THE Australasian 12-hole Hickory Cup played at The Valley Golf Club, Safety Beach, last week celebrated the best of golf using the equipment the game grew up on.
About 40 players teed off with old fashioned hickory clubs or replicas in the 12-hole format on Friday 30 April for prize money of $1000, with professionals encouraged to compete.
One of the top players was Dave Good, of Mornington, a previous winner of the Australian Senior Order of Merit, who has played professionally in Europe.
The event was replicated on courses in Queensland, Sydney, Adelaide, and New Zealand, as well as Washington DC, Arizona and Pennsylvania, in the last week in April. About 100 players took part. Games could not be organised in Europe because of the pandemic.
Organiser Peter Stickley, of Safety Beach, said the hickory event was developed to replicate the first British Open at Prestwick, Scotland, in 1860, which was played on 12 holes over three rounds.
He said the field of 40 at The Valley showed how the hickory game was growing in popularity after attracting six golfers when the inaugural 12-hole Australasian Hickory Cup was played at Eagle Ridge four years ago.
That event, played during the PGA Ladbrokes Legends Tour, was won by Tim Sayers, of the Australian Golf Heritage Society, who plays weekly with hickory clubs about 90 years old. He flew down from Sydney for the event and won by five strokes.
Players going around in teams of four at last week’s tournament had been encouraged to wear period golfing attire to add to the sense of occasion. “The whole idea was to replicate the first British Open,” said Mr Stickley, who plays with hickories most of the time and enjoys rebuilding and repairing the timber clubs.
He sees them as being a big part in the “future of golf”.
“People are becoming more interested in the history of the games as well as playing it.”