Golf has played a central role in my life for over 40 years.
I love the history of the sport. I love to read old instruction books from the 30's to the 80's and it is fascinating to realize how little instruction has changed over the last 80+ years. Harvey Penick, Manuel de la Torre, and 1980's instructors and writers like Jimmy Ballard have steered my game, while books like "The Clubmakers Art" and "The Match" by Mark Frost have engrossed me in the game. No single person has affected my swing or my love of the game like my brother. He was born 7 years ahead of me but golf provided a connection and a friendship that would have been far more difficult to develop without golf. He is my swing guru.
My father retired and decided to build his own golf course that my family still owns and operates and I have been lucky enough to compete and travel around the world because of golf.
A couple years ago I was lucky enough to meet a new friend who played regularly with hickory sticks and even though I had a longtime collection of old clubs I had never played golf with them. After just a couple hickory outings I was hooked. It was fascinating to me to use 100 year old clubs and old gutta percha balls. I dusted off my old wall hangers and wrapped some new grips on and haven’t looked back. I have used these old clubs and balls to compete in my regular Men's league. It is a terrific challenge and I have no doubt that is has strengthened my overall game because of the swing tempo that hickory shafts demand. My handicap has dropped back to a 2 handicap this year after it had steadily crept up over the last 10 years and I finished this season with 5 straight rounds under par. -Jim Holland