Sunday, April 30, 2023

Why Do We Love...

...April in Michigan?   

Because we can have snow storms and sunshine in the same day.

When it comes to the weather our motto is “keep 'em guessing”.

As unlikely as it may seem, I did walk 9 that day on my backyard golf course.

Looking forward to driving a dagger through the heart of winter and welcoming the month of May.

My co-worker reports his twins are continuing to improve, though it's been a "2 steps forward, 1 step back" dance much of the time.

The good news is, there is progress...they were born weighing 1.3 and 1.7 lbs, respectively; they're now 2.45 and 2.89 lbs.

Keep praying for these precious boys!

In Spring, a young man's fancy may turn to love, but for this old duffer, it's all about...

...yeah, that.

Last season someone stopped me as I walked off the 9th green and asked about my clubs.

Besides the usual...

* What are they made of?  (hickory wood)
* When were they made? (1920's and 30's)
* Can I use them with modern golf balls? (only super soft, otherwise I like gutta perchas)

...this gentleman and his wife also wanted to know what they were and why I had those particular clubs in my bag.

I ended up explaining they're what's called a "hickory playset" or "short set", and mine consists of 5 clubs:

1. Brassie

...used from the tee as well as the fairway, and so called because of the metal (sometimes brass) plate on the bottom:

With modern "super soft" golf balls, you should get 200+ yards with your brassie.  If you use gutta perchas (guttys), that's more like 150.

However, this has been my nemesis ever since I took up hickory golf, and rarely have I hit a wood with any consistency.

Part of it is simply the smaller size / surface area of hickory clubs compared to today's weapons:

One gentleman who examined my hickories remarked, "the heads are the size of M&M's!"

Hyperbole to be sure, but the smaller size of the old hickory clubs provides both a challenge and a built in excuse if (read: when) I flub a shot.

Be that as it may, this is the year I'm shedding the excuses and mastering this club!

Or at the very least, I'm going to hit it well enough to include it with confidence in my bag.

We'll see if I'm still singing that tune come September.

2. Mid Iron

...roughly equivalent to a 3 iron...150 to 160 yards with modern "super soft" golf balls, 110 to 120 with guttys.

This is a tricky club for me.  I tend to overswing for more distance with my mid iron, which never goes well.

A relaxed swing always yields longer, straighter shots, but then that's true with every club.

3. Mashie

...roughly a 6 iron, this has been my most consistent club...130 to 140 yards with super soft golf balls, 80 to 90 with guttys.

If I could only use 1 club and a putter, this would be my choice.


Because I usually hit it consistently, so on a 400 yard par 4 I can be on the green in 3 with a chance to 1 putt for par.

4. Niblick

...between a 9 iron and a wedge...90 to 100 yards with super softs, 50 or 60 with guttys.

This is my go to club for pitching when I'm away from the green and need some loft.

It's also what I use to get out of sand traps.

6. Putter

...good ol' Calamity Jane.

And hey, "putter" is the same name we use today.

The guy that asked about my clubs seemed surprised.

"You don't call it a Flarfenbanger or something?"

Sorry to disappoint; it's just a putter.

So there you have man's version of the hickory golf playset.

left to right: putter, niblick, mashie, mid iron, brassie

I've seen some with as many as 8 or 9 clubs by adding  a jigger (about a 4 iron), spoon (lofted fairway wood), driving iron (1 iron), spade mashie (5 iron), or a mashie niblick (8 iron).

And more clubs make sense if you're a serious golfer.  The better player you are, the more tools you can use.

But here in duffer land, more does not necessarily mean better.  With limited time and talent, mastering all those different clubs just ain't gonna happen.

In other words, it's better to be good with a few than bad with a bunch.

If you're interested in building your own hickory playset you could haunt ebay - I trust seller "pygolf" and I'm sure there are other, 100% rated sellers you could try.

Perhaps a better plan is to check with Gary Eley from Hickory Golf Workshop to see what he has in stock.

I've done business with Gary through the years - my first hickory clubs were from the HGW - and have always been very pleased.

Ok everyone, split into 2 groups:

Those that know the Star Spangled Banner and the Pledge of Allegiance over here on the right...

...and the rest of you...well, you're excused so you can go learn the Star Spangled Banner and the Pledge of Allegiance.

Let's do that Parting Shots thing...

pics taken with my "new" vintage Polaroid 600 camera...

...refurbished by Retrospekt...The Pearl 600

#1 son and crew enjoying the warmth and sunshine of Florida

meanwhile, back here in paradise...

...we're enduring the uncertain climes of the schizophrenic midwest

this guy banged into our window, sat there stunned and befuddled for a few minutes, then thankfully flew away

For these next 3, I'm assuming you don't live under a rock...

...and do have functioning gray matter between your ears.

Thankfully we're (finally) knock, knock, knocking on May's door...the prettiest month of the year, when everything bursts into full bloom.

Everywhere you look you see the evidence of God's handiwork as once again our earth blossoms with new life.

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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