Special ‘stick’ reveals golf secret

Mr Lionel Freedman, chair of the World Hickory Open Championship with Mrs Margaret Coupar and her heirloom 'Sunday Stick'.
Mr Lionel Freedman, chair of the World Hickory Open Championship with Mrs Margaret Coupar and her heirloom 'Sunday Stick'.

Sunday golf was a changed game over 100 years ago as a Carnoustie woman’s clandestine family heirloom demonstrates.

On Friday Mrs Margaret Coupar celebrated her 81st birthday with a luncheon at which World Hickory Open Championship chairman Lionel Freedman told the group of the fascinating history of the ‘Sunday Stick’ which she has in her possession.

The hickory club, disguised and most often used as a walking stick, originally belonged over a century ago to Grace Millar the Great Aunt of Mrs Coupar’s late husband Bill.

Mrs Coupar said: “They were a golfing family and were interested in sport of all kinds, but mainly golf.

“I didn’t think it could be of any interest but Mr Freedman said it was not a golf club but what’s known as a Sunday Stick.”

Speaking at the luncheon which was held in the Golf Hotel Mr Freedman explained the history of the Sunday Stick.

He said: “The great thing about this is it goes back to the days when you weren’t allowed to play golf on a Sunday.

“So when a keen golfer was going for a walk he wanted something a bit like a golf club he could give it a swish and that’s how Sunday Sticks came about.

“I think there were probably a fair amount of these but you don’t get so many of them now. I have a couple of modern hickory ones that are replicas.

“I think it’s something that’s really nice. This is just lovely.”

Sunday Sticks are still manufactured by specialist heritage golf companies and Mr Freedman presented four as prizes at this year’s World Hickory Open.

Mrs Coupar’s stick is quite short, made of hickory and the shaft tapers the opposite direction from a regular club.

Mr Freedman added: “It has a tiny head. All the hickory heads tend to be a bit smaller than a modern club, you would have to be quite good to use one.”