Discovering Hickories

This summer I had my first opportunity to play hickory golf. It was quite an experience and I thought that I would share my experience with you, our Frankly Friends.

  • There are no numbers on hickories…only names. Confusing to begin with, but after a while you realize what each club can do and they become your best friend. Like my Terrier Iron.
  • There are no prizes for a muscled strike in hickory golf. It’s a game of smooth rhythm and timing. You have to wait at the top of the swing, and let the hickory shaft work its magic! Think of Bobby Jones.
  • Ground is good. I found that my high lofted hickory putter was indeed my ally as I made my way around the Eden Course at St Andrews, using it from many yards off the green.

Links golf lends itself to hickory play. I also noticed that because of the generally lower trajectory of the shots, the ball tended to bound through the rough.

If you are a natural player, you will love the creativity and challenge of hickory golf. I can’t wait for my next game and if you have a chance to try it, give it a go!

May the Frog be With You,


11 thoughts on “Discovering Hickories

  1. Hi Valerie:
    Thanks for your post on “Hickories”. I play with a group in NC who play a half dozen Hickory tournaments a year. What a blast. Wearing plus fours and using a Ouimet replica ball, it’s a different game, as you mentioned, but so much fun.
    Try playing “the Cradle” in Pinehurst in plus fours as it was decades ago. It doesn’t get any better.

    • Ellis, it seems that there are lots of hickory golfers who just love the game. It really is so much fun and thanks for letting me know about your group in NC. Pinehurst with hickories sounds like a great day of golf!

      • Valerie:
        The Carolina Hickory Golf Association ( is an active golf group. The annual tournament at “the Cradle” in Pinehurst in January is always full and is simply played for fun. After, there are “adult beverages” and camaraderie at the Inn and it is an absolute blast.
        If you were every able to be in this area, you and any other hickory players are welcome to join the group !!

  2. The next time you go back home, go to Kinggarrock Hickory Golf south of Cupar. In addition to hickory clubs you have replica 1898 and 1924 golf balls. They also give you modern balls. My son and I opted for the 1898 models for a true hickory experience. Previously we played Mussellburgh Old Links with hickories, but modern balls.

  3. Hi Valerie….I enjoyed your comments about hickory golf. My first bag (my father’s old clubs) had a couple of hickory shafted clubs in it…..a “Niblick” comes to mind. Also, many years ago, I played in a league with an older retired gentleman who had a “jigger” in his arsenal. It was a shallow faced club with about a 5-7 iron loft, and he was a DEADLY chipper with it…!!

  4. I have just became an owner of a set of “hickories” and wondering what type of ball did you use? The current models, or remake of the early models?

    • Jeff:
      I bought a dozen “Ouimet” replica balls from McIntyre Golf ( They were $22/dozen but you would only play them in a hickory tournament. If you use “modern balls”, get the lowest compression that you’re comfortable with and NEVER hit hickory irons off of a mat on the range. That was good advice from a long time hickory player.

  5. That would be a fun video. Talking through shot and club process then seeing the result and hearing your thoughts. Thanks for posting.

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