CHARLEVOIX -- The Belvedere Golf Club will host the Sixth Annual Hickory Open this weekend.
Twenty-five golfers from Florida, Michigan, Rhodes Island, Texas, and Virgina will compete in this years open.
Many of the golfers that participate in hickory events are bogey golfers, using modern technology, that have a passion for the game. However, defending champion Mike Teeter of Traverse City, like those in previous years, had to put together back-to-back rounds in the mid to low 70s to win the event, which is scheduled for Friday and Saturday on the storied Belvedere.
"Each swing has to be a good one in order to advance the ball, because of the lack of technology," Joy said. "To finish a round in the 70s is a tremendous round, and really a great feeling."
The Belvedere event remains the largest in the state, but the Traverse City Country Club and the Mackinac Island Golf Course will host Hickory events later this summer. The majority of similar events are spread throughout the southern United States, such as the Tad Moore Invitational in Alabama and the Pinehurst-sponsored event in North Carolina.
The two-day event is played with authentic pre-1935 hickory shafted golf clubs and the golfers will dress in period appropriate apparel which includes knickers, ties, and jackets. The competition is a part of the Society of Hickory Golfers, a national hickory organization which celebrates and promotes the hickory game of the early 20th century.
The venue for this hickory event, The Belvedere Golf Club, was established in the heyday of the hickory era, 1925. Major golf champions such as Bobby Jones, Walter Hagen, Gene Sarazen, Tommy Armour, Horton Smith, Denny Shute, Jock Hutchinson, and Leo Diegel have all competed at the Belvedere Golf Club with hickory.
"I compete in four or five of these events throughout the year, mostly in the south" Joy said. "I have never won an event, but I have placed in second six times. They are just a fun way to enjoy the game."
The Belvedere Golf Club will not only host the Hickory Open over the next few years, but have secured the Michigan Senior Open, 2012; the Women's Michigan Senior Open, 2013; and its 40th Michigan Amateur in 2014. It will be the 40th time the Michigan Amateur will be played at the Belvedere.
Tee times for both Friday, June 24, and Saturday, June 25, will begin at 9:30 a.m. Spectators are welcome to walk the course and take in the event at no charge. This year's competitors will enjoy parties and entertainment every evening. The Belvedere Hickory Open is the "Hickory Event of the Season," with the exception of the National Championship, Joy said.