I remember that it was 22mph ave winds gusting at 44mph. I hit the ball great, but the putting was almost impossible. I always think I have more of a chance in the wind being able to work it both ways, so was quite happy to see it blowing.
Another day where I hit it great but Fortrose is gorse lined right on the edge of most fairways and greens and I went in there 4 times with not bad shots and took penalty drops. So was disappointed with a 79, but relieved when I won.
So winning those 2 Scottish titles meant I qualified to play in The Grail “The Hickory Ryder Cup”. At St Andrews.
Managed to win all 3 games againt some good American opponents. Highlight was shooting level par round the Old Course. The match was an unbelievable standard for a bunch of blokes using antique clubs.
Next up came the Welsh Hickory Championship. The previous Scottish events were covid affected so this was the first time I had been up against some of the Swedish players who could finally made the trip. I think there were about 15 of them here including several past winners. So this was definitely the strongest field I had played in. Got off to a great start and was level through 12 but we then headed back into the wind which wasn’t particularly strong but definitely made it a lot harder coming in.
I knew the 75 I finished with was a tournament record so thought I had it in the bag, but Swede Claes Arma finished in the group behind also with a 75. So I thought it would be a play off, then found out it was decided on countback, so 50:50 chance. Luckily my back 9 beat his. Still feel sorry for Claes.
So the 3rd Scottish title was a Dunbar which I think is an Open Championship qualifying venue. All the Swedes were there except Claes. Hickory Legend Iain Forrester made the trip from the Netherlands and was there to win it and plenty othe past winners in the field. So I was definitely feeling the pressure playing in the first group out with Iain and Jorgen Isberg one of the top Swedes
After about 12 holes I was about 6 in front of the pair of them. But it was a tough, scrambling, grind it out sort of round. When we had finished, I thought 77 was enough to win it and ended up winning by 3!
Congrats NRG! Outstanding stuff
Yeah, awesome NRG! Any pics of your gear? Do you ever use those long nose woods, would love to try a quality club like that.
My set with modern driver for comparison. Covered in lead tape and about 5 holes with lead weights dropped in the driver head. All pre-1935, no replicas.
I’ve not gotten a long nose yet Rat, pretty rare.
Nice. A friend of mine just played Belvedere Golf Club last week and said it’s one of the top classic courses in the country, especially since restoration.
The story goes the old original course drawings were found in a building demolition project in Charlevoix and course was brought back to that standard.
I played the head pro from Belvedere at St Andrews in the Hickory Ryder Cup. Unlucky Marty.
That’s where we will be playing the event next year, assuming I qualify.
Still have to qualify? A 3 time winner should be exempt!
It’s a 2 year qualifying period, ie this year and next, so first 2 Scottish are long gone.
Scottish, Welsh & English (maybe Swedish?) are the qualifiers, fortunately I’ve already won the first 2, so probably in already. Sadly not going to make the English this year due to an injury
Sorry to hear about the injury, congrats either way!
There is No feeling like an old hickory. Got a chance to hit some when i sold vintage clubs on ebay…butter!
Heal up fast!
I’ve been under a rock! But hey, I’m new here. I play hickories as well…congrats sir. Dang, getting to congrat the Scottish hickory champ personally… imagine that!
Thank you. Looking forward to the hickory season next year. Hopefully win a couple and make it to the States for the “Hickory Ryder Cup”