Eddie Peckels from Winter Springs, Fla., used a set of Precision hickory golf clubs from Louisville Golf to capture his second United States Professional Hickory Golf Championship (USPHGC) at historic Temple Terrace Golf & Country Club on Monday, Feb. 23. The golf course is one of only two in Florida that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The tournament, which commemorates the 1925 Florida Open, is played with pre-1930 era equipment and balls. Peckels’ game matched the name on his clubs as he cruised around the Tom Bendelow-designed links in a smooth 1 over par 74, three shots better than Jim Garrison of Tampa and Will Peterson of Orlando. In addition to the $1,500 first prize, Eddie’s name will be affixed to the John Shippen Cup for whom the tournament is dedicated. Peckels becomes the second two-time winner of the Championship along with Paolo Quirici of Switzerland.
Nancy Henderson (Orange Park, Fla.) recorded an 83 to take the honors in the ladies division while outscoring several of the men competitors. The effort earned her $316 of the $5,000 purse.
New for 2015 was the addition of the United States Amateur Hickory Golf Championship. Tournament Director Mike Stevens announced prior to play that the amateur competition, along with the professionals, would commemorate the first U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur competitions, which were originally played in the same week on the same venue.
Will Peterson, (Orlando, Fla.) playing from the pro tees, became the first U.S. Amateur Hickory Champion and was awarded the Oscar Bunn Trophy to commemorate the Shinnecock Indian who played in the 1896 U.S. Open along with John Shippen, the first American pros to participate in a U.S. Open. The last USGA-sponsored championship won with hickory clubs occurred in 1936, won by amateur John Fischer II.
There was also a Sporting Division for amateurs, scored using handicaps. The winner was Mike Henderson, who was happy to be out of the snow and cold of North Carolina.
The USPHGC is sponsored by the United States Golf Teachers Federation and open to all golf professionals, male and female. Players compete for the same $5,000 prize amount won by Leo Diegel at the original Florida Open. The winner’s name is engraved on the John Shippen Cup, dedicated to America’s first golf professional, which is on permanent display in the Temple Terrace clubhouse.
Stevens said that the United States Amateur Hickory Championship will always take place on the same day as the professional competition and will be open to male and female amateurs. Both tournaments are dedicated to preserving and honoring the history of early golf in America.
For more about this premier hickory golf event, visit its website at www.usprohickory.com.
For a PDF of the full results, please click here.