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Just got my first play set of hickories, what a satisfying feeling!


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Well, I have been keeping an eye out on eBay for an affordable starter play set of hickories and finally grabbed a set.   It is a six club set of a spoon, a mid iron, a mashie , a pitcher, a niblick,

Oh Deejaid! I wish you hadn't posted this. Don't get me wrong, I am delighted for you and glad you are enjoying your hickories but I have been trying hard to fight the temptation of hickory for some t

I have played hickories exclusively for the past year and a half, logging about 70 rounds in 2020 despite the COVID restrictions early on.  A couple of things I’ve learned along the way.   T

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Awesome!

My vintage golfing buddy has gotten into hickory hard this winter and he's talking about trying a few events across the border in WI.  

 

The cold war era stuff is enough for me as far as space goes at my house but I think I'll take my buddy up on trying his hickory stuff at our par 3 this spring.

 

Just what I need another obession...

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That sounds like so much fun and it looks like you've scored a nice starter set too.  I've been thinking more and more about hickories lately as well but have not "dropped in" yet.  I've learned to manage my obsessions over the years and I know for a fact that once I go in I'll be going in all the way so I need to time things right and prepare for the madness ahead of time.  😆

 

Ps:  love the bag!

Edited by Swingingk
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40 minutes ago, coldwareragolfer said:

Awesome!

My vintage golfing buddy has gotten into hickory hard this winter and he's talking about trying a few events across the border in WI.  

 

The cold war era stuff is enough for me as far as space goes at my house but I think I'll take my buddy up on trying his hickory stuff at our par 3 this spring.

 

Just what I need another obession...


Oh, I’m out of space but I just keep adding somehow. 😁

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The bag...

Louisville Thumper persimmon driver

Louisville Smart persimmon 3, 5 woods

Spalding Top-Flite Custom Made 2-9

Peerless Palmer PW

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12 minutes ago, Swingingk said:

That sounds like so much fun and it looks like you've scored a nice starter set too.  I've been thinking more and more about hickories lately as well but have not "dropped in" yet.  I've learned to manage my obsessions over the years and I know for a fact that once I go in I'll be going in all the way so I need to time things right and prepare for the madness ahead of time.  😆

 

Ps:  love the bag!


Yeah, the bag was a separate purchase.  It arrived before the clubs and was sitting empty in the garage near my workbench.  My wife came out to do some laundry and saw it there and did a double take and laughed a little bit.   She has no idea what hickories are and didn’t say anything to me but I’m sure was thinking “Why does he have this ancient bag sitting here?” 

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The bag...

Louisville Thumper persimmon driver

Louisville Smart persimmon 3, 5 woods

Spalding Top-Flite Custom Made 2-9

Peerless Palmer PW

Spalding EVA SW

Macgregor Bobby Grace M6.4K 

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45 minutes ago, deejaid said:


Yeah, the bag was a separate purchase.  It arrived before the clubs and was sitting empty in the garage near my workbench.  My wife came out to do some laundry and saw it there and did a double take and laughed a little bit.   She has no idea what hickories are and didn’t say anything to me but I’m sure was thinking “Why does he have this ancient bag sitting here?” 

I'll bet she was thinking, "Ooooh... here we go again!"  Haha

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Great starter set deejaid, the pleasure you'll get from playing them is something else.  It looks by the lead tape as though someone has played these so they should be a good weight, which in my limited experience is the hardest thing to find when collecting a set of hickories.  On that basis you should be set for hickory with no need to buy any more unless you want to add a couple of clubs to cover different distances/shots.

I almost got into hickory before classics and found I had to buy quite a few more clubs than I needed (all bought untried from ebay) in order to get decent weights but after that I've not really added to the hickories, whereas the classic numbers have exploded!

 

@Foozle Not trying to steer you down the hickory path but....  Your car analogy is pretty good but the difference between hickory and classics is not as marked as you'd think.  The variation between shaft flexes can be pretty extreme but I think most of us naturally adjust our swings to suit.  As you say a smoother swing is required (it's easier for a "swinger" to play hickory than a "hitter") but results can be astoundingly good, at least I've seen as much from my playing partners.

I'm sure Hamish could sort you out a nice playset and that would be all you need, cleek marks are interesting but they don't light my fire the way classics do. Club weight and swing weights are key but again we can adjust, my play clubs include a B6 swingweight brassie, an A5 bulldog (although I rarely take this out!), an E6 niblick and a ridiculous driver which is F6!  (Swingweights measured using the ruler and scales method so not too accurate). 

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It's not all about the score.

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1 hour ago, Jiggered said:

Great starter set deejaid, the pleasure you'll get from playing them is something else.  It looks by the lead tape as though someone has played these so they should be a good weight, which in my limited experience is the hardest thing to find when collecting a set of hickories.  On that basis you should be set for hickory with no need to buy any more unless you want to add a couple of clubs to cover different distances/shots.

