As Sandy returned to Augusta National in April 2015, he planned to take his hickories with him. He notably used his Star OA hickory full set in a Practice round around the historic venue which caught the eye of none other than Tiger Woods who was asking Sandy twice where he got them.
Even with a par on the first and 18th he was disappointed not to break 80. Having said that, I think he was a little harsh on himself as this was after a 5 hour drive, off the back tees and at a windy Augusta!
Not only in the practice round but Sandy sported his Hickory Flatstick for the actual tournament. He hadn't been putting well before the tournament and was encouraged by his wife, Jolande, to stick the hickory putter in the bag seeing as he was putting so well with it in practice.
Designed by the infamous Bobby Jones, a legend of the hickory game, it was fitting to see a bit of functional history return to Golf's Mecca!
If you are a 'purist' or simply love playing the game the way it ought to be played, there are a couple of reasons why the game needs to love and accept high quality crafted replicas.
#1. There are not enough antique hickory clubs to support any sustained growth in the sport.
#2. The remaining population of antique clubs is not going to last long enough to even support the current level of hickory play. Also, only replica hickory clubs can handle a tour pro’s swing speed.
Many players, both high handicappers and former Master’s Champions like Sandy Lyle are playing “replicas” which are clubs made from the original designs of the era.
Replicas are more durable and can handle a practice schedule ahead of a tournament and the tournament itself. While Antiques sometimes poses some sentimentality to the golfer, it isn't prudent to wear out your favourite club when it's already almost a century old.
There's no doubt, it is apparent that some players of reproductions eventually try to put together a set of originals. Stepping back to the routes of the games and being to play a round with the same exact tools as they did all those years ago is magnificent.
Reproductions open the door for new players coming to the game. The hickory game grows on the availability of good hickory clubs and reproductions is the best way for someone to be able to experience a good result!
Without question, the biggest and most dramatic change in todays modern game compared to Bobby Jones' era is the golf ball!
At the moment, most hickory events allow you to hit any USGA-approved ball. Hickory players tend to favour soft balls with low compression compared to high compression balls such as top flight balls.
There is huge debate on whether to use replica balls or not. If you’re going to play hickory clubs, shouldn’t you be playing a hickory-period ball too?
One company manufacturing these hickory replica balls is The McIntyre Golf Company which offer a variety of surface patterns authentic to various eras of hickory golf.
The balls are very impressive and are required for play at a number of events, including the World Hickory Match Play Championship. The balls offer club protection and a soft feel. The balls will go slightly shorter but if you are looking for distance that is missing the point!
Out of the Hickory collection, "The Braid" and "The Vardon" golf balls have a more limited flight than the others. Where the "The Vardon" is not typically a "play ball" for competitions.
Here at Hickory Golf Store, we are passionate about playing and growing the classic game. With our extensive range of classic replicas, built by expert craftsmen, you can enjoy the game the way it's meant to be played.
We are a father and son team who came across Hickory Golf years ago and fell in love with the traditional game.
Collecting vintage clubs circa 1920 became a hobby for us but for actual play this was challenging. We felt we could enjoy the game more if we could use brand new hickory golf clubs with similar shaft strengths and that wouldn't be subject to wear and tear as easily.
Even Bobby Jones had trouble finding a reliable set of clubs with similar shaft stiffness due to the nature of Hickory shafts.
Working in conjunction with homegrown US factories employing expert artisans with a wealth of experience has helped us do exactly that.
We believe in perennial, beautifully made products not to be traded in year upon year for the latest technology. They are almost too pretty to hit but we believe you are almost doing yourself a disservice as a golfer if you haven't hit a hickory club.
These ornate clubs are not only for the course but something to pick up and admire around the house or office. The attention to detail and performance will surprise you. Our putters are making their way into even the modern golfers golf bag, it's a flat-stick after all.
Whether you are considering purchasing a golfing gift for your golf nut or if you are thinking of setting up a yearly hickory stick tournament with buddies, we want to make that happen for you.
We're always at hand to answer any questions you may have about Hickory clubs so don't hesitate to shoot us a message in our Contact Us page.