A different kind of golf tournament

Ogden column: Cedar Rapids Noon Lions Club hosting 'old school' event

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It’s not hard to find a golf tournament this time of year.

Nearly every course in Eastern Iowa offers some kind of event on weekends, from 2-person best shots to Ryder Cup-styled events.

But one tournament this summer is offering something a little different.

The Iowa Lions Foundation Hickory Golf Tournament will begin at “high noon” on June 1 at St. Andrews Golf Course.

“It’s kind of unique to Cedar Rapids,” said Gary Glockhoff of the Cedar Rapids Noon Lions Club, which is sponsoring the tournament.

Lions Club International is celebrating its 100th year and clubs in Iowa are using “hickory golf” as a way to honor that anniversary and raise money for their sight and hearing programs.

The Hickory Golf Association, based in Des Moines, is seeking “golfers who are demonstrating their dedication and commitment to the game of golf as it was played before the year 1935.” In hickory golf events, players use wooden shafted clubs and vintage style balls. Participants are encouraged to wear knickers and old style hats to “play the way the old masters played on a course that is pretty similar to the way golf courses were laid out in the teens and ’20s,” Glockhoff wrote in an email.

The HGA will provide clubs and balls as needed.

“It’s pretty challenging,” Glockhoff said, adding all golfers tee off from the women’s tees. “You just can’t hit as far as with the modern technology. You’re not going to play your regular game. You’ve really got to concentrate.

“It’s just a different animal.”

He said it can be a pretty humbling experience if you are used to booming the ball 300 yards on a drive.

“You’re not just going to clobber the ball,” he said.

There are only six clubs in each bag, a driver or two and three or four irons, plus a putter.

“It’s kind of history lesson” in golf, too, Glockhoff said.

And there is one major benefit for avid golfers.

“If you can play with wooden clubs well, it will help your (overall) game,” he said.

The tournament is a four-person best shot and costs $500 per foursome, or $125 for a single spot. There is a $35 discount if you can provide your own clubs. The event includes lunch and awards. Email Glockhoff at g.glockhoff@gmail.com or call him at (319) 247-2337 for more information.

“Go out and have fun,” he said. “But you’re not going to play your regular game.”

l Comments: (319) 368-8696; jr.ogden@thegazette.com

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