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Playing Hickory Golf


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#1711 Bella Woods

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Posted 24 January 2016 - 05:58 PM

Chris:

I think you don't need to worry so much about the type of grass as much as the "condition" of it,
Hard, soft, wet or dried out etc. I made the mistake of playing a few lofted shots at Carnoustie
with a niblick with a lot of bounce on it - should have used the thinner soled niblick.

The answer is to bring both sets - then you will be ready for anything..... (actually I would bring
your skinny bladed FO/RTJs - I think you will probably be able to play them well in both Florida and
California). And if does not turn out so good - everyone will admire your clubs anyway.


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#1712 stixman

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Posted 25 January 2016 - 11:20 AM

Good point, Bella. Question is ,'can I afford the insurance?'
A solitary FO/RTJ 6 iron sold for £277 sterling here on Ebay over the weekend :o  Now that sounds a lot to me. Is there a new generation of collectors coming on stream?

Seriously though, I haven't played them for a while, and they deserve an outing!
Joe Powell Mock Hickory Driver
3 + 5 Mac. Custom Persimmon
Apex II,or 1968 Dynas, or Nicoll Cottons
Wilson PW
1935 Wilson R90, real deal
Chris H

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#1713 ebeer

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Posted 25 January 2016 - 01:04 PM

I don't have any FO/RTJ's, but I do play "standard" Stewart and Nicoll clubs as my playset (US West Coast...California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona).  I don't think they dig too much.  I do have some wider soled clubs (a wide flanged niblick and some Spalding Custom Made irons).  Not sure I see an advantage of one over the other.  I would more concentrate on bringing clubs to manage an aerial assault.  Not sure where you are playing, but most of the courses I play (even hickory era courses with original 1920's design) require the American target approach.  Tee shots often require carry, greens often elevated and guarded by bunkers, and fairways are often soft providing little runout option for tee shots that carry that 175 and rollout to 230.  I like a jigger for high flying longer approach shots and usually carry two niblicks (one flanged for sand and green side flops, and one 52ish thin soled Stewart that covers everything from to 110yds to short approach shots).  Recommend a brassie or higher lofted driving club that gets up consistently as carry is king for many US courses IMO.

Various Brassies depending on mood: Winton, MacGregor, Burr Key, and Wilson

George Nicoll 2 Iron

Tom Stewart: Mashie Iron, Jigger, Mashie, Mashie Niblick, Niblick

Burke Flanged Niblick

Putters: AG Spalding or Standard Mills - depends if I want to miss right or left ;)


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#1714 majic

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Posted 25 January 2016 - 03:27 PM

View Poststixman, on 22 January 2016 - 04:31 PM, said:

I have a question about hickory golf in America. You have different grasses, cool season bents etc in the Northern States and bermudas etc in the Southern. Variations of course occur with overseeding plus the mixed conditions existing in the center of the country.
Are there favored iron head styles which take into account these different cultivars? Would you ideally play a skinny blade in the North and a Maxwell,for example, in the South?


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#1715 majic

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Posted 25 January 2016 - 03:30 PM

Stix in the MacGregor catalog they reference a different part of the country for the flanged OA and Popular " B" series. I always assumed it was for the Southern markets.
I prefer these anyway. I never had an issue when being a member at Royal Troon I played. I am not a digger however.
Bring what you enjoy playing


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#1716 stixman

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 04:29 AM

Gentlemen, thank you for your thoughtful and insightful observations.

I shall now retire to the club room (garage) with a wet towel around my throbbing temples and select an ill-assorted disparate collection of hickories and persuade myself that they are appropriate for the task in hand.

I may commit these follies to camera :wacko:
Joe Powell Mock Hickory Driver
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#1717 Blade Junkie

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 09:12 AM

View Poststixman, on 26 January 2016 - 04:29 AM, said:

Gentlemen, thank you for your thoughtful and insightful observations.

I shall now retire to the club room (garage) with a wet towel around my throbbing temples and select an ill-assorted disparate collection of hickories and persuade myself that they are appropriate for the task in hand.

