by Steven Hicks
Rockledge Country Club (RCC) is celebrating its centennial year, and in that spirit, their Labor Day event will be a Hickory Stick tournament. The event offers golfers the chance to “play the course similar to the way golf was played when the Club was founded.”
“I’ve been in the golf business for over a decade and I don’t remember another hickory stick tournament in Brevard County,” says Jeff Turner, PGA, the head golf professional at Rockledge Country Club.
In planning the event, Turner collaborated with Earl Hines from a group called Hickory Hackers that supports hickory stick events. Hickory Hackers provides the clubs and the expertise in using them. Each Foursome will have the opportunity to play with these experts.
“This will be a nice addition to the annual tradition of Rockledge Country Club’s Labor Day tournament. As done in previous years, we will be donating part of the proceeds to the Folds of Honor. The Club’s course will play similar to the way it would have been in 1918 with clubs true to that era. Not only will this tournament honor the history of golf, but we will of course be bringing the party as it was done in this time period,” added Andrea Beyel, General Manager of Rockledge Country Club.
“Rockledge Country Club is proud of our past and we are celebrating our future. This year, we’d like to form a Golf scholarship program for our local youth and anyone interested in helping us may contact our Membership Department for further details,” says Beyel.
When asked how a hickory stick is different than today’s highly engineered steel or carbon shafts, Turner says with a grin, “It’s crazy. The shaft is much more flexible. Your timing needs to be completely different. The lofts are totally different.”
“We’re bringing in 24 Hickory Hackers, so we’ll have 24 teams in this tournament. It’s going to be a four ball event – counting 2 of 4 scores on each hole,” Turner says.
As for what golfers can expect during the event, Turner says, “There will be complimentary beverages to golfers. We’re also adding some fun surprises for them as we relive the era that was. And to those newbies to golf, don’t worry about a perfect swing. We’re all here to enjoy the sport and its history.”
IT IS MORE THAN THE CLUBS
For the event, the country club is trying to get as many people to dress in period clothing as possible. “I’m working with a company that provides the outfits. We’ll have the clothing here on consignment. Golfers and those just watching have the option of buying clothes. We’ll at least have our staff in period garb,” Turner says.
Rockledge Country Club’s Labor Day Hickory Stick Tournament is Monday, September 3. Learn more and register at www.RockledgeCC.com, or call Jeff Turner at the Pro Shop. ◆