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Hickory club tourney returning to Selma

Golf purists and nostalgia-seeking lovers of the links will converge on the Selma Country Club this Friday and Saturday for the fourth hickory club tournament.

This is not a tournament for technology buffs or golfers itching to test their new titanium drivers. In fact, the only metal allowed is that which is on the wood-shafted irons.

“A modern club tournament is all based on yardage,” said Tad Moore, a wood-shaft club designer and hickory golf enthusiast. “The game is played a little more on the ground with hickory. A lot of times with the older clubs, you’re looking to run the ball a little bit. It’ll make it much more difficult.”

The difficulty level will likely be increased this weekend. Thus far, Selma has been spared the seemingly unending rains that hit the area prior to the Three-man Scramble that took place last week. But, rain is expected on Friday and Saturday.

This year’s field includes 36 players, including Nebraska’s Randy Jensen. Moore says Jensen is widely regarded as the “Tiger Woods” of hickory.

“Hickory golf is something that’s been getting more popular through the years,” said Jensen. “Part of the allure is that it’s about the swing. It was the way the game was played for many years before technology.”

Jensen gave up modern clubs more than a decade ago and has not regretted his decision.

“A modern driver hits 30 yards further,” said Jensen. “I don’t miss playing moderns at all. If a person has a good game, you can shoot close to same scores.”

The numbers are down slightly from the 2007 field, but Moore is confident that this year’s tournament features a better collection of golfers.

“This year we have a deeper field as far as the players that are really good with hickory clubs,” said Moore.