The Best Places to Experience "Golf as it Used to Be"

There is a hickory golf revolution of sorts going on.

There dozens of hickory golf enthusiast societies around the world.

There are companies that sell and rent hickory golf clubs.

There's full schedule of hickory golf tournaments anyone can enter.

And not only are there a bunch of hickory golf courses, at least two of them are located at top golf destinations you may already be planning on visiting.

For instance, only four miles from The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., is Oakhurst Golf Links, the oldest course in America. This 1880s layout annually hosts the National Hickory Championship.

This next one is a bit of an outlier, but on Michigan's Mackinac Island you'll find Wawashkamo Golf Club (wawashkamo.com). Dating from 1898, it's the oldest, continuously played golf course in the state. It also rents hickories.

You can even get your hickory on at The Home of Golf. Kingarrock Golf Course (www.nts.org.uk/Kingarrock-Hickory-Golf/) is 12 miles inland from St. Andrews. Open seven days a week from Easter through October, "all players will be provided with original hickory clubs, an old golf bag, together with balls and tees that represent the early 20th century golfing experience."

Now, could you theoretically bust out a mashie and cleek on any course you play? Sure, but at least at the ones above you won't get funny looks.

(Speaking of funny looks, I now understand why that, "Golf Knickers" ad is in the back of every issue of Golf Digest.)

Some people say "playing hickory" is the most enjoyable golf experience they've had; that the "step back in time" promotes a deeper connection to the game.

What do you think? Have you ever played hickory golf or have any interest in trying it?

Please share your comments or see what others are saying below.

Craig Better is one of the founding editors of Golf Vacation Insider. In addition to traveling to 15 foreign countries, he has twice traveled across America to play golf courses in all 50 United States. Prior to joining Golf Vacation Insider, Craig was a freelance writer who contributed to GOLF Magazine, Travel + Leisure Golf, Maxim Magazine, USAToday.com, and co-authored Zagat Survey’s book, America’s Top Golf Courses.
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Bob
Learned to love and play golf with old hickory shaft clubs in a farm pasture
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The Best Places to Experience "Golf as it Used to Be"
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