Back to the future: Hickory golf clubs centerpiece of popular tournaments

Arizona in Focus is a podcast from Cronkite News, the news division of Arizona PBS. Each season we dive deep into a particular topic or story to bring you stories you haven’t heard elsewhere. Check out the rest of our episodes here, and subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Soundcloud.

In this podcast, Nick Welter hits the range with The Society of Hickory Golfers, a group that organizes hickory tournaments around the globe. One of their tournaments just happens to be here in the Phoenix area: the Arizona Desert Hickory Classic. But why play with wood clubs? What makes them so different? What about them is so appealing to golfers?


Hickory clubs were how the game of golf was originally played and like many things in our past, its popularity has been revived. Welter talks to Tad Moore, a founding member of the group about what inspired this collection of golfers to create this series of tournaments.

He speaks with Ernie Ernst, a former board member, about how the tournaments are structured, who can play and where tournaments are held.

Additionally, he speaks with two players at the tournament: Mark Timms, CEO of Cool Clubs and avid hickory fan, and Angus Rollo. Originally from Scotland, Rollo traveled all the way from Denmark for this tournament and participates in multiple ones around the globe. Hickory clubs were how he was first introduced to golf and hold a very special place in his heart. Listen in to discover how this antique equipment is used in modern life.

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