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European Tour Goes Old School With “Hickory Challenge”

Maybe you’ve heard, but today’s technology in the game of golf is better than it was back in the 1930s. Graphite shafts, titanium heads and rubber grips are just a few minor improvements that seem to be taken for granted in 2016.

In an effort to bring the game back to its roots, the European Tour hosted a “Hickory Challenge” in celebration of the 70th playing of the Omega European Masters held at Golf-Club Crans-sur-Sierre in Switzerland. For perspective, it’s the second-longest running golf tournament after the Masters.

Masters champ Danny Willet, Lee Westwood, Miguel Angel Jimenez and 2013 World Hickory Champion, Paolo Quirici, played a two-hole challenge against each other using only traditional hickory clubs following the third round. They also dressed up in plus fours and paper boy hats to give it the full effect.

In the end, Westy held of Willett in a sudden death closest-to-the-pin contest.

“It was great fun,” said Westwood afterwards, according to the European Tour. “It was a completely different feel to what we’re used to normally. The hickory challenge was a good finish to a great day of golf.”

Hopefully next time they make them play golf balls from the 1930s, too.

[European Tour]

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