in my hands so I knew it wasn't the arrow, but instead it was the paleface holding it that was the issue. I scrambled around and made bogies despite the anemic tee shots. Then number 4, a 433 yard par 4, longest par 4 on the course, and I struck my tee ball in the center of the face, 221 right down Broadway. Played 10 more holes where I needed to hit brassie off the tee, my efforts ranged from 213 to 235 with most in the 220-225 range. That's an average gain over my old driving club of 15 to 20 yards. That is a big, big gain and it makes the longer par fours and par fives so much more doable, and it's straight too. Thank you Ralph, wherever you are. Played a bunch of practice shots on the front, didn't have a bona fide score, but as it started getting darker I played a single ball on the back, shot a 40.  

Had a blast, hickory is just so much fun. Physically, I seem to be ok, a little sore, but nothing major. Can't wait to get out there again. Playing in a hickory outing on Sunday with 7 other guys, really looking forward to it.

Here are some pics by my daughter, a budding Dorothea Lange with an iPad.

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Set For Some Seasons/hickory version
Jeffrey brassie/Starr spoon
Forgan mid iron/Champion mashie
WE Webb mashie nib./W and Dit. nib.
Bonnie B lofted niblick
Brass flanged no name putter

#519 Blade Junkie

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Posted Today, 01:59 AM

Super stuff John - welcome back to hickory golf!
'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

#520 Bella Woods

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Posted Today, 07:14 AM

Glad to see your back in the game kirasdad, and nice pictures by your daughter.....


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#521 HoldenCornfield

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Posted Today, 07:59 AM

Good job with that Brassie and nice shooting on the back! Enjoyed the account of your round. I'm glad to hear your health is allowing you to enjoy the game again.
"I wish to goodness I knew the man
who invented this infernal game. I'd
strangle him. But I suppose he's
been dead for ages... Still, I could
go and jump on his grave." - PGW

#522 majic

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Posted Today, 09:58 AM

Enjoy. You will enjoy Mid Pines. Coming a long way. You might get there a little early. Mike Kosich can give good advice. See you there

#523 Bella Woods

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Posted Today, 03:44 PM

kirasdad:

I didn't notice until Tads post that you are coming to Mid Pines - me too.
Look forward to seeing you there.......

#524 Kirasdad

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Posted Today, 04:33 PM

You bet...first beverage is on me.
Set For Some Seasons/hickory version
Jeffrey brassie/Starr spoon
Forgan mid iron/Champion mashie
WE Webb mashie nib./W and Dit. nib.
Bonnie B lofted niblick
Brass flanged no name putter

#525 majic

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Posted Today, 05:46 PM

Make it a Shanty or Gunner (NA)  Ginger Beer, Vernors and Angostina Bitters.  Tad


#526 Bella Woods

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Posted Today, 07:02 PM

Majic is obviously a connoisseur..........

(Vernors because of where he came from)




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