Saturday, July 16

Passionate Aussie Wins U.S. Hickory Open Championship




























TO SAY THAT ALAN GRIEVE has a passion for hickory clubs is an understatement. The Queensland Australian native was the first person to sign up for the United States Hickory Open Championship and traveled over 36 hours and nearly 10,000 miles to participate in the event at French Lick Resort in southern Indiana.

The trip was worth his while. The 39-year-old captured his first hickory championship this past week on the resort’s historic Donald Ross course. Grieve shot rounds of 75–75 for a total of 150 and a 5-shot victory over Rick Woeckener from Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Grieve was looking for a new challenge and found it 18 months ago when he picked up hickory clubs.

“I wanted to change my game and give myself a challenge,” Grieve said. “I love playing hickory clubs. When you hit a good shot you know you hit it. It feels so pure unlike modern-day clubs.

“I played in my first hickory tournament last year in Australia and took third place and decided I wanted to challenge myself even more, so I came to the United States to participate in their national event. I had a great week and this was the best I have ever played hickory clubs in back- to-back rounds.”

French Lick Resort was transported to the golden age of golf as the historic destination hosted the largest field for the U.S. Hickory Open Championship, a total of 81 hickory golfers from 27 states, as well as Canada and Australia. The golfers looked the part, sporting knickers, plus fours, dress shirts and ties straight from the 19th century.

“We congratulate Alan for his superb play and also French Lick Resort for hosting a perfect event,” said Chris Deinlein, President of the Society of Hickory Golfers.

−The Armchair Golfer

(Photo: Courtesy of Fusion Media Strategies)

4 comments :

Simon Davies said...

Wow hickory. I use to play around with my grandfathers hickory sticks when I was a kid. They were awesome. I would struggle with them now though. Do you know if they were using a modern ball?

The Armchair Golfer said...

That's a great question. I went to the Society of Hickory Golfers site and saw equipment guidelines regarding golf clubs but nothing about golf balls. But maybe I missed something. Anyone else know?

RBirman said...

I was there; the players used modern low compression balls and played from forward tees in a 106- degree heat index!

Patricia Hannigan said...

Sounds like this would be an extraordinarily fun event to play in... or even just watch.