April SOHG Newsletter

Thank you!

The SoHG is proud to thank its many hundreds of members for their support of the Society. Since its founding in 2000, the SoHG has been involved in growing hickory golf around the world. 

See more information at https://www.hickorygolfers.com/

  • It has sponsored a bi-annual magazine now in partnership with the Golf Heritage Society in the quarterly magazine, The Golf, and still under the title of A Wee Nip for the Hickory Golfer.
  • It has created website as a resource for hickory golfers everywhere, with information on clubs, accessories, tournaments and more.
  • The website’s tournament schedule page is used by playing groups and tournaments both in North America and abroad.
  • The SoHG’s equipment and tournament guidelines have become the standard for hickory golf worldwide.
  • The Society’s U.S. Hickory Open is the premier hickory golf event on the annual calendar in the U.S.
  • The Society supports an international bi-annual event called the Lionel Freedman Trophy Matches.
  • The Championship Series was developed by the SoHG as a competitive season-long points race to identify the country’s best hickory golfers and as an aid in selecting players for the Lionel Freedman Trophy North American team.
  • The Mike Brown Award was created to honor SoHG members for their dedication to the sport, to the great traditions of hickory golf, and the friendships thus created around the world.
  • The Society supports the concept of World Hickory Golf Day, to be celebrated annually on the first Sunday in May.
  • It has recently created a USHO Patrons Fund to support the U.S. Hickory Open and other special projects. $1,000 donations to the fund earn Lifetime Memberships in the SoHG.

Going forward, your Society and its Board of Directors, are dedicated to broadening the scope of these measures, to the continuing support of regional hickory playing groups, and to a greater effort in marketing the benefits of both hickory golf and membership in the Society.

So it is with great pleasure that the SoHG thanks and congratulates each one of its members for their continued support in the above efforts.

Thanks to each of you, hickory golf is growing and enjoyed by more and more players every day. Your support is not just for the good of the game, but for the enjoyment and friendship of everyone involved.

Thank you!

2019 USHO Waitlist
2019 USHO organizer Dennis Joy reports that everyone on the waitlist, as of April 2, has found a way into the field. He invites others who may be interested to email him PDQ should you wish to play in the tournament. No promises, but it’s possible. Joy’s address is  golfbelvedere@gmail.com.  There is information, too, on the SoHG website about late entries.

2020 USHO
The Happy Hollow Club in Omaha, Neb. has been announced as the site for the 2020 U.S. Hickory Open. The dates are Sunday through Tuesday, Oct. 4-6. Click here to read more about the Club and the 2020 USHO.

World Hickory Golf Day is May 5
World Hickory Golf Day coordinator Greg Smith has been busy posting news ofSoHG members who play to celebrate the day with golf and presentations. Click here to see the latest posts. If the opportunity is there, enjoy a round with your regional group or local hickory golf buddies and celebrate the sport on May 5.  If you do get out, take a few snaps and send them to Greg at hickorysmith500@gmail.com for posting on the website and social media. Let’s make it a big day for hickory golf. Click here to see read about World Hickory Golf Day.

Tournament Results for 2019
So far, the first few events of 2019 are in the books. Among the larger ones, the Hickory Heritage events in Temple Terrace, Fla. hosted by Mike Stevens and the Florida Hickory Golfers; the Arizona Desert Hickory Championship hosted by Ken Holtz; and the Onion Creek Classic in Austin, hosted by Pete League and Michael Sloan, are all in the books. Read about the results on the SoHG’s tournament results page. The Southern Four-Ball is coming up in early May and there are likely a lot of hickory golf opportunities out there for May 5. So keep an eye on the calendar and see what’s coming up in your region.

Shop Tip from Gary Eley

Here’s a great idea that will make your whipping really stand out. Rub a little True Oil on the whipping, both down near the hosel and up near the grip, to give the color more intensity and to make it more durable. This is especially helpful on a wood headed club which is frequently placed back in the bag in a way that brings the hosel whipping into frequent contact with the side of the bag. It is also a good idea to do this at the end of a season so that your whipping looks new to start the next season.

GHS Annual Meeting
The Annual Meeting & Trade Show of the Golf Heritage Society is scheduled for Sept. 26-28 in Cleveland, Ohio. This is a big one for hickory golf fans, as the trade show is the largest of its kind in the world. Many tables will be laden with hundreds of original hickory golf clubs. Get the info here. More information and a registration form will be posted when available.

Member Profile
Colin Criss of St. Louis, Mo.
Click here to see a profile of one our newest members.

From the Archives

Walter Hagen and Mike Brady battle at Brae Burn in 1919.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of Walter Hagen’s second, and last, U.S. Open victory. It was the 23rd U.S. Open, and it was held in early June at Brae Burn Country Club in West Newton, Mass., near Boston. There were many interesting aspects of that tournament.

The U.S. Open was suspended in 1917 and 1918, during World War I, so this was the first one to be played since “The War to End All Wars.” 

The USGA attempted a three-day Open schedule, with the first and second rounds played on the first two days and the third and final rounds on the last day. The tournament reverted to the two-day schedule in 1920, but came back to the three-day schedule in 1926. The modern, four-day schedule began in 1965.

And there was an unfortunate record set by Willie Chisholm during the first round on Brae Burn’s par-3 8th hole. His approach shot landed in a rocky ravine, one thing led to another and Chisholm eventually left the hole after carding an 18. The record would stand until 1938.

As for Hagen, the man who would become “Sir Walter” defeated Mike Brady by one stroke in an 18-hole playoff. Though Brady shot 73 in the third round to open up a five-shot lead, he stumbled to an 80 in the final for 301 total. Hagen’s 10-foot put to win on the 18th lipped out (not so fortunate as 1914!)

Though Brady may have spent the night in nervous anticipation, not so Hagen. It is reported that he partied the night away with entertainer Al Jolson. Such a night might have made for a dismal and headache-filled tomorrow, but Hagen was clearheaded throughout. Here’s a prime example of the legendary golfer’s quick thinking.

Going into 17, Hagen had a two-shot lead. An errant tee shot on that hole found not only the rough, but settled quite deep in a patch of muddy slop. Advantage Brady? Not so fast. Hagen sought relief claiming that a spectator must have accidentally(?) ground the ball far into the muck. Officials said, basically, too bad, play it out. The quick-witted Hagen knew his rule book though, and demanded to identify his ball. The rules were clear on that. The officials agreed. Hagen pulled up the ball, was able to identify it and replace it so gently that it did not sink into the mud. He got his five, losing only one stroke to Brady. The playoff went to the final hole with Brady needing a birdie to tie. Both players made par, giving Hagen the title. 

And Chick Evans, who came so close to defeating Hagen in the 1914 U.S. Open? He finished 12 strokes back in tenth place and was the low amateur.

(By the way, in looking up information for this section, we discovered an error. In the 2014 Spring Wee Nip, page 8, the Chick Evans chip shot photo caption should read 291, not a 289.)

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