I may commit these follies to camera :wacko:

We'll be fine Chris. I'll be playing a set I've never even seen let alone hit a ball with :)

One thing about being a classic/vintage club enthusiast is that you get to hit an awful lot of different clubs, and you quickly realise that your "score" is not really linked to a particular set or style of clubs, and is mainly a function of putting - how many 5-15 footers do you actually hole when the opportunity presents. It takes away all the uncertainty about having the "right" set of clubs for me !


My set will be "skinny blades" for the record, and I just know they are 100% perfect for conditions in Florida ... mainly because they will be the only option I will have out there ...  :)

Edited by Blade Junkie, 26 January 2016 - 09:14 AM.

"Don't play too much golf ... two rounds a day are plenty"

Harry Vardon (1870-1937)

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#1718 stixman

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 09:20 AM

View PostBlade Junkie, on 26 January 2016 - 09:12 AM, said:

View Poststixman, on 26 January 2016 - 04:29 AM, said:

Gentlemen, thank you for your thoughtful and insightful observations.

I shall now retire to the club room (garage) with a wet towel around my throbbing temples and select an ill-assorted disparate collection of hickories and persuade myself that they are appropriate for the task in hand.

I may commit these follies to camera :wacko:

We'll be fine Chris. I'll be playing a set I've never even seen let alone hit a ball with :)

One thing about being a classic/vintage club enthusiast is that you get to hit an awful lot of different clubs, and you quickly realise that your "score" is not really linked to a particular set or style of clubs, and is mainly a function of putting - how many 5-15 footers do you actually hole when the opportunity presents. It takes away all the uncertainty about having the "right" set of clubs for me !


My set will be "skinny blades" for the record, and I just know they are 100% perfect for conditions in Florida ... mainly because they will be the only option I will have out there ...  :)

Don't deny me a few theatricals, you know you love it!

I like your comment re. putting and those 5-15 footers, you haven't been having a chat with Rory, have you? :lol:
Joe Powell Mock Hickory Driver
3 + 5 Mac. Custom Persimmon
Apex II,or 1968 Dynas, or Nicoll Cottons
Wilson PW
1935 Wilson R90, real deal
Chris H

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#1719 gvogel

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 01:04 PM

View Poststixman, on 24 January 2016 - 05:10 PM, said:

View PostBlade Junkie, on 24 January 2016 - 04:14 PM, said:

View Poststixman, on 22 January 2016 - 04:31 PM, said:

I have a question about hickory golf in America. You have different grasses, cool season bents etc in the Northern States and bermudas etc in the Southern. Variations of course occur with overseeding plus the mixed conditions existing in the center of the country.
Are there favored iron head styles which take into account these different cultivars? Would you ideally play a skinny blade in the North and a Maxwell,for example, in the South?

Sounds like you're trying to decide which clubs to take to Cali and Florida !

Any pointers from our friends in the USA ?

Was it that blatent?  Not very subtle, was I ?

Actually there is a point to the question. I prefer skinny blades, my FO/RTJs for example (and don't you just love a good 'name-drop') on a tight turfed links course where you can squeeze the ball and clubs with bounce work not so well, and I like Maxwells etc on meadow land courses. I thought maybe some folk on the other side might take a view.
Now Florida and bermudas, I imagine, would be more akin to what,exactly?

IF you are playing Temple Terrace in Florida, I think that you will find the fairways to be pretty firm.  My recollection is that the iron shots that call for elevation, because of raised greens or bunkers in front, are mostly par 3's - so you will have the advantage of being able to use a tee for those.  The rest of the greens can be accessed with lower, running shots, if needs be.  If you happen to find the rough, you will find them to be sandy and with some pine straw close to trees.

Hope that helps.
On Sundays, I play hickory

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#1720 jonnygrouville

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 05:39 AM

Don't worry about your score.  Let it looks after itself.  Enjoy every shot.  Enjoy the surroundings, the company, the clubs you're playing with, you lucky ba$tard.

Hope that helps.


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#1721 Fellaheen51

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 08:49 AM

Questions for the hickory folks about straightening shafts.  Have a couple with some bows in them.  With one, I've been able to remove about 80% of the bow by using a heat gun and a vise.  Heating and bending using the eyeball technique.  Rotating it 90* and "manipulating" the shaft into some degree of straightness.  Surprised by how well this works.  Using my entirely rudimentary techniques.

