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Hickory Golf


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On 5/21/2010 at 2:21 AM, brinkleyr said:

Yes I play hickories every day. Yesterday I shot a 75. Why play hickories? It's kinda like the old saying about Harley's "If you have to ask you wouldn't understand". Suffice it to say that I've played golf my whole life. Went to state in high school and was a medalist in one tournament then. Won the club championship once and then lost it the next year by 4 strokes after taking a nine on a par 4 and 6 on a par 3. Most of us play the game because modern golf is too easy. Mistakes aren't killers like they were a few years ago. With the hickories, particularly the vintage hickories, mistakes cost you strokes so you end up being a much better player. My swing is improving with hickories where it was stagnant with modern clubs. Nothing like hitting a 1 iron 215 yards low off the tee.

Now as for a few of the comments, let me provide some correction. We typically use Shellac on the shafts not linseed oil. It's easy to reapply mid-season.

As for the ball you can play many of the modern balls. Many play the Pro V1 but a lot of the top players are now playing the Wilson Fifty Elite or the Wilson Zip. They're cheaper and just as good. Oh and you don't have to get reproduction balls. Yes the Top Rocks will cause problems on mishits but a good quality 3 or 4 piece ball works just fine. And yes I have shattered more than a half a dozen shafts but only 2 because of the ball. The rest were really crappy swings.

As for the clubs reproductions are allowed for play in hickory events in the US but not British. A good share of us have vintage clubs that are restored. They aren't that expensive if you know what you're buying. I have 4 sets of Tom Stewarts which is what Bobby Jones and Francis Ouimet played. A really good niblick will set you back $100 prior to restoration. A mid-iron maybe $39. Overall the Scottish clubs are some of the best with Tom Stewart being a choice of many of the better players. Louisville Golf and Tad Moore have really good replicas. So good I think they're a little too modern but still good.

If you want more information there are a number of websites, including my own, and organizations that support hickory golf. If you're in NC there is a great league that meets at least once a month. In SOCAL there is a group that plays weekly at Rancho Bernardo. Other areas have plenty of hickory golfers. If you're in CO holler and I'll take you to play a round. You'll get hooked quickly.

I'll be frank: I hate this guy.

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7 hours ago, Vinsk said:

I just don’t see how I wouldn’t break them.

Which is why I chose not to hit them. He insisted that they are not that fragile and that he has broken them occasionally as well. 

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5 hours ago, rdubya59 said:

I like hickory so much that I sold my modern irons.    Hit them just as well as the Cleveland Launcher HB's.  Makes me think all this "modern technology" and "forgiveness" they're marketing is a bunch of hooey.

It's not. Not compared to hickory shafted musclebacks.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 9/29/2018 at 6:27 AM, iacas said:

It's not. Not compared to hickory shafted musclebacks.

Ok.  we disagree.   I'm shooting relatively the same scores with hickories that I shot with the "forgiving" clubs. 

On 5/20/2010 at 5:20 PM, sean_miller said:

You gotta get the vintage (or reproduction) balls though or you'll shatter the clubs. Definitely no 2-piece distance.

You can actually play low compression balls without worrying about breakage, such as chromesoft, supersoft, wilson duo, wilson zip.  I've even played top flite bombs and flawless ladies balls.  I've also hit range balls and not broken a club yet.

 

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8 minutes ago, rdubya59 said:

Ok.  we disagree.   I'm shooting relatively the same scores with hickories that I shot with the "forgiving" clubs.

The fact remains that comparing hickory-shafted muscle backs to modern steel-shafted forgiving clubs, I can prove that the modern clubs are "better" - more consistent launch and ball speed and spin across the face, higher ball speeds, etc.

It's not just marketing hooey.

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An acquaintance of my grandfather, who had a niblick he obtained from his father, passed it on to me.  We took time to make sure the club was maintained (my grandfather was a master woodworker) and about a year later I took it to with me to a range.  This was the mid/late 1960's.  The balls I used were not the best but the club never got damaged.  While fun to play, I never was able to used it well.  Not sure I would do so now.  Gave the club to my son who, I think, uses it as a will decoration.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/18/2018 at 7:50 PM, iacas said:

The fact remains that comparing hickory-shafted muscle backs to modern steel-shafted forgiving clubs, I can prove that the modern clubs are "better" - more consistent launch and ball speed and spin across the face, higher ball speeds, etc.

It's not just marketing hooey.

Of course not, your livelihood depends upon it.

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1 hour ago, rdubya59 said:

Of course not, your livelihood depends upon it.

You really should know a bit more about whom you're speaking about before making such comments. And I'm not sure why you got so snarky for making a wild assumption only to be told otherwise. Furthermore do you really think that because you're playing about the same with Hickory as modern equipment  that this massive experience of 1 person dispels any doubt that modern equipment is just marketing hooey?

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21 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

You really should know a bit more about whom you're speaking about before making such comments. And I'm not sure why you got so snarky for making a wild assumption only to be told otherwise. Furthermore do you really think that because you're playing about the same with Hickory as modern equipment  that this massive experience of 1 person dispels any doubt that modern equipment is just marketing hooey?

Thanks, but as you probably would admit too, the first part isn't needed.

Heck, I could make the case that it'd be easier to sell golf lessons if equipment wasn't quite as easy to hit. If golf was more difficult, like it was back with hickory shafted muscle backs, more people might want lessons.

But really, my lesson income has little to nothing to do with equipment, let alone "depends on it." I don't sell much equipment (just Edel putters and wedges, which we don't push on anyone), and we don't do club fittings, etc.

So I have no idea what he's thinking. But then again, @rdubya59 thinks that modern clubs are just "marketing hooey" so obviously his thoughts must be muddled to some degree.

