NorCal Navigation Menu
NorCal Menu

Join Us


We enjoy playing historic golf courses with authentic 100 year old wood shafted golf clubs. We are an easygoing, no pressure, hit-it-and-go-hit-it-again group of players and have a lot of fun trading stories, clubs, and history.

We have several loaner sets and invite the curious to come experience the past and join our family of Northern California Hickory Golfers.

join our mailing list

Subscribe to our newsletter for up-to-date announcements and the latest happenings!
Click here to visit our archive of past newsletters.


Paul Tran is maintaining a facebook page for NorCal Hickory:

NorCal Hickory Latest Happenings

2016 San Francisco Hickory Open - Oct 8th & 9th

2016 San Francisco Hickory Open
Saturday & Sunday, October 8th & 9th
Historic Lincoln and Sharp Park Golf Courses


Saturday, Oct 8th - 11:30
Lincoln Park Golf Course
1914 - Jack Neville and Herbert Fowler

Sunday, Oct 9th - 11:00
Sharp Park Golf Course
1932 - Dr. Alister MacKenzie

Tournament Details
* 36 holes medal play NET event using Oct 1st handicaps
­ 18 holes Saturday & 18 holes Sunday.
­ Low gross to be additionally recognized.

Sporty! photo courtesy PWGA

NEW - We've invited Ladies and the Pacific Women's Golf Association to play in a special 10 hole scramble (Sharp Park's 9th is nowhere near the clubhouse). We have all the loaner clubs and everything else you might need. Give us a shout and we'll set you up. Costs = green fee's at Sharp Park (~$50 on a Sunday for non-residents).

* Men ­ White tees
Lincoln Park ­ 4948 yards 64.6/106
Sharp Park ­ 6133 yards 70.4/118

* Ladies ­ Red tees
Lincoln Park ­ 4732 yards 67.0/106
Sharp Park ­ 5793 yards 72.9/120
(will receive 2 extra strokes @ Lincoln and 3 @ Sharp Park)

* Loaner clubs available as always!

~ Green fees (around $50 each course) payable at courses (or can be sent in advance to reserve space - will reimburse difference at course.)
­ please use entry form attached below if you'd like to send advance payment.

Informational .pdf & entry form:
2016 San Francisco Hickory Open.pdf
* Carts if needed, purchased separately at course.

* RSVP and sign up electronically via Eventbrite service or get in contact directly:
email (
phone (831-­247­-3447)


There is no deadline to enter, but please try to sign up sooner than later.
We have limited reserved space – These are both very busy golf courses.
It would be near impossible to accommodate those showing up at the course unannounced or calling at last minute!

Thank you for your timely entry and we look forward to seeing you in San Francisco!

2016 COW Cup - Oct 22nd & 23rd - Eugene, Oregon

2016 COW Cup - California vs Oregon/Washington
October 22nd & 23rd
Emerald Valley Golf Club
Eugene, Oregon


Hickory players representing California, Oregon, and Washington are set for an old fashioned duel for the right to claim the COW Bell!

We need your help to wrangle and secure the Cup by representing the golden state of California!

SATURDAY Oct 22nd - Noon
-- Chapman format --
Teams of two hit tee shots, and then play second shots using their partner's tee shot location. After both players second shots, the team must select one ball location from which to complete the hole using alternate shot format.

SUNDAY Oct 23rd - 9:00
-- Four ball & Singles Combined format --
Two teams of two players compete directly against each other. Each golfer plays their own ball throughout the round, such that four balls are in play. A team's number of strokes for a given hole is that of the lower scoring team member.

A Singles match of one vs one is run concurrently with an opponent from the Four ball match.

Costs = less than $100 for 2 days of golf
The privately owned Emerald Valley Golf Club, just south of Eugene and on the I-5 corridor, has generously extended to our group special winter rates of $30 a day.
* $15 per cart rider if needed.
* An additional $35 tournament fee to include all tee prizes and awards.
* All monies payable at course.

Saturday night we would like to get together at a nearby sports restaurant or pizza parlor to root for Cal Bears who will be hosting the local Oregon Ducks back home in Berkeley. Dinner to be paid individually. We're searching for a fun and tasty "pay-at-the-counter" venue if anyone has a recommendation.

A Comfort Inn & Suites is 1/2 mile from golf course.

Comfort Inn & Suites
247 Melton Road
Creswell, OR 97426
Phone: (541) 895-4025


Halfway between San Francisco and Seattle, Emerald Valley GC is 15 minutes south of Eugene on the I-5 corridor. A newer, but old time style golf course, it is very walkable and hosts many top rated amateur events and regional qualifiers.

This is going to be a fun event with plenty of great battle stories to reminisce, console, and cheer.

Please get in touch with us or the Northwest group sooner than later if you'd like to take up the challenge and represent your team.

Steve Henneuse - NorCal Hickory

Jim von Lossow - Northwest Hickory

2016 Monterey Hickory Classic - Del Monte, Sept 16th

2016 Monterey Hickory Classic
Old Del Monte Golf Course
Monterey, California
Friday Sept 16th @ 11:00

Update Sept 1st
Dave Brown informs that the 6 dozen custom Ouimet balls are on their way! 8-)

We've received enough entries to go forward with tee times to give those that have sent in, priority tee times. If you're not on this list, then we haven't heard from you. We have 4 open spots remaining. A few friends through the local Santa Cruz golfing community have expressed great interest in attending and will pursue their final commitment over the weekend. I suspect those last 4 spots will be filled soon. At that time, the event would be full, and we would have to make arrangements with course for additional tee times.

