Team USA Captures 2023 Hickory Grail Matches
The highly acclaimed Ryder Cup-style event at Belvedere Golf Club pitted hickory golfers from Great Britain/Europe against the U.S.
Charlevoix, MI – Team USA defeated Team Europe 18-10 yesterday in The Hickory Grail, one of the world’s premier hickory club events. Played at Belvedere Golf Club, the classic William Watson design in Northern Michigan, the three-day Ryder Cup-style event matched 14 of the most passionate hickory players from the United States against those from Great Britain/Europe in the oldest international hickory match in golf.
On the opening day, Team USA won six of the seven alternate shot foursome matches, to take a 5.5-to-1.5 lead. On Thursday, fourball match team winners from the U.S. included Ross Hays and Belvedere Head Pro Marty Joy, Breck Speed and Chris Deinlein, and Jason Kronenberger and Rick Woeckener — all who helped their team extend its lead to 9.5-to-4.5. And in today’s singles matches, Team USA captured eight of the 14 matches to claim victory — led by Woeckener, Kronenberger, Speed, Joy, Joey Piatek, Peter Flory, Matt Dodds and John Crow Miller.
The Hickory Grail was founded in 2000 by American’s Ralph Livingston III and Tom Stewart, both hickory pioneers and experts, along with Scotland’s David Hamilton, one of today’s premier golf historians. The biennial event is conducted under the auspices of The British Golf Collectors Society, with current membership of 700+ members in Great Britain, America and around the world. The tournament is noted for selecting many of the world’s most prestigious historical courses for its venues. Among them are St. Andrews; Baltustrol; Kilspindie, Scotland and Falsterbo GK, Sweden. Visit https://thehickorygrail.com.
Belvedere is the only club in the U.S. to have as many as 44 antique hickory club players and hosts Hickory tournaments annually including the Belvedere Hickory Open since 2006 and in 2019 hosted the national U.S. Hickory Open. Competitors dress in appropriate apparel, including knickers, ties, and jackets.
Belvedere, with its classic parkland layout designed William Watson in 1925, has always been the perfect venue for hickory club play. Watson’s masterpieces include famous classic and major championship designs like Olympia Fields in Chicago, Harding Park in San Francisco, Interlachen in Minneapolis, The Olympic Club in San Francisco, and others.
Belvedere, named 2016 Michigan Course of the Year by the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association, has been a respected tournament venue for nearly a century, having hosted the Michigan Amateur 40 times. Beginning in 1963, Belvedere hosted the event for 26 consecutive years. The 41st hosting of the Michigan Amateur at Belvedere will come in 2025, the club’s centennial year.
The course has long been a favorite of many golf greats, including legend Walter Hagen, who won the first Great Lakes Open at Belvedere, and five-time British Open winner Tom Watson, who as a youngster honed his game playing summers at Belvedere. He remains a member today and calls the short par-four 16th hole one of the great par fours in America.
For information about Belvedere Golf Club visit www.belvederegolfclub.com.
via Kevin Frisch