1.  Once straightened, will it stay straight over time?
2.  Other than a full scale straightening jig, any other tips or techniques you folks use?  With a home hobbyist set of tools in mind.  
3.  This may be a stupid question to ask.  Do you you play clubs that may not have "ruler straight" shafts (particularly under the grip)?

TIA.  Could post some pics if needed.  Set is coming together, been working on them of late.  Hammering, filing and Dremel'ing them into some degree of respectability.  But, not quite ready for primetime yet.
Laissez les bons temps rouler!

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#1722 ebeer

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 10:30 AM

Pretty much all you need to know is right here in this video.  https://www.youtube....h?v=WTYltcpJ5Fc

The straightening tool can be purchased here http://www.hickorygo...com/-tools.html

I use a simpler (errr, cheaper) but still effective method by taking a 2x4 with straight guide lines drawn down the middle.  I then drill holes wherever necessary in the wood to place dowels, which hold the club straight and allow me to apply heat.  I also have a small work table with a gliding top.  Recently I starting using this hold shape, then apply heat both top and bottom of shaft.  It works pretty good as well.

I think the important part as Gary explains is to get really hot without scorching and then allow to fully cool before removing from your jig of choice.

IMG_4283.jpg

IMG_4284.jpg

Various Brassies depending on mood: Winton, MacGregor, Burr Key, and Wilson

George Nicoll 2 Iron

Tom Stewart: Mashie Iron, Jigger, Mashie, Mashie Niblick, Niblick

Burke Flanged Niblick

Putters: AG Spalding or Standard Mills - depends if I want to miss right or left ;)


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#1723 stixman

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 10:39 AM

Getting the shaft evenly hot without scorching is the key. Once achieved hickory will bend with ease.

I use a home made attachment ot my heatgun. It's very simple. It's a baked bean can with both ends removed. A hole is made with tin snips in the side, large enough to take the heatgun nozzle. The hole is cut from a center point with the cuts radiating outwards to the hole diameter,; bent back these form the tin lugs which secure the can to the nozzle.
Joe Powell Mock Hickory Driver
3 + 5 Mac. Custom Persimmon
Apex II,or 1968 Dynas, or Nicoll Cottons
Wilson PW
1935 Wilson R90, real deal
Chris H

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#1724 Fellaheen51

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 11:19 AM

Thank you gentlemen for your responses.  I experienced some return to a bow while "experimenting" yesterday (upon examination this a.m.).   Mostly likely because I did not use a jig and allow the shaft to cool while being held in place.  Dug out the ShopMate this morning and will give it a go.  If not satisfactory, will build one of those cheap jig setups.  Thanks for the pic.  

As a novice, I was concerned with overheating the wood.  Seems that the hotter, the better (short of scorching).  Thanks for posting the video ebeer, that was helpful.  

Visualizing, once the can is attached, the heat is dispersed evenly 360* as you move the shaft through the can?  Then, after heating, place the shaft into a jig?

As long as I'm performing this reclamation project, might as well do it right.
Laissez les bons temps rouler!

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#1725 ebeer

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Posted 24 February 2016 - 12:30 PM

We've had a bit of a dry spell over the last week or so in Norcal.  While we desperately need the water, it's nice to see my local course dry out a bit.  Played an afternoon 9 yesterday and was pleasantly surprised to find a freshly cut course playing firmer than it has been during our El Nino inspired wet winter.  The course certainly was not playing easy, but it was nice to get a little runout on the tee shots (so critical as IMO the biggest handicap with hickory is the lack of modern distance off the tee).  The firmness also opened up some running shots, which for the most part have been either ill-advised or less than productive when trying to hit running approaches over soft, muddy, and long grass conditions.  This ground game is one aspect I find most rewarding about hickory.  Watching many players elect to hit 56 and 60 degree wedges from green side pinch lies, hickory encourages me to play a higher percentage runner.  The reaction from playing partners (when the shots are good) is always of surprise or with comments of how inventive the shot was.  Funny, it's not really inventive as much as response to vintage clubs that produce less spin.  This higher percentage shot has surfaced in my modern bag when I play it....guess I have hickory to thank for that, especially the jigger which is likely the favorite among my current play set.

