Hickory golf

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File:Hickory Golfer.jpg
American hickory golfer on 14th hole at Chambers Bay Golf Course, University Place, WA, on January 1, 2014.

Hickory golf is a variation of golf played with hickory shafted golf clubs. In the United States the main organizing bodies are The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG) and the Golf Collectors Society; in Canada - The Canadian Golf Historical Society; and in the UK - The British Golf Collectors Society. There are also active groups in Sweden and Finland that conduct national tournaments.

Part of the attraction of playing with hickory clubs is that they reintroduce 'feel' to the golf shot. Proponents also claim that hickory golf allows golfers to play classic golf courses as they are meant to be played.


There are two main divisions of play, pre-1935 and pre-1900.

The pre-1900 group (open & reserve divisions) play with the old Gutta-Percha ball, or its equivalent, and clubs are limited to those produced before that 1900 or authorized reproductions. The main tournament for this group is the National Hickory Championship organized by Pete Georgiady. It has recently[when?] conducted its 10th tournament. Most of these tournaments have been conducted in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia at Oakhurst Links, the oldest golf course in the United States.

The pre-1935 group (vintage division) play with modern balls, but play is limited to clubs manufactured before 1935 or to authorized reproductions. There are numerous tournaments and championships.


There are a number of Championships conducted in countries around the world. The majority of the events are currently held in the United States and the United Kingdom. Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, Australia, France and Finland have held events. Schedules of these events are available at Hickorygolf.com and the SoHG (hickorygolfers.com). The French hickory golf Championship (francehickory.com) of La Société Française de Golf Hickory is the leading tournament of Continental Europe and since 2009 involves Professional Golfers. The inaugural Championship during Centennial of Chantilly G.C. was remarked by never seen scores under PAR. It is the first prize money Championship of Continental Europe. The Swiss Hickory Championship Days (swisshickory.ch) were inaugurated in 2011. They are held on the oldest golf course in Switzerland, the Engadine Golf Club - Since 1893 in St. Moritz/Samedan. Amateurs and Professionals are welcomed to participate in this hickory event.

Probably the most prestigious tournament is The World Hickory Open Championship (www.worldhickoryopen.com), which was inaugurated in 2004 and played on Musselburgh Old Course, the oldest still surviving playing surface in the world (Guinness Book of Records). This year (2010) the tournament continues as part of the Festival of Hickory Golf, played on some of Scotland's best known East Lothian golf courses including Musselburgh Old Course, Craigielaw, Gullane 2 and 3, and Archerfield.

The Royal Musselburgh Golf Club host the Scottish Hickory Open Championship. At this event any player is eligible to participate as Hickory Clubs are available on the day which makes the event available to all golfers of all abilities.

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