The Constitution of The Society of Hickory Golfers

The full constitution may be read below or downloaded as a PDF here: SOHG-Constitution-Rev-1-1-10.pdf

1. Name
The organization will be called ‘The Society of Hickory Golfers’.


2. Mission Statement
The mission of the Society of Hickory Golfers is to promote and encourage the playing of Hickory golf.


3. Aims and objectives

The purpose of the Society of Hickory Golfers is:

  1. To carry out the Mission Statement of The Society of Hickory Golfers;
  2. To establish a worldwide society of like-minded hickory players;
  3. To assist members and others in discovering the playing characteristics of wood shaft golf clubs;
  4. To promote the experience of golf in a manner consistent with how the’ royal and ancient game’ was played in the hickory era;
  5. To establish guidelines for organizing hickory golf tournaments;
  6. To provide a centralized scheduling system for world-wide hickory competitions;
  7. To provide a hosting service for the establishment and maintenance of hickory handicaps ; and
  8. To develop and maintain equipment standards for hickory play.


4. Membership

  1. Eligibility for membership: All persons in sympathy with the mission, aims and objectives of the Society are eligible for membership.
  2. Selection Process: the selection process will be determined by the Executive Committee of the SoHG and as agreed by the Board. (see appendix a)
  3. Membership: Membership will consist of the members and volunteer officers of the organization.
  4. Classes of membership: The SoHG shall have such categories of membership as will be determined by the Board from time to time, but will have at least the following two (2) classes of membership:
    1. VOTING MEMBER - A voting member is an individual who is in good standing in the SoHG, current in their financial obligations to the SoHG, and meets all the remaining terms and conditions for membership as may be decided from time to time by the Board. Membership is subject to approval by the Membership Committee, consisting of at least three (3) members of the SoHG, pursuant to procedures approved by the Board.
    2. LIFE MEMBER - Life membership is reserved for individuals who have made outstanding contributions to Hickory Golfers over and beyond the normal call of duty, and will be awarded only by a unanimous vote of the Board. Such membership shall include full privileges, excepting the right to vote, with no obligation to pay annual dues or such other fees as may be determined by the Board. (see appendix b)
  5. Membership Rights and Duties: All members will be subject to the regulations of this constitution and by joining the organization will be deemed to have accepted these regulations, the by-laws and code of practices that the organization deems appropriate.
  6. All voting members are entitled to vote for the Board and on other matters as shall occur from time to time.
  7. All existing Non Voting Members shall automatically become Voting members upon passage and implementation of this amendment.

5. Membership and Initiation Fees

  1. Membership and Initiation fees will be set annually and agreed by the Executive Committee in consultation with the Board.
  2. Fees will be paid annually. Failure to pay fees for two consecutive years will be deemed to be tantamount to resignation from the organization.

6. Board

  1. The Board of the SoHG will oversee the operations of the SoHG and will set policy but will not be involved in the day to day activities of the organization.
  2. The Board shall be elected to their positions by a poll of all members eligible to vote.
  3. The Board shall be comprised of nine members; one third of the elected members will rotate off each year. Members are eligible for re-election. Broken terms will be filled by the president.
  4. The Board shall be geographically diverse reflecting membership concentrations and other pertinent considerations. Geographic representations shall be reviewed annually by the Nominating Committee. (see appendix c.)
  5. Such Board geographic members may be designated corresponding members and as such live attendance at board meetings may be waived.
  6. Elections for the board will take place annually in the month of April.
  7. The board will elect a president and president-elect from among their number. Other than under exceptional circumstances the president-elect will succeed the president.
  8. The board must confirm appointments of all EC officers and standing committee chairs, such confirmations to be carried out in a timely manner.
  9. The board will also appoint each year an audit committee to be chaired by one of their number and two other individuals none of whom serve as a member of the finance committee. The audit committee will review the finances of the organization and will report to the board.
  10. The board will be chaired by the current president who will have the tie breaking vote.
  11. The board shall meet at least twice a year, one of which meetings should be a face to face meeting.

