The club’s “Hickory Stick Tournament” on May 8 will be one of many events scheduled this year that seek to take golfers back to the club’s early days, featuring foursomes played with hickory-handled clubs, mesh balls, and knickers.
This year, the Lawrence (Kan.) Country Club is celebrating its centennial with events meant to take people back to its early days, the Lawrence Journal-World reported.
On May 8, the club will give a nod to the lost days of golf with a “Hickory Stick Tournament.” Foursomes will take to the course with hickory-handled clubs and mesh balls, and they’ll get a discount at a website that sells the sort of knickers that were popular at the time, the Journal-World reported.
In 1935 the course got an expansion and redesign with the help of Perry Maxwell, one of the most famous golf course architects at the time. Maxwell’s redesign was perhaps the biggest transformation in the course’s history, but the course and club have undergone constant change to keep up with social, technological and even environmental changes, the Journal-World reported.
In 2005 the course went through another redesign. Much of the work then had less to do with golf than it did with water, the Journal-World reported.
The club built new infrastructure that allowed it to irrigate with rainwater it trapped, rather than relying on water provided by the city. Among the water-saving features were a series of holding ponds that can store water for later use by the course, plus underground sensors that can give precise measurements of moisture and activate the sprinkler system on command, the Journal-World reported.
Today the club is known for its greens and difficulty, members say. Bill Irving, superintendent of the course since 2008, said the course plays similarly to those that PGA tournaments are played on. The trick to that is to get the grass firm and “as dry as we can without killing it” to keep the balls running true, Irving said.
That takes time, money and effort, but it’s a point of pride for the club. “Hey, we’re 100 years old,” said Bill Wagner, the LCC’s board president. “And we believe we’re state-of-the-art.”