Balata Balls and Hickory Sticks


Lots to say in response but I’ll keep it brief.

Well planned and well struck shots with these clubs are better than anything you will feel (physically or emotionally) wih modern equipment. Period.

The connection these clubs also forge with the past is one of many intangibles really savoured by hickory players too.


Thanks for the nudge guys. I just dug out my grandfather/great grandfather’s clubs out of the basement and am going to take them for whirl later this summer. There’s actually a hickory-shafted spoon, a handful of “newer” steel shafted antique woods and a bunch of misc irons and chippers/putters, all hickory shafted. Sounds like a perfect Sunday afternoon in the summer activity. - Jim


Your screen name is hogan with a picture of him hitting a 1 iron at Merion, why do you use out dated players for your name and picture?


I am back on the lookout for hickories. Playing some really cool golden era stuff in the coming months and I can’t get the idea of a hickory set out of my mind. My father in law is an antique collector so I have put him on the case for me. My Grandfather, while not a golfer had a set in his barn. I can remember hitting balls with them as a child. I wish I would have gotten a hold of them when he passed.


I founds my set on craigslist. Worth poking around!


I found a decent deal on ebay for my irons. Now im on the lookout for a spoon or brassie.

Was able to get nine in with hickories for the first time ever last week and it was a blast. Played 3 balls since i had no idea what to expect. Flushed my first three, but boy oh boy were they massive slices. By the 3rd hole (par 3 at my course) i had them figured out to where they were going fairly straight. Made 2 long putts for birdie on the 3rd.

Totally different game. Once i get a few more rounds under my belt i’ll start looking for older balls. I know theres a guy here in Omaha that makes replica balls.


Notice much in the way of distance challenges/altered ball flight with the clubs and modern balls? From my experience, the driver (if hit well) doesn’t go THAT much shorter until you switch out the ball.


i dont have a driver yet.

And i couldnt tell any difference in total distance on well struck shots.

#4 is a par 4, i hit 3 shots with my hickory 4 iron. Longest measured 210, shortest 195, middle was 205. This is right around my current length.

I will say i am not able to hit towering moon shots with the hickories like i do with modern equipment.

I’ll update again once i find a decent deal on a hickory driver. I’ve got some bids out on ebay, but im patient enough to try and find a steal on something in good shape, even if its not super pretty.

Found my set of 3,4,6,8,16 and putter for $100 on ebay. 1927 Spaldings. The finish is pitted, but theyre ok other than that.


Awesome find. I have a Niblick, Mashie, Long Iron (2 iron), putter (has a 10 on it), and two persimmon drivers (non hickory). Keep us updated!


Got a couple bids out on ebay right now.

Played normal tees last night, 3200 yards or so. My course has a lot of trouble right, and some water. Shot 45 without a wood of any kind. Which brings my maximum distance to about 210 on a pured 3 iron.

Just took a lesson with James Sieckmann this morning on partial wedge shots. Minor issues, but i think they’ll translate through the rest of my game. Basically taking too long of a swing, leading to a lazy body and a shut face.

I imagine its the same issue with hickory, but a different result. Face to path is left open with hickory, where its just a bit shut on modern wedges.

We talk about the hamster wheel of death during lessons, and i was just getting ready to jump on it with my wedges, i just got to a plus handicap with modern equipment, but hickories are so much more exposing of swing flaws.

That was off on a tangent, but i feel like its more related to hickory than it may seem, due to the less forgiving nature of hickory.


Just wait until you throw a balata ball into the mix. Last winter, I could not for the life of me get the driver off the ground without it snap hooking. Was a tempo thing I could get away with using modern equipment - not so lucky with the persimmon/balata combo. I felt like a 30 handicapper off the tee. Regularly shot 85, 86 from 6100 yards (currently playing to a .9). Hickories and balatas expose you big time.

Keep us updated!


No kidding!

The price of balatas on ebay is absurd right now. I think i’ll have better luck with some McIntyre balls.

But i cant afford to make that jump til i get something i can hit a bit longer off the tee.


Holy smokes! Same price as Pro V1’s huh?

I have been playing some old Ram Tour’s - do not think they are very good balata balls, but balata’s none the less. Wonder if you would have any luck at a garage sale or on craigslist of someone getting rid of a bunch of old golf balls. Really anything pre-2001 will give you the effect.


Still cheaper than Titleist tour balata 90s on ebay. those are going for 100 bucks a dozen for balls still in box.

I’m sure there are much better ways of getting balatas than ebay. But i havent put too much effort into it yet.

Between my need for woods, and now my wife is FINALLY interested in golf (gotta find her some clubs), finding balatas are lower on my list right now.


Craigslist is the best.


I’ll have to use it more.

Its usually horrible in Omaha though.


May have just found 17 sleeves of balatas. Trying to work him down to 25 bucks. Listed at 50 along with some gag gift thing i have no interest in.

Boom. $35


u da man.


Gotta drive to counciltucky though


Heres the haul.