Golf Historical Society of Canada

Doug Marshall (Director, dec.)

About Me

Above: Doug Marshall at Borden GC in 2016

In 1993, My brother Ian talked me into coming out to a hickory golf show. I have forgotten where it was and any details but remember it as a fun experience.

I had just retired as a Teacher Coach and former Dept Head in a London High School and was free to do any thing with my golf dependancy habit. I was a lifetime golfer from a young age having started playing recreationally from about age 12, though I later played golf in high school. Then I won the McMaster University intramural golf tourney in my freshman year. I discovered that was also a tryout for the McMaster Golf Team. So as a nice sideline to my Varsity role on the basketball team, I spent 4 years on the golf team each fall. Our home course was Hamilton Golf and Country Club in Ancaster. What a blast! 

Upon graduation and with summers off, I decided to work on my golf game. So starting at about an eight handicap I worked my way down to a four. This tournament handicap I maintained almost through to 1993 retiring with about a six. Along with that I had scored nine holes in one and had the occasional tournament success and even some wins.

At age 57, I became a hickory golfer. I had some knowledge of how to fit myself out with clubs and I went to some of the veterans and put together a set that was passable. I am still working at a set that is closer to perfect and having fun doing it ! Hole in One #10 came about a year into the hickory thing, and is immortalized in Randy’s Jenson’s book.

The first few years’ hickory tournaments began to pop up all over the map especially in the U.S. I describe one of the early events at Oakhurst in West Virginia in a piece I wrote for “The Jigger,” GHSC’s newsletter. Vern Petry attended that event with me and we made it an “Annual ” for a few years. In 2002, I started a U.S./ Canada match at Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf course. It was a rememberance of a 1895 event started by Chicagoin Charles Blair Macdonald who was born in Niagara. It was in honor of the first inter-country matches played in that period. Both events are now changed or gone, but dozens have appeared to replace them. Visit Jim Davis at the SOHG site to get a list. Some may appear on this website.

Doug Marshall

Collecting Interests

After playing many Hickory events in Canada , US and Scotland, my main focus is now on my personal collection. I have a small but significant collection of early Canadian Clubs.

My Historical Play Sets

Initially beginning my collecting in Canada, many of my first clubs were Tom Stewart irons. He supplied most of our eastern Canada pros with iron heads which early on (pre 1910) tended to be low profile with various hand hammered faces. I have several sets of this vintage some with the various early Quebec Pros logos.

Spending more time in the U.S., I acquired various clubs attached to prominent British and American sources. Examples of these clubs made up my first play clubs. Later in the U.S., I discovered a Scottish club made by Cochran.

I settled on Walter Hagen bowline logo blades made by Cochrane in Great Britain .This was a pretty club in stainless steel .They tended to have better overall swing weights and a better overall weight. I still use those having aquired them individually and modified them to suit me.

My wedge is a Tad Moore replica. My woods are Macgregor fancy faces all original with some modifications done by Mike Just.

My Favourite Courses

Impossible to choose as I have played many of the great ones  e.g. Augusta National, and East Lake, Bob Jones home course in South East Atlanta, and many others. 
Hickory courses include Mid Pines, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and any short course with character. Norfolk in Simcoe Ontario comes to mind . 

GHSC Participation

Once I got playing in numerous tournaments in the U.S., I became interested in the hickory organizations themselves .The oldest was the GHS (Golf Historical Society). It was for collectors the major world organization. There were many Collector /Historians in this group and that was a major interest of mine.

Through the eighties I served two terms on their Board plus a year to coordinate the Annual Meeting in Southern Pines for the third time (that being my winter home). Subsequent to that, I had joined the newer playing group the organizers named The Society of Hickory Golfers.

This second group (SOHG) had big ambitions. They wished to become the hickory version of the USGA. Two professional club makers Tad Moore and Mike Just of Louisville Golf belonged and were creating excellent replica clubs for this new group of competitive players.

While good friends, my interest was in the history and not creating an empire of players. I spent two terms on their Board but declined standing for a third term. Mike Just became a good friend and got so he could modify clubs for me without specs. He passed away a few years back and I miss him dearly.

The GHSC involvement was some considerable time on their Board. I spent several years in charge of tournaments including several while serving as Vice President.

Upon Paul Sorley’s passing, I became GHSC President. I spent 3 years doing that succeeded by Dave Burgess. I assumed the role of Historian probably by seniority and because that is the one role in which I felt I could still contribute.

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

Please contact me. I'm interested!