Thursday, March 28, 2024

Happy Easter, Y'all...'s the weekend we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Because of what He did on Calvary's cross - 

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
                   - Isaiah 53:5

- we can have peace with God through faith in His Son.

I hope you have experienced that reconciliation in your life, and wish you and yours a very blessed Easter.

I should not be allowed to talk to people sans supervision...

...but more on that later.

Know what those are?

They're called "featheries" and they're the type of golf ball used in the first half of the 1800's.

They're made of leather and stuffed with - you guessed it - feathers.  Lots and lots of them.

Then they're sewn shut and "finished" yielding a playable golf ball that's about 1.8" in diameter and between 1.2 to 1.4 ounces.

By way of comparison a modern ball is 1.68" in diameter and 1.62 ounces - and a McIntyre gutty (the kind I play) is about 1.7" and 1.34 ounces.

So featheries are a little bigger and a little lighter than modern balls, but about the same weight as a gutty.

They're also mostly, but not necessarily perfectly, round.

How do I know all this?

Simple; I'm very, very smart.

No?  Not buying it?

Ok, I talked to the good folks at <hickory lane featherie> -

Denny and Cathy in 1840's garb at their featherie golf outing

- who are very helpful and uber knowledgeable.

They should be, because they make each of their featherie golf balls by hand, just like the old masters from 200 years ago.

As I said, they're playable balls; in fact, they're one of only two brands that are approved for play in the National Hickory Championships (pre-1850 "featherie" era).

devotees of the featherie era putting on a "green".  note the marked difference between greens back then - a place on the course where a hole was located - versus today's well defined, super manicured, smooth as glass versions.

So...what does any of this have to do with my 1920's era hickory golf hobby?

Funny you should ask, since that's the subject of this week's blog entry.

And it's a bit of a tangle, so first, a golf history lesson:

From 1800 through 1850 or so, the featherie ball ruled supreme, and clubs were predominantly long nosed woods with names like "play club", "long spoon" and "baffing spoon":

Around 1850 the gutta percha ball was introduced...

...its main advantage being that of its hard shell durability and some increased distance.

Clubs retained their basic long nose spoon shape, but became sturdier and heavier.

Also, irons like the "smooth face lofter" (about a 7 iron) and "rut irons" or "track irons" (used to get balls out of wagon tracks that often criscrossed public land golf courses)...

...started popping up.

By 1900 the gutty was being pushed off the stage by wound core balls due to vastly improved distance, and club makers once again adapted.

The long nose spoon shapes morphed into the driver / brassie woods that you see in my bag (above) and irons became much more common.

Finally, due to the advent of metal shaft clubs, the hickory era ended around 1935.

And that, of course, was the end of golf as we know it.

(I've heard rumors there are still a few participants here and there, swinging clubs made of super springium carbonium composite materials...

...and whacking jet propelled balls, which - let's be honest - is about like firing them from a cannon, so obviously no one really cares about modern golf.)

So...why does any of this matter?

Because my hickory playset is comprised of 1920's era clubs, but I hit gutta percha golf balls from the 1850-1900 era!

I know; I'm scared, too...

Now, I'm not positive this brazen historical faux pas has thrown the stars out of alignment...

...but I do know it has stuck in my craw for quite a while now.

And as it happens, when I was procuring a driver from a fellow hickory golf enthusiast, he mentioned he'd participated in a <featherie golf event> last year...

video taken by <The Hickory Hacker>

...raving about how relaxed it was and how much fun everyone had.

Placing the blame squarely on him -

(I can't be blamed for stuff just because I do it, can I?)

- he nudged me along a journey that so far involves purchasing a couple of Hickory Lane featheries...

...and committing to building an historically accurate gutty era playset (which has the double benefit of working for featheries as well).

My new playset - which, Lord willing, should be complete by July or August - will consist of a play club (driver), long spoon (fairway wood), baffing spoon (around the green), and smooth face lofter (the only iron), all supplied by <Kelly Leonard>, a clubmaker extraordinaire from Canada.

He specializes in gorgeous 19th century clubs from the featherie and gutty eras; I purchased this putter from him back in 2017...

...when I was just getting started with hickory golf.

Kelly even supplied the period correct clubs for the award winning movie Tommy's Honour:

Worth a look if you haven't seen it yet.

What all this means is I will soon be able to play historically accurate golf from the 3 best eras of golf:

Featherie, 1800-1850, using Hickory Lane featheries

Gutta Percha, 1850-1900, using McIntyre Park guttys

Vintage Hickory, 1900-1935, using a modern, low compression ball (like Callaway Super Softs)

I'm hopeful this personal golf era correction will yield a significant improvement in cosmic harmony and therefore usher in an unprecedented age of world peace and universal prosperity.

No need to thank me; just doing my bit.

Now, if for some unexpected reason that does not happen- 

(and sadly, we must allow for the outside chance it won't - or perhaps even the likely chance it won't - ok fine, for the you-can-bet-the-mortgage-that'll-never-happen chance it won't)

-then at least I'll feel better about assuaging my CDO:

As I said to begin this segment, I should not be allowed to talk to people unsupervised because I end up doing stuff.

Ok folks, time to 23 Skidoo, and last one out's a rotten egg:

rotten /rŏt′n/


  1. Being in a state of putrefaction or decay; decomposed.
  2. Having a foul odor resulting from or suggestive of decay; putrid.
  3. Made weak or unsound by rot.

Sounds unpleasant, so better get a move on...

a friend from work attended the Monster Jam recently...

...he's the one with the ball cap on

taken with my reto 35mm from our backyard...can't wait for some leaves on those skeleton trees

more from the backyard golf course

10 pounds down, 10 to go

must be watching CNN or MSDNC or NBC or ABC or CBS or...

That, dear reader, brings us to the end of another excitin' foray into the world of blogging excellence:

Don't act so surprised; someone had to win it, and Cousin Jed said hands down we had the best bribe blog.

So take that.

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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