Patrick Reed discovers a passion for hickory golf

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Patrick Reed discovers a passion for hickory golf

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Patrick Reed discovers a passion for hickory golf

Patrick Reed found his set of hickory clubs at this store in Scotland. (Geoff Shackelford/Golfweek)

GULLANE, Scotland — Patrick Reed double bogeyed the Scottish Open’s 12th hole en route to a second-round 69. Two days prior in the European Tour’s Hickory Challenge, he stuck his first-ever shot with circa 1910 clubs and was left with a short birdie putt.

“Hit it really solid, came off the face absolutely perfect,” Reed said. “Wish I’d had that in the tournament.”

But it was more than scoring that drew the Masters champion to venture just a block away from Gullane Golf Club’s 18th green and plunk down significant pounds on two sets of playable hickories, one for his own fun and another for brother-in-law Kessler Karain.

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Boris Lietzow works to restore and create playable hickories. (Geoff Shackelford/Golfweek)

“I’d never hit hickory clubs before or an old golf ball like that,” said Reed, who has experimented with hitting persimmons until cracking a few with modern golf balls. “I finally found a spot that actually had them, so I got a set and I’m excited to take them home.”

The spot in question is Boris Lietzow’s resurrected Jack White shop specializing in restored, playable hickories and no shortage of insights from the 46-year-old who handles all of the restoring and repairing himself.

Lietzow’s passion for White’s clubs from the early 20th century is well known in the growing world of hickory golf where he serves Chief Executive of the World Hickory Open. While the White legacy of clubmaking in Gullane is a focus –White was a club supplier to Bobby Jones — Lietzow is also one of the world’s foremost experts on the industry of club making that once dominated this region.

“Just sitting down and talking to him was a blast,” Reed said. “I thought I was just going to be in there and be done in thirty minutes, and we were there for an hour and forty five minutes talking about clubs and the histories behind them.”

Reed, who posted rounds of 65, 69, 69, and 67 before heading to Carnoustie, was enamored with some of the stranger clubs in Lietzow’s shop.

“From small-headed wedges that were smooth-faced to the Jack White massive wedges that have no bounce, I’m sitting there looking and thinking if I hit this on actual turf the ball might not move,” Reed said. “I almost thought about using one of those wedges this week since I can’t seem to get my wedge underneath the golf ball right now.”

Patrick Reed also has his own set of hickories. (Geoff Shackelford/Golfweek)

In the era of adjustability, Reed was enamored with the ability to change weight and lies of hickories.

“I was surprised when he told me we can get it to any weight you want, I was like, really?” he said.

The Hickory Challenge mid-iron that set Reed off on his pursuit of hickories happened to be one of Lietzow’s restored clubs. It made the set Reed purchased.

“I know that one works really well. We’ll have to see about the others,” Reed said.As for where he and Karain will test out their new clubs back home, Reed is unsure of the best location given he’s only got a supply of 50 era-appropriate guttas purchased from his visit to the Jack White shop, and not much faith in his ability to keep up with modern distances.

“It’s going to be from the forward tees, that I know,” he said. Gwk

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