Golf Historical Society of Canada

Burgess, David (Past President)

About Me

David Burgess, GHSC President, presenting an award to Meggan Gardner at Glen Abbey, in 2017

I was born in Southport England, the home of Royal Birkdale G.C. Before my family emigrated to Toronto Canada in 1957, my father took me for walks on the sand dunes near Birkdale overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Despite my early introduction to the game, it wasn’t until my late twenties that I would actually take up golf.

Initially interested in numismatics, I turned my attention to golf collecting when my son bought me a wood shafted putter and a “wrapped” Penfold golf ball for Father’s Day from a flea market in the early 1990’s. The origin of the club, when and where it was purchased, what courses it had seen and how many times it changed hands, was something I found fascinating. One thing led to another and I started to seek ouit other hickory clubs at flea markets, antique stores, garage sales and the like.

I was quickly able to put together a small collection and got to the point where a “set of these ancient warriors” could be assembled. Next step… why not try using these clubs? I liked the “earthy” feel of the clubs and the way you had to improvise shots using fewer clubs. Later while playing at Carrying Place Golf club just north of Toronto, I found a copy of the Encyclopedia of Golf Collectibles in the pro shop. Talking then to the Pro, he told me about a small group of golf collectors who played with hickory clubs. This group turned out to be the Golf Historical Society of Canada and they had an event planned in Newmarket the following week. This was a perfect opportunity to meet like-minded individuals.

The rest is history. I joined GHSC and seldom missed “Hickory Hacker” events where people gathered together to play with antique clubs followed by a meal and a small buy-trade-sell show. As the years went by I travelled far and wide to expand my collection and was fortunate in meeting many new friends with similar interests. I have been actively involved in spreading the word of collecting vintage golf artifacts, organizing many 100th anniversary course celebrations, participating in trade shows, acting as auctioneer at GHSC events, etc. while holding various positions on the GHSC’s Board of Directors.

My children and grandchildren have progressed from selling chocolate bars at the Glen Abbey Trade Fair to playing in our Society’s hickory events. A.J., my grandson, is a full member of the GHSC and a past junior champion of our home golf course multiple times.

While visiting St. Thomas on a cruise with my wife several years ago, I played at Mohagony Run GC and was able to make it through “the Devil’s Triangle” at two-under-par using hickories. When I showed up at the course, I was paired with a couple of gentlemen from the U.S. Both were outraged when they saw my clubs, thinking that the pro shop had the nerve to provide me with such useless relics. Adding to their confusion and surprise, I explained that the clubs actually belonged to me!

David Burgess

Collecting Interests

I have put together an extensive collection of golf memorabilia, including many fine examples of unusual hickory clubs and golf balls including original featheries, gutties and rubber core balls.

My Historical Play Sets

I have 2-3 favourite sets of hickory clubs and I rotate them from time to time.

My Favourite Courses

My favourite hickory golf venue is Niagara-on-the-Lake GC. My best hickory round there was a 77.

GHSC Participation

I’ve really enjoyed participating as a GHSC Board Member and an event organizer. I especially enjoyed my time being a President of our Society.

Golf Historical Society of Canada
1346 Clyde Rd.
Cambridge, ON N1R 5S7

Please contact me. I'm interested!