Pasture Golf With Hickories

I happened to be driving in to my local pasture golf club, Bruce Beach GC, a few years ago for one of my solo rounds there and I noticed a golfer with an old time, white cloth golf bag with leather strap and maybe 6-7 wooden shafted clubs...

I bit in to hickory/pasture golf that winter hard enough. I went on E-Bay and picked up two sets of old hickories complete with niblick, mashies, and mid-mashies in astonishingly good shape (maybe I was lucky?).
With these old wooden shafts (of which I have broken a few already), I use a really soft golf ball made by Louisville Golf, or a balata ball. Using conventional hard golf balls would eat up these old clubs. Having said that, you certainly just don't have the same distance by any means compared to my conventional golf equipment. Not that I used to crush the ball by any means, but I rarely hit my hickory driver and balata balls over 200 yards.

In fact, the 4th hole at Bruce Beach has an old fairway bunker I hope to restore, hidden in the overgrown native fescue deep rough mix that I am routinely in and around. I would hazard a guess that bunker is short of 200 yards because that is as far as anyone hit the hickories when this place opened in 1903.

The seventh hole at Bruce Beach...

is the signature short par 4 hole @ 180 yards down the side of the bluff at a 70' drop in elevation. A truly scenic tee shot from a tiny dirt 8' x 8' tee box. This point is the capper in an otherwise lonely 9 hole round.

After researching online through excerpts from The Wikibook - A History of Bruce Beach, by Rob Parker, and originally compiled by Ian MacEachern, I found out that the Rev Robert Martin, of Hamilton, who was the first of many ministers to make Bruce Beach his summer home, laid out the first 6 holes in 1903, and the course was enlarged to 9 holes in 1907.

This type of golf isn't for anybody or everybody, but in a fast paced world it sure can be nice to disappear for an hour and a half and slip in 9 holes of golf without seeing another soul. Now that is good for you.

Later, Poor Old Dirt & Grass Farmer


Actually, the 7th hole you reference is really the 8th hole, and I don't recall a 4th fairway bunker in the last 35 years. The fescue growth has obliterated any trace I think.

However, the rest of your experience is bang on.

Yes, thanks for clarifying on the 8th hole.
I can spot a bunker out of play, I see them every day on old golf clubs from the Bruce Beach era.It is mostly fescue in the bunker now, but you could mow it to the rough height for a free added feature.