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World Hickory Open Golf Championship - by Lionel Freedman

Chairmans Page

Ancient and Modern.

It’s a phrase that’s normally associated with the world’s best-known hymn book. In its various guises, it’s been around for some one hundred and fifty years and it’s sold over one hundred and fifty million copies. So, it works. It’s formula? Simply to collect and collate, without fear or favour, a broad sample of the world’s favourite hymns, old and new. A good song is a good song, no matter when it was written.

Now, let’s turn from the shadowed cloisters of the cathedral to the corners of what, for some, is equally hallowed ground. The broad green acres of the hickory golfing world. Now try putting ancient and modern together and suddenly, a far cry from the harmonious paradigm of the eponymous hymn book, all hell breaks loose.

Pre-1935 and replica. For many hickory golfers, putting the clubs together is nothing less than heresy. And for many others, what’s the problem?

Given that, some years ago, the World Hickory Open took the lead in allowing both breeds of club to grace our competition, it seems somehow appropriate, as we approach our tenth anniversary, that I should now throw this debate open to all of you.

Do we ditch the new in favour of the old? Do we preserve the old in aspic, rebuffing any sense of change as no more than the trifling and irritating squawking of the new kid on the block? Or do we embrace the spirit of the replica club, secure in the belief that it’s the only way forward for our game?

Your thoughts, over the coming weeks, would be very welcome. And, just to set the ball rolling, here’s what Mungo Park had to say.....CLICK HERE FOR MUNGO’S ARTICLE .... And, by the by, Mungo is the great grandson of Willie Park Snr.

I look forward very much to hearing from you. With best wishes,

Lionel Freedman, Chairman, WHO.