Gutty Challenge Match – Parks Vs. Morrises

The Gutty Ball Challenge Match
April 15, 2017

A Gutty Ball Challenge. From left: Mungo Park (Tom Mehigan), Old Willie Park (Deal Hudson); Young Tom Morris (Rick Woeckener), Old Tom Morris (Chuck McMullin).

A long awaited gutty ball foursomes match took place at the Hollows Golf course near Richmond, Va., this 15th day of April 2017. From northern Virginia came the Park brothers, “Old Willa” (aka Deal Hudson) and Mungo (aka Tom Mehigan) to challenge the Morrises of central Virginia, Old Tom (aka Chuck McMullin) and Young Tom (aka Rick Woeckener). Apparently, the assignment of monikers had something to do with the relative age of the participants.

The match was played on two of the nine-hole “links” grounds at the Hollows. Dressed in period attire, participants used old-style clubs, both antique and replicas, to hit the Park ball from McIntyre Golf. A bucket of sand was employed for the building of tees. It was carried during the match by the losers of each hole.

In typical fashion, the Parks attempted to put the Morris men off stride from the onset by bringing along Willie’s trusty caddie, Chip Hudson, to carry clubs and read greens. No holes were halved until the 9th. But, when all was said and done the weather was wonderful, the camaraderie was exceptional, and there was a valiant attempt at the playing of “the goff.”

Far more than pride was at stake this day. After the match all went to see Tommy’s Honour at a nearby movie establishment with the match losers paying. So, the competition was fierce, friendly but fierce. A rematch will no doubt be a forthcoming announcement.

Humbly though triumphantly submitted,

Old Tom

The Match’s End. Old Tom and Young Tom, center, ended the Gutty Ball Challenge at the 14th hole.


Note: The players are all members of the Society of Hickory Golfers and/or the Golf Collectors Society. As well, they are members of the Virginia Hickory Golf Association.