7. Board Elections

  1. The Board shall be elected to their positions by a poll of all members eligible to vote.
  2. The president shall appoint a nominating committee. The committee shall consist of three (3) members, two of whom are not current members of the board. The third member shall be the president-elect who will chair the committee. It shall be the responsibility of the nominating committee to recommend a slate of candidates to be voted by the general membership of the organization as their board of directors for the coming term. (see Appendix d)
  3. The slate of candidates for the Board will be prepared by the Nominating Committee which should convene at least 60 days before the election date and circulate such slate to the membership at least 30 days prior to the election.
  4. After circulation, other candidates may also present themselves for election to the Board by forwarding their names to the Nominating Committee. Such notices must be received by the Nominating Committee within 7 days of circulation.
  5. The nominating committee will reconstitute itself as the tellers committee.
    (see appendix e)
  6. Voting may be carried out by suitable means including but not limited to the web.Voting will be anonymous as far as possible.
  7. There shall always be an option for a mail-in written vote.
  8. Voting will close 30 days after the circularization of the ballots.
  9. Timelines mentioned in this article may be changed by a vote of the board only and need not be presented to the entire membership for approval.

8. Executive Committee

  1. The organization will be managed through the Executive Committee (EC) who
    are responsible for the smooth running and day to day operations of the
  2. The President will chair the executive committee.
  3. Members of the EC may be members of the board.
  4. The EC will consist of at least 5 members but not more than 9.
  5. The members of the EC will be appointed by the president in consultation with the Board.
  6. The Board may appoint a review committee and members of the EC shall be reviewed annually.
  7. All paid employees sitting on the EC, as well as other key paid employees – such employees to be designated by the Board - will be reviewed Annually by an individual or group appointed by the Board for such purpose. Additionally, the Board may from time to time appoint a committee for the purpose of reviewing individual performance by members of the EC.
  8. The EC will appoint chairmen of the constitutional and standing committees (except where otherwise spelled out in this constitution) and such chairmen shall be confirmed by the Board. Committee members of these committees should be confirmed by the EC.
  9. All the standing committees will make recommendations to the EC who will be responsible for taking appropriate action.
  10. The EC may create AD HOC committees as required and shall appoint their chairmen
  11. The Executive Committee will be responsible for disciplinary hearings of
    members who infringe the organization rules/regulations/constitution.
  12. The Executive committee has the right to call Extraordinary General Meetings (EGM’s see section 11 iv), requesting a vote of the entire membership.
  13. The executive committee shall meet monthly via appropriate means to carry out the business of the organization.
  14. Failure to participate in two consecutive meetings without due notice will
    be considered to be tantamount to resignation from the EC.

9. Other Committees

  1. Committees will be either constitutional (may be only disbanded by an alteration of this constitution), standing or ad hoc.
  2. Constitutional Committees:
    1. a. Membership Committee (see section 4, iv, a)
    2. b. Nominating committee (see section 7 ii)
    3. c. Audit committee (see section 6xi)
      Some or all of the duties of these committees are spelled out in this constitution.
  3. Standing committees:
    1. Equipment Committee
    2. Tournament Advisory Committee
    3. National Tournament Committee
    4. Publications, Communications and Web
    5. Finance Committee
    6. Development Committee
    7. Rules and Bylaws
  4. The charges to the standing committees will be specific and made explicit by the
    President as approved in concept by the full Board and as reviewed periodically by the
  5. Any committees not designated as standing committees or constitutional committees will be considered Ad Hoc Committees.
  6. Standing committees may be instituted or abandoned by the Board
  7. Ad Hoc committees may be appointed by the Board, the EC or by any duly appointed committee, and they will report to the entity appointing them.

10. Officers

  1. The officers of the organization shall be:
    1. President
    2. President-elect
    3. Secretary
    4. Treasurer
    5. Membership Secretary
  2. Other officers may be recommended by the EC with the approval of the board.
  3. The President and President-elect are elected by the Board from among their number.
  4. Other than under exceptional circumstances, the president-elect will succeed to the presidency. Other officers will be appointed by the EC and will be ratified at the next normal board meeting.
  5. Officers are subject to annual review by the Board.

