Andrew Baker, the Captain of the Queensland Chapter of the AGHS has provided some exciting news from the Sunshine State:
“I am pleased to announce that with the blessing of Golf Queensland and the generosity of Royal Queensland Golf Club we are able to play the inaugural Queensland Hickory Shaft Championship as our October event.
To fit in with the Club’s schedule we will need to play one week earlier than normal on Friday 23rd October (the second-last rather than the last Friday of the month), teeing-off at 12:30pm.
Royal Queensland Golf Club has most graciously made its course and clubhouse available for the event and generously waived green fees for visitors. An invitation will soon be sent to all AGHS members, the majority of whom live in New South Wales, and we might expect a small contingent to travel north for the event.
Golf Operations Manager Steve Rhind advises that course renovations will occur three weeks prior to the event, however the course should be in good condition on the day.
I will contact you again shortly with further details once they are finalized. If you are able to give me an early indication of your intention to attend I will be most appreciative, as it will assist in making the necessary arrangements.”
Players interested in competing in the Queensland Hickory Shaft Championship should contact Andrew via email at email@example.com. If any players are contemplating travelling north for the Championship, and would like to be put in contact with like-minded individuals, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll put you in touch with one another.
The 21st staging of the event was held on Friday 25 September 2015 at Carnarvon Golf Club. The Society’s wish to move away from the November heat of previous years was rewarded with a day of 18°C, but showers and a good zephyr at times made for an interesting afternoon’s golf.
Our thanks to John Lock and Steve Fletcher – as Carnarvon committee members – and the Club’s management for their support of the event, to the catering staff for the meal, and to the grounds staff for the set-up of the course. There were many positive endorsements of the tee and pin positions.
We welcomed to the Championships five new players – Warren Smith, Nigel Black, Mark Pullen, Steve Byrnes and Tony Kelly – competing for the first time with the “hickories”. We hope to see you all at future events.
The start of the day saw our Treasurer Steve dispensing cards, local rules & John Lock performing as the starter for 36 players, thanks guys for all your assistance. Whilst they were hard at work, I was “wandering” meeting and greeting players, and then being drawn to the pro shop working bench where Lachie Wilson was performing “surgery” on some of Phil Baird’s irons by means of pieces of equipment the likes of which I had never seen.
And here I was thinking acquired clubs remain as acquired, oh no, the technology involved in blade & shaft angles, was most interesting. Made me wonder if Grandpa Tom ever changed the clubs he played with in the hickory days apart from weights that I know about, I certainly cannot remember, in my days as “lackey” in the pro shops at Monash and Rosnay with Dad, ever altering lofts and shaft angles.
However, onto the actual event. The scratch leaders after 9 were closely bunched with scores of 37, 38, 40 and 41, being – respectively – Darron Watt, Phil Baird, Lachie Wilson and Brian Keane. Over the back 9, a couple of players reversed their front nine form and produced scores of 39 and 41 respectively, being Warren Smith and Luke Kavanagh.
But when the cards were in, the winner had recorded a 77 to win by 4 shots. Our 2015 winner was Darron Watt from Wagga Wagga after being a runner up on a number of previous occasions. Phil Baird finished 2nd with 81, followed by Mark Pullen on 85. Darron in a short speech expressed his great joy at winning, and having his name on the trophy alongside many notable former victors.
After 9, the handicap leaders had net scores of 32, 34 and pair of 35.5s, being Brian Keane, Lachie Wilson, Steve Doorey and Darron Watt. The 2nd nine changed the final result with Steve Doorey winning with a net of 68, closely followed by Brian Keane on 69, and Andrew Wilson on 73. Of note is that the handicap runner up had a “10” on 17th which most certainly was not desirable.
Paul Gladwin and Ross Haslam won the coveted Treasurers Cup prize with their nearest the pins shots on the 7th and 16th holes respectively.
The gathering was also able to “sing” Happy Birthday to Julian Pickrell to celebrate his 81st birthday.
A toast was proposed to Tom Moore to recognise his commitment to the Championship since the initial event in 1995. Also on display was a set of “sheathed” irons once used by my grandfather Tom that have finally found their way “home” after a journey of over 80 years. My thanks to Phil Wood, Henry Paterson, and particularly to Tom Moore who has restored the clubs to be amazing examples of the early post hickory irons.
One for the calendar – 23 October 2015 – the Queensland Chapter of Australian Golf Heritage Society via Andrew Baker have advised that Royal Queensland Golf Club have indicated their willingness to host the inaugural Queensland Hickory Shaft Championship after receiving permission and unqualified support from Golf Queensland.
Lastly, the gathering was made aware of the idea of creating “the hickory experience”, whereby the AGHS take to Clubs the visions of the past gone days, tactile display items, short videos, and access to hired hickory sets. We have a couple of Clubs already interested in the idea, so more news soon.
Congratulations again to Darron on achieving a significant and notable goal and to all who played.
To our hosts Peppers Craigieburn, home to the annual Hickory Cup Heritage Golf Tournament on a course that is over 100 years old and still features the original course layout, a big thank for the day.
Our AGHS organisers on the day, Tony Doggett & Steve Doorey also achieved a high distinction in providing a delightful rain free afternoon. For those who have not visited the course, there are 9 greens attacked from 18 tee positions. The event is played as a scratch format for the trophy, with a handicap section as well.
Fourteen players were announced on the 1st tee, coming from as far afield as Nowra, Kiama & the Sydney environs. With the course presented in good condition (albeit damp on some slopes) & the greens provided some challenges, the “14” attacked the 18 holes with high hopes.
Thru 9 holes the scratch leaders with 38 were Rob Downie & Andrew Wilson, closely followed by your scribe on 39 & Tony Pickrell on 40. The handicap leader board showed your scribe with net of 28.5, Tony Pickrell on 31, closely pursued by Andrew Wilson 31.5 & Steve Doorey on 34.
The 2nd nine showed the steadiness of Rob Downie finishing with another 38 for total of 76 as our scratch winner. One shot back was Andrew Wilson with the Pickrells (Tony & Julian) together on 80s.
The handicap section was set alight by Steve Doorey (after long layoff) carding a net 28 for the 2nd nine to finish the count back winner on 62. Tony Pickrell ran 2nd with your scribe failing to maintain the 1st nine performance & finish with net 63. Andrew Wilson also showed his consistency & finished with a net 64.
Of interest is that only one birdie was recorded on the day by Geoff Martin on the 9th. So another successful & enjoyable day was concluded by a few refreshing ales, wines & soft drinks before the team journeyed back to their abodes.
On behalf of the AGHS, a big thank you to all who attended & we hope that in 2016 the event may draw maybe a bigger field to compete for this trophy.
Whilst in the writing mode, I understand that the 2014 (yes 2014) Bobby Locke Trophy winner emerged from the day, being Steve Doorey who beat Jim Glenday.
Also our best wishes to Dan Cullen who has had a fall (in hospital) & to a previous winner of this event Rex McKay who is recovering from a stroke.
Hope to see you all at Carnarvon on Friday week 25th for the Championship.