Back in time with vintage golfers

Pictured on Monifieth golf Course on Monday are the golfers playing in the World Hickory competition. Around 90 players took part in the game.
Pictured on Monifieth golf Course on Monday are the golfers playing in the World Hickory competition. Around 90 players took part in the game.

AN ANTIQUE golf competition took place earlier this week on two Carnoustie Country courses.

The eighth World Hickory Open Championship was held over two days on the Carnoustie Burnside and the Monifieth Medal courses on Monday and Tuesday.

The competition pays homage to the golf of days gone past with 90 competitors playing using vintage hickory golf clubs and often dressing to match.

Golfers from all over Britain, northern Europe, Australia, America and South Africa took part in the competition.

It was split into team and individual championships, with the winning team coming from the golf academy at the Loretto School near Musselburgh.

Second place was taken by a team from the British Golf Collectors’ Society and third was claimed by a South African team.

The individual winner was Rick Valentine, master of golf at the Loretto School, in second place was former champion Perry Somers from Australia and in third place was Swedish professional Owe Werner.

Tournament organiser Lionel Freedman was delighted with the competition. He said: “I was very pleased with the two days, I was excited by it actually.

“The golf courses were in great condition and the help from the Carnoustie hotel was terrific.”

Lionel explained the end of the competition was a close run thing: “Valentine and Somers tied on 156 for the two rounds and they played the 1st three times and the 18th.

“The Australian bogied the hole and Rick Valentine parred, they both birdied the 18th and the play off made for some lovely golf and it was nearly pitch black by the finish.

“The Monifieth Medal and the Carnoustie Burnside were both set up to play over 6,100 yards, there was a 36 hole 1st, 2nd and 3rd scratch competition and a 1st, 2nd and 3rd for the handicap.”

The World Hickory Open Championship saw between 40 and 50 of the competitors staying at the Carnoustie Golf Hotel, with the remainder either staying elsewhere locally or commuting.

Lionel said: “It’s got to be great for the area with everyone staying locally. Most of the golfers were from Europe but we’d actually like a few more locals. It does really attract the Continental Europeans, particularly the Scandinavians.”

The final scores were 156 and 75 for the winner, respectable scores for the two courses even with modern equipment.

Lionel added: “I think we have to say it’s hard but only on the basis that the clubs themselves are less forgiving than modern clubs and the balls don’t go quite so far. Good golfers find the smaller sweet spot in the club and get perfectly adequate results.”