I'm willing to hear your explanation, @rdubya59, but it had better be good…

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

Thanks, but as you probably would admit too, the first part isn't needed.

Heck, I could make the case that it'd be easier to sell golf lessons if equipment wasn't quite as easy to hit. If golf was more difficult, like it was back with hickory shafted muscle backs, more people might want lessons.

But really, my lesson income has little to nothing to do with equipment, let alone "depends on it." I don't sell much equipment (just Edel putters and wedges, which we don't push on anyone), and we don't do club fittings, etc.

So I have no idea what he's thinking. But then again, @rdubya59 thinks that modern clubs are just "marketing hooey" so obviously his thoughts must be muddled to some degree.

I'm willing to hear your explanation, @rdubya59, but it had better be good…

Yes, new equipment replacing the set I bought in the mid 1970s makes it easier, as do the senior shafts (I'm only talking my case here). But it is the combination of new weapons plus coaching and practice that makes my game bette today.  

I HAVE played a number times with hickory clubs in the 70's, when I was given some to use.  In those days I was about a 13 HCP.  In that decade, I could STILL hit my steel shafted clubs significantly longer and with greater accuracy. Yes, playing with hickory clubs is fun.  But playing golf for me also enjoins my skill set and desires to get better. As well, I no longer desire to play the golf balls of even the early 80s any more

My Pings also allow the coaching to greatly improve my game.  Both are needed.  While my older set of Wilson Staff were no longer able to be used with great results due to many reasons, they were always kept in excellent shape. As are my hickory clubs.  .

So @rdubya59, I must say you come off more as a curmudgeon with your thoughts.  Enjoy your hickory clubs. Play them as often as you desire, but condemning newer clubs as "marketing hooey" is not a reason for me to sell my current set.

I have no connection to @iacas other than being a member of than blog; I have no skin in this argument. However, his position makes more sense. Period! But, in terms of research, which allowed me to get my degrees, one example is NOT proof of anything except that "one off" (or even a 2 of) can, and do exist.

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3 hours ago, iacas said:

Thanks, but as you probably would admit too, the first part isn't needed.

Depending on how it was taken, yes. I certainly know you don’t need anyone to defend you.  But I was referring to his baseless counter of thinking your comment was based on your having a bias towards equipment sales. He assumed  that and of course he’s wrong...but I digress.

I too would be very interested to see his data showing no advantage with Hickory vs Modern equipment. 

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Everyone is entitled to their opinion, including me.    My experience is that I play just as well with hickories as I did with the "forgiving" "modern" clubs.  There are USGA and R&A limits on clubs are there not?  My opinion is that most of the advertisement about forgiveness and distance is marketing hype designed to sell clubs.  They have every right to sell clubs, I'm a devout capitalist, but I don't believe the marketing based upon my experience.  When I bought my last set of modern irons, I hit almost everything on  the market and found, that for me, not much of a difference in any of them.  With the same shaft, they all yield very similar results.   With the same loft, they travel about the same distance as my hickories and with about the same accuracy.  I enjoy hickories more, so that's what I play.    I'm fine with everyone having their opinion, but don't tell me to be cautious with my opinion.  

 

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

You’re not entitled to your own facts.

I am entitled to my own experience.  Your opinions are not facts, either.   How did Robert Jones hit drives of over 300 yards with a hickory shafted driver and a clearly inferior ball to the modern ball?    You technology experts always cite your empirical data with studies sponsored and funded by companies selling, guess what, golf clubs.  Or, you conduct a driver distance study with a 60 graphite shafted watermelon on a stick against a persimmon wood with an x100 135 gram steel shaft and wow, the ball goes further with the new driver....duh.  I'd like to see someone test with an equivalent shaft in a persimmon driver and see if the difference is more than negligible.   In my experience the same ball actually spins less off persimmon.    I recently saw a video in which the same driver hit a pre-1900 driver, a 1920's era driver and a TM R11.  The difference in all three was less than 25 yards.   I'm not trying to convince you, you and Sean Foley already know everything, or so it seems to you.    I am stating that based on my own research and experience,  there is not that much difference.    

 

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10 minutes ago, rdubya59 said:

I am entitled to my own experience.  Your opinions are not facts, either.   How did Robert Jones hit drives of over 300 yards with a hickory shafted driver and a clearly inferior ball to the modern ball?    You technology experts always cite your empirical data with studies sponsored and funded by companies selling, guess what, golf clubs.  Or, you conduct a driver distance study with a 60 graphite shafted watermelon on a stick against a persimmon wood with an x100 135 gram steel shaft and wow, the ball goes further with the new driver....duh.  I'd like to see someone test with an equivalent shaft in a persimmon driver and see if the difference is more than negligible.   In my experience the same ball actually spins less off persimmon.    I recently saw a video in which the same driver hit a pre-1900 driver, a 1920's era driver and a TM R11.  The difference in all three was less than 25 yards.   I'm not trying to convince you, you and Sean Foley already know everything, or so it seems to you.    I am stating that based on my own research and experience,  there is not that much difference.    

 

I’m not sure why you’re so defensive about this. Present your data. Show your results and the experiments you performed. Do you just expect to make a claim as you did and everyone’s supposed to go ‘a ha! He’s on to something!’ WTF man....If you’re so adamant about this then prove it. It’s hardly disrespectful or arrogant to ask for that.

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41 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

I’m not sure why you’re so defensive about this. Present your data. Show your results and the experiments you performed. Do you just expect to make a claim as you did and everyone’s supposed to go ‘a ha! He’s on to something!’ WTF man....If you’re so adamant about this then prove it. It’s hardly disrespectful or arrogant to ask for that.

 

Where are your facts and data to proved that you're correct? 

 

.

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