I almost got into hickory before classics and found I had to buy quite a few more clubs than I needed (all bought untried from ebay) in order to get decent weights but after that I've not really added to the hickories, whereas the classic numbers have exploded!

 

@Foozle Not trying to steer you down the hickory path but....  Your car analogy is pretty good but the difference between hickory and classics is not as marked as you'd think.  The variation between shaft flexes can be pretty extreme but I think most of us naturally adjust our swings to suit.  As you say a smoother swing is required (it's easier for a "swinger" to play hickory than a "hitter") but results can be astoundingly good, at least I've seen as much from my playing partners.

I'm sure Hamish could sort you out a nice playset and that would be all you need, cleek marks are interesting but they don't light my fire the way classics do. Club weight and swing weights are key but again we can adjust, my play clubs include a B6 swingweight brassie, an A5 bulldog (although I rarely take this out!), an E6 niblick and a ridiculous driver which is F6!  (Swingweights measured using the ruler and scales method so not too accurate). 

Jiggered, not you too! I feel myself slipping towards the precipice!! 

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Count me in the "this is not another rabbit hole I want to go down, but...."

Three things hold me back: 1) hickories are rare here because golf wasn't really played much here in the hickory era; 2) I like the idea of carrying a few hickories and walking while playing by myself, but walking and playing as a single is virtually unheard of here; 3) the wife'd kill me.

 

All pretty strong reasons. I will have to enjoy hickory golf vicariously through you, deejaid.

Edited by No_Catchy_Nickname
edit: spelling. "hickory ear"???
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2 hours ago, The Aspidistra in the Hall said:

If I had an A5 bulldog I'd be ripping th lead out, enlarging the cavity and loading it up to D0. Very rare to have a shaft that isn't up to D0 with our swing speeds. Too nice a design not to get it within playble specs.

 I did put some lead under the sole plate, I can't remember now if the A5 was before or after the lead addition, but it's still a very light club.

It's not all about the score.

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4 hours ago, Jiggered said:

Great starter set deejaid, the pleasure you'll get from playing them is something else.  It looks by the lead tape as though someone has played these so they should be a good weight, which in my limited experience is the hardest thing to find when collecting a set of hickories.  On that basis you should be set for hickory with no need to buy any more unless you want to add a couple of clubs to cover different distances/shots.


The lead tape is what caught my eye.  I contacted the seller on eBay and asked if he was a player because of the lead tape.   He said these were his beginning set that he had put together starting out and has now upgraded.   I felt confident that this wood be a set I could play, not just be a wall hanger set.  That has been the hardest part about buying into hickory, discerning play sets from display sets.

 

I put all the irons on my Van L bending machine and the Mid iron was around 27*, the mashie 36*, and both the niblick and the club marked pitcher measuring around 53*.   Looks like I need something to fill the gap around 44* or so, a mashie niblick?

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The bag...

Louisville Thumper persimmon driver

Louisville Smart persimmon 3, 5 woods

Spalding Top-Flite Custom Made 2-9

Peerless Palmer PW

Spalding EVA SW

Macgregor Bobby Grace M6.4K 

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2 hours ago, No_Catchy_Nickname said:

Count me in the "this is not another rabbit hole I want to go down, but...."

Three things hold me back: 1) hickories are rare here because golf wasn't really played much here in the hickory ear; 2) I like the idea of carrying a few hickories and walking, playing by myself, but walking and playing as a single is virtually unheard of here; 3) the wife'd kill me.

 

All pretty strong reasons. I will have to enjoy hickory golf vicariously through you, deejaid.


I live on a course and often go out my backyard and play a small loop of holes 15-18.  I have a feeling the hickories are going to get the majority of those small loop trips now.   So nice to just take a few clubs and a couple of balls and enjoy an evening on the course.

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The bag...

Louisville Thumper persimmon driver

Louisville Smart persimmon 3, 5 woods

Spalding Top-Flite Custom Made 2-9

Peerless Palmer PW

Spalding EVA SW

Macgregor Bobby Grace M6.4K 

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@deejaid; welcome to the grand game as was originally intended.  I'm not saying that as a hickory player, but more as an individual that likes the idea of it.

 

I have played a bit with hickory, so I'm not completely uninitiated.  It is different for sure, but I always sort of figured that hickories might actually be a better fit for someone with physical limitations than your typical steel shafted mid century blades and persimmons.

 

There is (in normal times) a large contingent of hickory players that meet near me annually for the Canadian SoHG annual events throughout this part of the province (Ontario).  I really should make an effort to go and watch some of these folks since moving to within a half hour or so of NOTL GC where the national championship is held.

