It is fair to say that I am obsessed with golf. I was nineteen years old when my father took my brother Brian, my friend Chris and myself for our first game at Allandale Golf Course, a Stanley Thompson nine hole course. I loved the game right from the start and so my golf journey began. I was fortunate that my career in sales required me to travel and play courses across most of Canada. My early beginnings at Allandale made me appreciate the old historic courses even more.
My introduction to hickory golf was started by my friend Gerald. For years, he had extended an invitation to try the old clubs, and in 2018, shortly after retirement, I took him up on the offer. At his suggestion, I contacted Paul Dietz and bought my first set of hickories and the rest was history. I already had a fascination with the old courses and playing with historical equipment was a natural enhancement to my golf journey.
What fascinates me about the old clubs is their character and they invite you to be creative. They are the best swing trainers and the more I play them, the better my overall golf game has become. I now play hickory clubs four or five times per week.
When I am not playing hickory golf, I turn mostly to classic steel, a term I use to describe clubs from my early days of play. In 2020, I sold my modern “distance irons.” I had acquired a couple of forged iron sets from the 80-90’s that have more classical lofts and when paired with my stable of persimmon woods or early Taylormade Pittsburgh Persimmon metal woods. Gerald and I like to play them when the weather gets cold or rainy, or just for a change. They bring back fond memories of my early golf experiences and have much more character than modern equipment.
I have accumulated a good collection of playable clubs and sets, both hickory and classic. Every one of the clubs I acquire is intended to be played. I have several play sets including Stewarts and also use them as loaners to new hickory players. I also have a growing collection of books, most on the history of the game and old clubs.
I have several hickory iron sets that get frequent play. They include Stewarts, MacGregors, Kroydens and Walter Hagens. I also like to piece together individual clubs.
Five degree loft increments are my preferred setup with suede grips. I also use several woods, my preferred setup being a Brassie, Spoon and Cleek. I have several antique woods and a few replicas as well.
If I had to pick my favourite club to hit off the tee it would be a Wilsonian Brassie. My preferred putter is a Schenectady and it is better than any modern putter that I’ve owned.
My “classic steel” play sets include a set of MacGregors, Hogans and a set of Mizuno MP 52’s. I have a gorgeous set of Hogan Apex persimmons, several MacGregors and my nostalgic Taylormade Tour Spoon, Driver and Tour Cleek from the early 1980’s.
Playing hickory clubs on historic or links courses is a match made in heaven. Some of my favourite courses include the Highlands Links, Cabot Cliffs, Brantford, Tarandowah and my home course Cambridge Golf Club.
I joined the GHSC in 2018 and have enjoyed playing in all of the events. My interests are in promoting hickory golf and have been organizing events at my home course and throughout Southern Ontario. I joined the Board of Directors in 2020.
I love playing hickory golf and introducing new people to the old game. When not playing hickory, I prefer “classic steel” shafted clubs over modern equipment. I just find playing older equipment to be more fun.
I consider myself a true hickory ambassador, along with many of my fellow hickory enthusiasts. We want other golfers to enjoy the hickory experience and we have high quality sets to offer for their use.