Story and Photos by: Beverly Wise

We are not talking about original metal woods made in the 1980’s you found in a thrift store clearance rack.

We are talking about true golf, and the experience of how this ‘royal and ancient game’ was played in the hickory era.

These clubs are not all polished up like the big jumbo drivers of today… and irons that come out of the box with mirror finishes that you can see yourself smiling.

No… Hickory Golf, and that rusty gold takes on a new aspect of the game, since Hickory Golf stems back to the 1800’s. It is new to you… once you have gotten bitten by the bug. Searching and building your own “Playing Set” of clubs. Collecting all the pieces that make this set special to you. Finding an old wedge, or driver, that now becomes your gamer, while the previous club comes out of the bag and goes on the mantle as a show piece.

Skyline of Birmingham, Alabama, from the iconic VULCAN statue

The Tad Moore – Southern Hickory Fourball Championship returns to Birmingham, Alabama, April 18-20, 2024, at the Highland Park Golf Club.

One of Hickory Golf’s “Oldest Running” events. Where sixty-two players will come with their vintage equipment, knickers, argyle socks, woolen caps, and vintage clothing, to Birmingham to take on the challenge of Highland Park.

The 2-day championship begins with a Thursday practice round and a “Welcome Party” and Swap Meet following play Thursday night. Friday’s first round starts with two-divisions, crowning 2 champions for the weekend. The “Open Division” and separate “Stapleford” division on Saturday to crown the new 2024 Championships.

One true “rookie” to Hickory Golf in the 2023 event, Rob Keeling from Arab, Alabama, stating that he had only played 5-rounds of golf with his hickory set, came off the course Saturday after the first round and stated, “I’m hooked. I love Hickory Golf!”

One reliable source of the ‘Hickory Experience’ is the Society of Hickory Golfers. One of the largest organizations to promote Hickory Golf. On their website, you will find events, rules and regulations, refinishers, and manufacturers to help you with your quest.

The next time you are in an antique mall, or at someone’s garage sale and see a hickory shafted golf club, buy it! It may just change the way you think about the game of golf. And if you are lucky enough to be able to play that club, you may begin to understand what the history of golf and the hickory bug, is all about.

For more information on the Southern Hickory Fourball Championship… Look to the Society of Hickory Golfers.