Keiser University College of Golf Students Play Hickory Shafted Golf Clubs

Thirty-six first semester students at Keiser University College of Golf participated in a scramble golf tournament using hickory shafted golf clubs during their History of Golf class this week. Led by instructor Dr. Eric Wilson, PGA Master Professional, the students dressed in period clothing and used mid-irons, mashies, niblicks, and putters with hickory shafts to play The Savanna Golf Club. In the scramble format, 8-under par was the lowest score posted for the 18 hole event. The opportunity to use replica golf clubs from the 1920’s gave the students an appreciation for the skills and abilities of golf’s greats of the era. Champions such as Walter Hagen, Bobby Jones, Gene Sarazen, and Long Jim Barnes all shot incredible scores and won major championships using hickory shafted golf clubs.

The students also toured the PGA Museum of Golf and participated in a scavenger hunt provided by the volunteer staff at Museum of Golf. They had the opportunity to visit the Probst Library, located in the PGA Museum of Golf, which includes more than 6,000 hard-cover books, more than 3,000 handbooks and yearbooks; and some 600 volumes of bound periodicals including every edition of PGA Magazine dating back to its origins in 1920.

The library is named after Col. R. Otto Probst (1896-1986), an engineer from South Bend, Ind., who began collecting golf periodicals and books in the 1920s. The collection features golf books dating from the 1700s and periodicals from the 1850s covering instruction, art, biography, golf club histories, essays, equipment, fiction, history, humor, poetry, records, reference manuals, travelogues and The Rules of Golf.

Adjoining the Probst Library is a room containing rare books of golf, including the first published Scottish Acts of Parliament of 1566, covering, in retrospect, the reigns of King James I through Mary Queen of Scots. Among the manuscript was the first identifiable reference to golf. In 1457, James II prohibited his subjects playing golf because it prevented training in archery – vital to the defense of the Realm. The Acts were later relaxed in 1501 with the Treaty of Glasgow, and James IV had his own clubs made and began playing the game.