11. Meetings & Petition

  1. Due to the geographical dispersion of the membership, it is not practical to carry out face to face meetings or teleconferences of the entire membership.
  2. Notice of annual Board elections and general voting matters will be given by the organization Secretary to voting members via their registered e-mail addresses or by mail as may be necessary, with not less than 30 clear days notice to be given to all voting members.
  3. The EC will maintain a system whereby the entire voting membership may vote for
    the Board or on specific issues. Currently this system is managed via the SoHG website. Postal votes will always be allowed.
  4. The vote on specific issues is tantamount to an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM).
  5. An EGM may be called by the president, a vote of 50% of the board or by petition signed by a group of not less than 20% of the voting members.
  6. Petitioners must direct their petition, which should be formulated in the form of a preamble and a motion, to the Secretary. The Secretary having verified the authenticity of the signers will then put the motion to the entire membership within 30 days of receiving the petition.
  7. The issue will be formulated in the form of a motion.
  8. Notice will be given to the membership that an issue is before them by communicating to their registered e-mail address or by mail as may be necessary.
  9. At least 30 days clear notice will be given of the motion before voting closes. The motion will be decided by a simple majority.
  10. The president-elect will be responsible for overseeing the counting of the votes.
  11. As far as is practical voting will be conducted in such a manner that votes remain anonymous.

12. Finance

  1. All organization monies will be banked in an account held in the name of the
  2. The organization Treasurer will be responsible for the finances of the organization.
  3. The financial year of the organization will end on December 31.
  4. An audited statement of annual accounts will be presented by the
    Treasurer at the nearest annual Board Meeting following the close of the fiscal year.
  5. Any checks drawn against organization funds exceeding $300 will hold
    the signatures of the Treasurer plus one other officer. This dollar amount
    may be altered at the discretion of the Board.

13. Discipline and Appeals

  1. All complaints regarding the behavior of members should be presented
    and submitted in writing to the Secretary.
  2. The Executive Committee will meet to hear complaints within 30 days of a
    complaint being lodged. The committee has the power to take appropriate
    disciplinary action including the termination of membership.
  3. The outcome of a disciplinary hearing will be submitted in writing to the person who lodged the complaint and the member against whom the complaint was made within 30 days of the hearing.
  4. There will be the right of appeal to the full Board following disciplinary action being announced. The board should consider the appeal within 30 days of the Secretary receiving the appeal.

14. Amendments to the constitution

  1. Except where otherwise noted this constitution can only be changed by majority vote at an EGM.

15. Roberts Rules of Order

  1. Where practical all meetings will be conducted according to Roberts Rules of Order.

16. Dissolution

  1. A resolution to dissolve the organization can only be passed through a super-majority of a two-thirds vote of the voting membership.
  2. In the event of dissolution, any assets of the organization that remain will be divided between the USGA and the R & A.

17. Declaration

The Society of Hickory Golfers hereby adopts and accepts this constitution as a current operating guide regulating the actions of members.
POSITION: SoHG Secretary


These appendices are of an explanatory nature only, and they do not form part of the formal constitution.

Appendix a. Availability of application forms
The process for membership application together with current application forms will be made available by posting on the SoHG web site or by such other means as will be decided from time to time by the Executive Committee in consultation with the Board.

Appendix b.
It is the intention of the writers of this constitution that life membership should
be a rare award offered only to the most distinguished contributors to Hickory Golf.

Appendix c. Geographic Diversity
It is important that the Board’s composition reflect the geographic diversity of our membership.

Appendix d. Suggested board member requirements
It is recommended that the nominating committee shall recommend a slate of
candidates based upon an individual’s:

  1. Demonstrated commitment to the organization
  2. Ability to promote geographic representation
  3. Possess skill sets that might be deemed advantageous to the workings of the
  4. Exhibit the ability to preserve and promote the warm bond of fellowship that
    so characterizes our unique organization.

Appendix e. Tellers Committee
A tellers committee oversees the voting procedures; counts the votes and certifies
the results.