Various Brassies depending on mood: Winton, MacGregor, Burr Key, and Wilson

George Nicoll 2 Iron

Tom Stewart: Mashie Iron, Jigger, Mashie, Mashie Niblick, Niblick

Burke Flanged Niblick

Putters: AG Spalding or Standard Mills - depends if I want to miss right or left ;)


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#1726 jonnygrouville

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Posted 24 February 2016 - 01:19 PM

A good jigger is an incredible club.  Chips around the green, the long-distance chip or anything between 160 to 100 yards going down the grip.  Versatile is not the word.

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#1727 farmer

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Posted 24 February 2016 - 02:01 PM

Just a question, and I have 0 knowledge about hickory golf.  I assume that shafts are made by turning down blanks.  Given that modern equipment and technology is  a quantum leap away from the old days, are modern hickory shafts better than they were at the height of the hickory era?

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#1728 rex235

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Posted 07 March 2016 - 06:43 PM

View Postmajic, on 25 January 2016 - 03:30 PM, said:

Stix in the MacGregor catalog they reference a different part of the country for the flanged OA and Popular " B" series. I always assumed it was for the Southern markets.
I prefer these anyway. I never had an issue when being a member at Royal Troon I played. I am not a digger however.
Bring what you enjoy playing

Tad-

+1 on your Golf Channel spot with Charlie Rymer....

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#1729 gvogel

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 01:50 PM

View Postfarmer, on 24 February 2016 - 02:01 PM, said:

Just a question, and I have 0 knowledge about hickory golf.  I assume that shafts are made by turning down blanks.  Given that modern equipment and technology is  a quantum leap away from the old days, are modern hickory shafts better than they were at the height of the hickory era?

I have no idea.  But I suspect that it would be hard to generalize, as all shafts are different.  I suspect that you can get a really good modern shaft, and a really good antique shaft, and more than a few that don't suit you.

I need Tad to chime in.
On Sundays, I play hickory

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#1730 majic

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 10:01 PM

We feel we make as good a shaft as possible.  I imagine Gibson the largest maker make many great shafts  We make the shaft today I think via a lathe that might be a little different but not being able to find any manufacturing data i don't know.


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#1731 Boney

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 07:24 PM

I'm sorely tempted to get a hickory set and give it a try. I have a very nice (if lightweight) hickory shafted putter, and a decent looking Mashie Niblick stamped "Anderson Anstruther" I've hit on a grass range a few times. I think I lean towards getting a matched reproduction set (Tad's look great). But I don't think I want to give up the "modern" game.

I haven't read this whole thread, but are there people who do both, and how does that work for you? Do you feel the difference between playing hickories and modern clubs is an added complication to the learning process? Is there an "adjustment period" when you change eras?

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#1732 Boney

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 10:09 PM

Here's my putter:

WalterClark77.jpg

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#1733 ebeer

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 10:46 PM

Cool putter there Boney.  You may already be aware but that's modeled after the Arthur Brown drop nose putter he originally designed for Harry Vardon when he got the yips (more than yips actually, instead and hand tremor that plagued his putting).  Anyway the putter while light by today's standards was heavier back then and help steady the putting stroke.  Nice piece!

Various Brassies depending on mood: Winton, MacGregor, Burr Key, and Wilson

George Nicoll 2 Iron

Tom Stewart: Mashie Iron, Jigger, Mashie, Mashie Niblick, Niblick

Burke Flanged Niblick

Putters: AG Spalding or Standard Mills - depends if I want to miss right or left ;)


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#1734 Boney

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 11:48 PM

Thanks for the info! I'd searched before and don't recall having found anything.

I suppose I could cover the sole with lead tape. It would hardly alter the look. Would that be legit for tournament play? Or should I paste on raw lead with hide glue?

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#1735 ebeer

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 09:30 AM

View PostBoney, on 29 March 2016 - 11:48 PM, said:

I suppose I could cover the sole with lead tape. It would hardly alter the look. Would that be legit for tournament play? Or should I paste on raw lead with hide glue?

