Golfers take step back in time at Sawtell Golf Club

Players get ready to tee off in the Hickory Challenge.

A GROUP of golfers have taken a step back in time at Sawtell Golf Club.

The players took part in the Hickory Challenge, where players had to use a set of antique ‘hickory’ shafted clubs from the 1910s, ‘20s and ‘30s.

The event was played over two days which attracted players from across NSW and QLD for the North vs South match.

The Hickory Challenge was organised by Sawtell Golf Club professional Brendan Barnes.

He said it was a way of honouring the great players of the past, as well as the way golf used to be played.

“Technology has gone as far as it can go in golf, and playing with these vintage clubs, it makes you think about how to play your shots, and that’s what I love about it,” he said.

“I’m not looking at the club to use, I’m looking at the shot I can play.

“I studied how the guys of that era played, and how they used these clubs, and now that I play with the same clubs, I realise how good these players really were.

“You appreciate how good these players were who used the same clubs, and this is a great way of honouring them and continuing the tradition.”

Bruce Collins was one of the players who travelled to play the Hickory Challenge.

The Queenslander said it was great to take part in an event which honoured a bygone era.

“It’s like a surfer in Australia in the ‘60s, and then wanting to still ride a longboard now, it’s the same with the vintage clubs,” he said.

“It brings a lot of skills back to the game.

“It’s a way of revisiting the past and paying homage to the history of the Hickory club.

“And it honours the golf we have seen in the past.”

Sydneysider Jeff Mansfield also took part in the Hickory Challenge, and helped the group with finding the vintage clubs.

“They are not that dear actually, and in Australia we have PGA pros that collect and repair them,” he said.

“Quite a few are still in good shape, and we repair the shafts and work on the grip.”

Brendan Barnes won the two-day stableford event by one point with the North team beating the South by 12 points.


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