The clubs we play with have a solid hickory shaft. Most of the hickory clubs in play today date from the late 1890s to 1935. The majority of people play clubs which were manufactured between 1900 and 1935. Clubs manufactured during this period are original hickory clubs. There are several companies that make replica hickory shafted golf clubs that are approved for play.
Every hickory golfer starts off by assembling a play set. A hickory play set does not contain the same 14 clubs as a modern set of clubs. A good starter play set will be made up of six clubs. The six clubs in a good starter set are as follows:
- Brassie (the brassie serves as both driver and fairway wood and has a loft about 13-14 degrees)
- Mid-Iron (the mid-iron is used for long shots and has a loft of about 25-27 degrees)
- Mashie (the mashie is used for approach shots and has a loft of about 34-36 degrees)
- Mashie Niblick (the mashie niblick is used for short approach shots and pitch shots and has a loft of about 43-47 degrees)
- Niblick (the niblick is used for bunker and pitch shots and has a loft of about 52-57 degrees)
The starter play set consists of the basic clubs used in the hickory game. There are several other clubs that were manufactured during the hickory era. As a player gets more experience in the hickory game and learns more about the various clubs they add clubs to their set to try to fill in gaps they feel they have in their set.
A lot of players obtain clubs through friends who have introduced them to the hickory game. To a great extent these friends are able to help a new player find clubs for their set. A player can also purchase replica clubs from Louisville Golf, Tad More and St Andrews Golf.
There are options for the ball used in hickory play. Most hickory events allow you to play with any ball approved by the United States Golf Association. Most often players like to use a soft ball with low compression. Good examples are Wilson 50s and Duos, Bridgestone E6 and B330s, Maxfli Noodle, Callaway Chromesoft and Supersoft and Srixon Soft Feel. The higher compression cheaper balls feel like rocks when hit with a hickory. There are a couple of companies that make replica golf balls and there are some events that require them. The best way to find a ball you enjoy playing is to try a few and see what works for you.