Frank Boumphrey, left, and Tad Moore, right, 2010 winners of the Mike Brown Award, present the award to 2011 co-winner Roger Hill.
Roger Hill and Ralph Livingston III, both of Grand Rapids, Mich., were honored with the Society of Hickory Golfers’ annual Mike Brown award following the Mid Pines Hickory Open in Southern Pines, N.C. The award was announced following the closing luncheon of the event. Neither man was present, though Hill was enroute to Southern Pines in order to participate in the Hickory Grail, a British Golf Collectors Society fixture that followed the Mid Pines tournament. He arrived moments after the luncheon concluded. He said he was genuinely honored to receive the award. “I just want to say that, had Mike been here, he would have loved this trophy and would have tried to win it himself! For him, and for many of us, it is all about playing hickory golf with our friends and trying to get more people in on the fun. I’m really honored to have my name in association with his.” Though Livingston’s health prevented him from traveling to receive the award, he expressed great excitement about the honor.
Both Hill and Livingston have long been associated with hickory golf, having started early as both professional colleagues and partners as well as partners in golf collecting. They played in early Golf Collector Society tournaments and have both, in their ways, contributed a great deal to the growth and evolution of modern hickory golf. Livingston has long been a proponent of collecting and playing authentic early clubs and was a founder of the Hickory Grail along with Dr. David Hamilton. He has brought many people into the game and is renowed for his knowledge of golf architecture and the playing characteristics of early hickory clubs, especially his beloved Tom Stewarts. He is also the author of an authoritative guide to the club making expertise of Stewart.
Hill is a George Nicoll expert and the author of a book on the club maker from Leven, Scotland. He has long been a fixture himself at hickory golf events and is a past president of the Golf Collectors Society. His insights, genial nature and willingness to share his expertise have made him a valued friend for many on both sides of the Atlantic. He is regularly consulted for advice and guidance regarding the playing of hickory golf, club collecting and golf lore.
Both men are welcome additions to the Mike Brown “club” and well deserving of the honor.