Usually They Win, After Receiving The Blessing Of The Golfing Gods!
It worked for Brandon Stone when he won the Scottish Open at nearby Gullane this summer and now Gary Orr has had the same experience when the hickory era “rubbed off” on him prior to his huge success at last week’s Scottish Seniors Open at Craigielaw.
Gary Orr joined Englishman Paul Eales and Swede Jarmo Sandelin in a four-hole hickory challenge on Craigielaw’s academy course prior to the Staysure Scottish Senior Open, which he also won in style (wearing plus fours!).
Image credit: Golffile. lefttoright Jarmo Sandelin, Paul Eales and Gary Orr
Meanwhile Stone was one of a number of European Tour players to take on “The Hickory Challenge” at Gullane Golf Club during a practice round at the ASI Scottish Open. At the 180-yard par-3 12th, each pro was given a choice of hickory clubs. The results were a bit mixed, and it made for a fun watch. After closing with a course-record 60 to claim his four-shot victory on the East Lothian coast in July, Stone revealed he’d been helped in that final round by practising the night before with an old wedge purchased from the Jack White Hickory Shop in Gullane.
In this extraordinary stroke of luck, with winners of both big competitions practising with hickory clubs before their triumph, it may be seen as a good omen for the World Hickory competitors to do a little practice with clubs from Boris Leitzow, owner of the ‘Jack White’ hickory shop in Gullane, prior to the World Hickory Festival this year.
The main event in the five day Festival of Hickory Golf will be the World Hickory Open, won last year by top Carnoustie pro Fraser Mann, over the made-to-measure historic links of Kilspindie. This year all players will battle it out over the demanding Scotland’s Golf Coast links of Luffness and Gullane No. 3, East Lothian, 10-miles east of Edinburgh.
Aspiring players from Scotland should also be aware of two new features just added to the attractive 2018 activity menu. First, with so much international focus on Loretto College’s Golf Academy, paradoxically only 10-miles away, World Hickory Open organisers have introduced a NEW World Junior Hickory category aswell as a NEW World Hickory Senior title (50 and over), as well as the for the title of the Honourable World Hickory Champion, best performing player compared to their age.
According to new chief Executive Boris Lietzow, current entries indicate another record year in which the WHO Festival of Golf will tee off on October 15th with over 120 players comprising up to 20 pros in a field of mainly amateurs from fifteen nations including the UK, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Switzerland., France, Czech Republic, Japan, South Africa and the USA. The Festival lasts for five days.
World Hickory Festival 15 Oct – 19 Oct 2018 www.worldhickoryopen.com