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.