 

I haven't actively looked for hickories in quite some time.  Players are rare and quite pricy.  Replicas while legal sort of fly in the face of taking up the game mostly because they're just another modern club design of a different sort, although I'm sure they make imminent sense especially when looking at woods and how it can be random chance whether you find one that works for you or not.  Perhaps my lack of interest in replicas has as much to do with the cost of acquisition as anything.

 

Good luck with your journey and may it be enjoyable!  😎

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10 hours ago, deejaid said:


I live on a course and often go out my backyard and play a small loop of holes 15-18.  I have a feeling the hickories are going to get the majority of those small loop trips now.   So nice to just take a few clubs and a couple of balls and enjoy an evening on the course.

 

That sounds ideal.

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Hickory golf is great fun but it's harder to find clubs that work for you.  I have 4 or 5 drivers and still can't find one that works for me.  To date I haven't played around with the weights but that might be the next step. The other club I keep looking for is a niblick with a bit of a flange which are rare in right hand let alone left.  Playing out of Melbourne Sandbelt bunkers with a dig thin sole niblick is not a lot of fun.

 

 

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Congrats on the new 'sticks'...My wife said that my hickory irons were the coolest golf clubs she's ever seen. I'm with Lefty, there are some clubs that are just hard to get along with, but they're 'your' clubs and so you make the best of it. It's much more fun for me than buying replacement clubs every time I have a mental hiccup with an iron or wood. Hopefully, you can play in some local event. Hickory golfers are a great group of guy. Welcome to the club!

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Nice set! I'm in the process of sourcing some smooth faced clubs for gutty play. My group also plays a 12 hole featherie event in the Spring and Fall. Seemingly endless rabbit holes to go down in this game. 

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9 hours ago, Woodridge said:

Nice set! I'm in the process of sourcing some smooth faced clubs for gutty play. My group also plays a 12 hole featherie event in the Spring and Fall. Seemingly endless rabbit holes to go down in this game. 

 

I'm not at all knowledgeable about hickory golf (honestly, it's a rabbit hole that will probably lead to divorce for me...), but am I right in inferring from your post that someone somewhere is still making gutta percha and featherie balls?

If so, I'm impressed. Wonder if someone will get around to making balatas again....

Edited by No_Catchy_Nickname
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2 hours ago, No_Catchy_Nickname said:

 

I'm not at all knowledgeable about hickory golf (honestly, it's a rabbit hole that will probably lead to divorce for me...), but am I right in inferring from your post that someone somewhere is still making gutta percha and featherie balls?

If so, I'm impressed. Wonder if someone will get around to making balatas again....

https://www.hickorylanefeatherie.com/

 

Denny Lane is making Featheries. Below you can buy gutty balls from Mcintrye. I'm not sure on balatas, but I wouldn't doubt someone is making them.

 

https://www.mcintyregolf.com/

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8 hours ago, Woodridge said:

https://www.hickorylanefeatherie.com/

 

Denny Lane is making Featheries. Below you can buy gutty balls from Mcintrye. I'm not sure on balatas, but I wouldn't doubt someone is making them.

 

https://www.mcintyregolf.com/

 

Interesting. After I posted, I thought about it a bit, and realised that, in terms of materials, the featheries would be the easiest to make, whereas I wasn't sure if the sap used for gutties was still available. What I didn't expect was that there would be such a range of gutties available.

Have you tried the different ones (brambles, line-cut, and mesh) and found a favourite, or noticeable difference in playing characteristics?

 

From the featherie website, this bit stood out:

 

As for distance, from the book The Clubmaker’s Art: Antique Golf Clubs and Their History (author Jeffery B. Ellis), two-time Open champion Harold Hilton said in 1890, 40 years after the gutta percha ball was introduced, “It is doubtful that the average golfer using featherie balls could drive much beyond 160 yards.” The average player today can get 90 to 110 yards with a featherie.

 

I can well imagine a sort of noticeboard set up somewhere in the town of St. Andrews called "Ye Olde Golfewrx", where prototype WRXers posted letters boasting of 200-yard drives with featheries around the Old Course.

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I've played the Vardon bramble limited flight ball and thought it played well. For the most part, I stick with the Braid limited flight due to the cost of the 'real' gutties. That being said, I haven't tried the other balls because the limited flight balls are what's needed for the events in IL.

 

Outside of those events, I've heard a lot of guys play the ProV or Wilson duo or Callaway soft in events where the ball choice is open to the player. I've played the Duo in past tournaments.

 

The featheries are not flying 160 yards in our group. I'd say 120 yards is a good drive. They are interesting to chip and putt with as well. 

 

Too funny about the 'Ye Old Golfewrx'...I'm sure your right about that.

 

Our group is always open and welcoming to new people and there are always extra sets of hickories for those who don't have their own.

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