The purpose of the Ontario Hickory Tour is to provide the opportunity to play some friendly, competitive hickory golf. To register to play in the Tour, and for all enquiries regarding matters related to the Tour, please email email@example.com.
We have arranged three events so far for 2018, over May, June and July. More events may be added later in the season, based on participant feedback. The currently scheduled events are:
- Thursday May 17, 2018 at Oak Gables GC, Ancaster, Ontario,
10 am start.
Click here for a course guide to Oak Gables. We will be playing the Maple nine and the Oak nine.
Click here for results, account and pictures of this event
- Monday June 18, 2018 at Craigowan GC, Woodstock, Ontario, 11 am start
- Friday July 27, 2018 at Merry Hill GC, Breslau, Ontario, 10 am start
Participants are asked to please arrive at the course at least 30 minutes before the scheduled start time, so that groups can be arranged.
Play at each event is divided into two divisions:
- The Old Tom Morris Division played with pre-1900 equipment - qualified reproduction gutty balls, smooth-faced irons and spliced-neck woods
- The Bobby Jones Division played with post-1900 equipment - rubber-cored balls, any wood-shafted early 20th century irons and woods
We do not have registration forms for the Tour, and we do not collect fees in advance. Players pay their own green fees to the host club on the day of the event. Please let us know, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, which events you intend to play in, and which division you will be playing in (see above). Guests are welcome, and loaner equipment is available (see details below).
Please refer to the Equipment Guidelines of the Society of Hickory Golfers as the principle basis for equipment to be used in the two divisions:
Note that reproduction or re-constructed period-appropriate clubs are allowed.
With regard to balls, the SoHG Guidelines defer to the discretion of individual event directors. For the Ontario Hickory Tour, the following balls are allowed:
- Pre-1900: All replica gutty balls from Oakhurst, NHC or McIntyre Golf. Other replica gutty balls may be allowed upon inspection. It seems that the most economical suitable ball currently available would be the McIntyre Braid Ball. Some used and new gutty balls will be available for purchase at the Tour events.
- Post-1900: Any rubber-cored ball suitable for play with wood-shafted clubs is allowed. Modern balls such as Noodle, SoLo, LoCo and SuperSoft are fine. Replica period rubber-cored balls from McIntyre Golf are welcome, but not required.
If you have any questions regarding the admissibility of the equipment that you are intending to use, please email email@example.com.
If you would like to play, but do not have suitable equipment, or would like to bring a playing guest who does not have their own suitable equipment, loaner sets of clubs are available for both the pre-1900 and post-1900 divisions. Please be sure to notify firstname.lastname@example.org in advance of the event if loaner equipment is required. Those using loaner equipment will be responsible for buying their own balls; balls may be purchased from the organizers on the day of the event.
Events are scored using a modified Stableford system, where a player's points for each hole are based on the player's score as compared to the average score for all players in the event. Original Stableford scoring gives 2 points for a score of par, 1 for bogey, 3 for birdie etc. and zero for any score of double-bogey or over. Our modified system gives 2 points if the player's score is equal to the average, 1 if 1 above average, 3 if 1 below average etc. and zero if the player's score is 2 strokes or more above the average. This modified Stableford scoring is used to avoid reference to hole par values, which will not have been set with hickory equipment in mind - in this system the scoring is based entirely on a player's performance as compared to all of the players in their division in the current event.
In order to ensure equitable play, please note the following regarding rules to be followed.
The basic rules for each division will be the R&A codes of rules from 1895 and 1920 (effective 1921) respectively:
Pre-1900: Click for
RULES FOR THE GAME OF GOLF R&A 1895
Post-1900: Click for RULES FOR THE GAME OF GOLF R&A 1921
The 1895 code is very similar to the 1891 code, with only some minor clarifications. Going with the 1921 code avoids the problem of lost ball being handled by distance only, which was introduced in between - the 1921 code goes back to stroke and distance. It's notable that the 1895 code is only 6 pages, whereas the 1921 code runs to 23 pages.
A couple of points to note regarding the old codes of rules:
- When a ball is dropped, it is to be done in the old way: face the hole, then drop the ball - over the head for 1895 code, over the shoulder for 1921 code.
- The 1895 code does not give any free relief from casual water - all water, casual or hazard, is treated alike... the ball may be lifted and dropped behind the water, on penalty of one stroke; or it may be played from the water.
Players should follow the code appropriate to the division they are playing in, with the following additional clarifications and local rules (applicable to both divisions):
- Ontario Hickory Tour events are to be treated as multi-player stroke play events (or Bogey Competitions, as defined in the 1921 code), not match play events. Stymies are not to be played - blocking balls should be lifted. Where specified differently in the code of rules, stroke play penalties rather than match play penalties apply (so general penalty is 2 strokes, rather than 'loss of hole', which is not meaningful in a stroke-play context).
- Equipment that would have been legal in the period is allowed, regardless of whether it is legal according to modern rules.
- Reproduction or re-constructed period-appropriate clubs are allowed. Centre-shafted putters are specifically allowed (even though they were not allowed by the R&A from 1910 until 1951).
- Balls need not be legal according to modern rules. Gutty repro balls, especially, vary substantially in size and weight, as was normal in the period. Floating balls are allowed, and may, at the player's option, be played as they float, subject to all other rules.
- Balls out-of-bounds (not specified in the 1895 code) are to be treated as lost and replayed from the original position (or as near as possible) on penalty of one stroke ('stroke and distance').
- By local rule, though not specified in the 1895 code, where a ball may be lost or out-of-bounds, a provisional ball may (and should) be played to facilitate speed of play, as per modern rules.Please be sure to play and score all lost and out of bounds balls as stroke and distance - replacement ball played from the original location plus a one stroke penalty. Because it obviously delays play to go back to play again, please play a provisional ball where there is any reasonable doubt.
- By local rule, plugged balls should be lifted and dropped within one club length of the nearest point of relief, no nearer to the hole, without penalty. Do not replace in the hole as per 1895 code.
- By local rule, any ball outside a hazard may be deemed unplayable at the player's discretion, and dropped within 2 club lengths, no nearer to the hole, or anywhere behind where it lies, or replayed from the previous location, on penalty of 1 stroke. (Unplayable lie.)
- As far as possible, all balls are to be holed out. No gimmes, and please do not pick up unless all hope for hole is lost. This is because each person's point scoring is based on the stroke scores of everyone in the tournament.
- If a player is disqualified for any reason, they shall only be considered disqualified for the current hole, and may resume at the next hole, as per 1921 code rule for Bogey Competitions.
- If a player does pick up, their score for the hole should be marked on the card as 'P'. For calculation purposes, such scores will be treated as 1 more than the highest score of any player completing the hole in the event. This is relevant as average scores for each hole are used in calculating points awarded.
- If a player is disqualified for a hole, their score for the hole should be marked on the card as 'Q'. The player will not be eligible for any points for the disqualified hole. For calculation purposes, such scores will be treated as the average of the scores of all other players completing the hole in the event. This is relevant as average scores for each hole are used in calculating points awarded.
- The scores of players who, for any reason, do not complete the entire round of 18 holes will be discarded, except as noted above (re pick-up or disqualification on an individual hole).
- One score card will issued for each group, rather than individual score cards for each player. Players should ensure that their score is marked correctly at each hole. All players should sign the score card before it is handed in.
If you have any questions regarding the rules of play to be followed, please email email@example.com or ask the organizers at the event.