The Hickory Challenge

Published: 5th July 2015
Captain David Elliott in period attire with winners Stuart Morley, Annie Hawkey, Dave Buse & Dave Pooley
Captain David Elliott in period attire with winners Stuart Morley, Annie Hawkey, Dave Buse & Dave Pooley

The final event and the climax of the eight days of golfing festivities celebrating our 125th anniversary was the Hickory Challenge organised by Captain David Elliott on Sunday 5th July. With sufficient sets of pristine genuine original hickory shafted clubs from Anthony Hunt of South of England Hickory 72 members ventured forth to play a Texas Scramble on a course made up of 7 holes on the Holywell (1, 2, 11-15) and 7 on the Church (3-7,17,18) playing from some very forward tees tees. Sadly we were missing our best resident lady Members as they had to play a third round Gammon match. Being but a simple man I can not understand how that date could not have been changed so they could enjoy a once in a lifetime experience. The good news was that we had 5 of our Juniors playing Lucy Williams. Lottie & Emily Clemens, Jack Chudleigh and Bradley Nicholls. Mention must also be made of Holiday House Members Claire Page & Robert Dooley who at the last minute made up the final team with the Captain and Matt Mills and as a reward were in the prizes.

The weather looked distinctly unhelpful with 10 mm of rain plus reports of thunder and lightning from those journeying to the Club – all very un-Tony Rounsevell like who always organised the weather successfully in his two years of captaincy but luckily for David the rain stopped 10 minutes before play was due to start and progressively improved as play went on albeit the wind did make mastering the old clubs that bit harder. The length of the holes were spot on right and 14 was quite enough as it was very hard work trying to master the technique required to hit the ball well with such unforgiving clubs, but what joy and sense of achievement after a good shot! Whatever the reasons those golfers of old must have been very talented to play so well with hickories.

Those in the prizes were:-

1st Dave Pooley, Stuart Morley, Annie Hawkey Dave Buse 41.1
2nd David Elliott, Matt Mills, Robert Dooley, Claire Paige 42.3
3rd Simon Welsh, Mark Richards, Penny Moon, Greg Carter 42.4
4th Rod Frost, Norman Hawkey, Mike Samuel, Barbara Robson 43.3

Kenton Williams celebrates with his prize for closest to the pin

Everyone enjoyed the golf – it was a huge success and a wonderful way to finish our celebrations and before the prizegiving we had a tremendous rendering of “The Challenge” a poem trawled from the Club's archives by Peter Bendall given by John Harbinson and Mike Parry. There followed a terrific Bar-B-Q under the new awning thanks to Derrick Daniels' wheeling and dealing on Ebay in bright sunshine as we listened to the jazz band play. A great end to a great week - roll on the 150th!