I'd go with lead tape if you need more weight.  It's really difficult to make most of these old putters play with a modern weight.  Add what you can within reason, but part of the fun is playing the way they used to play.  I see you're in Bellingham, there's a hickory playing group in the Seattle area full of some really great guys - you should check them out.  http://nwhickoryplayers.org/

Edited by ebeer, 30 March 2016 - 09:32 AM.

Various Brassies depending on mood: Winton, MacGregor, Burr Key, and Wilson

George Nicoll 2 Iron

Tom Stewart: Mashie Iron, Jigger, Mashie, Mashie Niblick, Niblick

Burke Flanged Niblick

Putters: AG Spalding or Standard Mills - depends if I want to miss right or left ;)


25

#1736 Kirasdad

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 06:36 PM

Unlike a lot of hickory players, I go back and forth between modern and hickory. For awhile I was all hickory all the time but as time passed since my hickory conversion 6 years ago, I play modern a good bit now. The ratio is neat 50/50.
I have found no problems going back and forth between the two. You will find hickory evangelists who say playing hickory had improved their swings etc. I think that is mostly wishful thinking, but I certainly don't think it hurts anything either.

Set For Some Seasons/hickory version
                Sunningvale  brassie/T. Vaughn spoon
                MacGregor Popular one iron
                Forgan midiron/Malone mashie
                WE Webb mashie nib
                H &B Niblick
                Bonnie B lofted niblick
                Brass flanged no name putter

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#1737 Boney

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 11:00 PM

Thanks! That's good to hear.

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#1738 Blade Junkie

Blade Junkie

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 04:06 PM

Very nice 18 holes of hickory in the evening sunshine tonight, on our Park course here at Goodwood ... yellow tees so playing about 6300 yards, and playing all of them as it is still a bit squidgy underfoot after a very wet winter.

Started at 17h40 and got round in 2 hrs 20 mins with 7 pars, 10 bogeys and a double.

Two "new to Golfwrx" clubs in the bag for this round ... (1) a new driver, Gibsons of Kinghorn with Danga Wood shaft and a sole plate in the shape of a 'D'.... a real blonde beauty this one ... I hit several drives in the range 200-220 and pretty straight with a nice  low trajectory. (2) is a club that fits in nicely between a Mid iron and a Mashie, a Ben Sayers Tweenie. This club had been for sale on UK eBay for months, maybe years, and didn't seem to have any interest in it. So I took a punt on it and ... wow ... it's a great club! First shot with it on the 154 yard uphill Par-3 8th and put it to 6 feet (missed the birdie putt unfortunately). Second shot was on the Par 4 12th, 420 yards, SI 1. I'd already topped my drive and played a Mashie Iron second to leave me 170 yards out and with the pin tucked behind the front right bunker. Pulled the Tweenie and hit one hard and high ... just clearing the bunker, bang online and it bit and screwed slightly left and finished about 12 feet behind the hole. No, I didn't make that one either :)

We have a new tournament over here soon .. "The English Hickory Open" .. being played at the The Buckinghamshire Club on Tuesday 26th April. If anyone over here is interested in playing, let me know and I'll steer you in the direction of the organiser! Cost in the region of £85 to include bacon rolls on arrival, and a "high-end" BBQ afterwards, plus prizes for Scratch and Net.

Edited by Blade Junkie, 31 March 2016 - 05:11 PM.

"Don't play too much golf ... two rounds a day are plenty"

Harry Vardon (1870-1937)

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#1739 Boney

Boney

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Posted 20 April 2016 - 03:45 PM

I borrowed some clubs and played my very first hickory round last Sunday. I hit some very good shots, but having no idea how far I'd hit each club, and using a hodge-podge of flexes and weights and all, I hit lots of bad shots as well. By the end of the round, I was finally getting a "smoother" worldview, but I think my usually too-violent swing caused some severe heel hits. That and a few lost balls (including a cartpath bounce), no sense of runout on short game shots, and mediocre putting added up to a score of about 100. But I certainly had fun, and I'd like to try it again. My new profile picture was taken at the Hickory event at Maplewood golf course in Renton, Washington. Check the Northwest Hickory Players facebook page for more pictures and info.

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#1740 jonnygrouville

jonnygrouville

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Posted 20 April 2016 - 04:16 PM

Splendid.  Hickory golf and cart-path bounces?  That has blown what is left of my mind.


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