South of England Hickory Golf

Playing with Hickory Clubs


Many players think that the wooden shafts will break as soon as the ball is struck.  Most of the clubs still have their original shafts, they are as strong today as they ever were. 

The first thing to remember is that these are original clubs used by amateurs and professionals up to the 1930’s, in fact when Bobby Jones won all four Major Championships in 1930, he was still playing with Hickory Shafts when all of the other players had changed to the new steel shafts. 

Hickory Shafts do have different characteristics to modern clubs.  Firstly not all shafts have the same flex - unlike steel shafts which are uniform in twist and flex, hickory shafts are wood, and no two pieces of wood are identical.

Modern clubs both flex and twist (torque) as do Hickory Clubs, however there is 5 times the twist in a hickory shaft so they need to be hit with a smooth swing or you will find that the clubhead is seriously out of line at impact!

Remember to swing smoothly and you will be surprised at how well you hit the ball.

Playing with Hickory Clubs is not difficult – just go out and enjoy yourself!

It can be done; In 1909 at Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club, 5 times Open Championship winner J H Taylor shot rounds of 74-73-74-74 for a total of 295 and a prize of £30!

Many of the Clubs will have names on the back rather than numbers, so here is a guide to the modern equivalent of the Hickory Clubs you will be playing with:

Hickory NameModern Equivalent
Brassie2 Wood
Spoon3 Wood
Baffy4/5 Wood
Cleek / Driving Iron
2 Iron
1 Iron
3 Iron
Mid Iron / 2 Iron
4 Iron
Mongrel Mashie / 3 Iron
5 Iron
Jigger / 4 Iron
6 Iron
Mashie / 5 Iron7 Iron
Spade Mashie / 6 Iron
8 Iron
Mashie Niblick / 7 Iron
9 Iron
Niblick / 8 IronPitching wedge

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