Tentative Tee Times & Pairings:
Extended details:
    11:10 Group 1
  • Michael Scott
  • Steve Viskochil
  • Tim Bell
  • Seth Christensen

    11:20 Group 2 - Red tee candidates
  • Willy Schlick
  • Susan Schlick
  • Jim Thompson
  • Stacy Brown

    11:30 Group 3
  • Dave McMurtrey
  • Bob Keeler
  • Tim England
  • Dan Vordale

    11:40 Group 4 - Red tee candidates
  • John Sweeney
  • Pat Anderson
  • Chuck McCollum
  • John McIntosh

    11:50 Group 5
  • Jim Hanson
  • Steve Henneuse
  • Orion Galioni
  • Gary Yoro

    12:00 Group 6
  • Open
  • Open
  • Open
  • Open

The NorCal Hickory group returns to Old Del Monte for our 3rd annual Monterey Hickory Classic this fall and invites all to join the yearly celebration. Typically the months of Autumn, or what is commonly referred to as our "Indian Summer", are much warmer than our summers and are the best time of year for the Monterey Bay.

*site of 2017 U.S. Hickory Open

Designed by Charles Maud in 1897 and touted as being the oldest course west of the Mississippi in continuous operation, Del Monte is owned and operated by the Pebble Beach company so you can expect excellent service and playing conditions. While the short course certainly appears easy on paper, Old D is well protected with fast contoured greens and plenty of greenside sand. There is not a single water hazard and very few instances where one can lose a ball, but mature Monterey Pine and Oak strategically plotted throughout the classic layout, require a plan and good course management to succeed.

Putting on a very early Del Monte green.

The old course is a breeze to walk, flat, with tees only a few steps away from previous green as would be expected with a course built over 100 years ago. The course routing does not return to clubhouse until the 18th hole.

The annual 3-tour First Tee Open hosted at nearby Pebble Beach, is scheduled for this very same week, as is the 59th annual Monterey Jazz Festival, so expect the city of Monterey and surroundings to be bustling with activities.

We have once again been graciously given a local NorCal rate, which extends to our guests. If you're in the area and have the time, we'd love to have you join us.

Cost = $60 Includes:
* all green fees + awards
* Sleeve of Ouimet mesh pattern balls.

* carts additional $20 per player if needed - payable at course.
Limited field - Please sign up before Sept 9th.

Entry Form

18 holes medal play - NET event using Sept 15th handicaps
Low gross individual to be additionally recognized.

McIntyre Golf Balls Only
* 1 Sleeve of Ouimet mesh balls included as tee prize.

UPDATED - Sept 5th- See later post below for more details.
Seniors and Super Seniors have the option of playing from the forward (2017 US Hickory Open approximate yardage)

Men playing from red tees - 5435 yds - 68.4/116 base for net calculations.
Men playing from white tees @ 6085yds – 70.2/128 - to receive 2 extra NET strokes.
Ladies play from red tees @ 5435 yds – 72.3/116 – to receive 4 extra NET strokes

Additional notes
A nice article by the NCGA that appeared in their e-magazine celebrating our 2014 event:
NorCal Hickory Sticks Group Tees it Up at Del Monte Golf Course

The course has a wonderful cafe and bar that serves lunch for those that might want to get to the course a bit early. Festivities typically overflow post event to a local restaurant/pub for the NorCal group... to be determined.

There is no driving range at Del Monte.

A life size mural capturing caddies from the early days of course, greets visitors just outside the proshop. Phil Mickelson's grandfather is one of the caddies in there somewhere!

2016 Olde Time Days - Pacific Grove


2016 Olde Time Days - Pacific Grove Golf Links
Best Ball Blind Draw
Pacific Grove Golf Links
1932 - H. Chandler Egan - Front 9
1960 - Jack Neville - Back 9
5571 yards Par 70 - White Tees

Thnx passerby Sean for emailing us this fun pic!

June 4th, 2016
Golf at Pacific Grove, especially the back nine, needs wind for a true links test. "Nae wind, Nae Golf!" We got WIND! :)

This year's format was Best Ball Blind Draw with random pairings matching cards and recording their best net score per hole. The winning team of Steve Viskochil and Steve Henneuse just edged out the field with a 7 under par 63. A three-way tie for runner up went to a card off with John Sweeney and Dana Niehaus capturing 2nd place.

Stacy Brown was our low individual and only player to break par this blustery day with a fantastic 65.

individual hole-by-hole electronic scorecards here:
2016 Olde Time Days results

A big thanks to Tim, Stacy and Michael for handling all the pairings, scoring, scoreboard, and presentation of awards. Orion made sure we were error-free with our skins game results.

The strong winds made for an exciting skins game with a handful of winners; Stacy taking home 4 juicy bacon slabs.

Gross - 7 skins @ $8 each
Net - 9 skins @ $8 each

#1 par3) Stacy Brown - Gross 2 - Net 1
#2 par3) Michael Scott - Net 2
#4 par4) Stacy Brown - Net 3
#7 par4) Steve Henneuse - Gross 3
#7 par4) Stacy Brown - Net 2
#8 par4) Erik Beer - Gross 4 - Net 3
#9 par3) Dana Niehaus - Gross 3
#10 par3) Steve Youngdale - Net 2
#11 par4) Dana Niehaus - Net 3
#12 par5) Steve Henneuse - Gross 3 - Net 2
#13 par4) Orion Galioni - Gross 4
#14 par4) Steve Viskochil - Net 3
#17 par3) Erik Beer - Gross 2


Thanks to the Pacific Grove staff for another great day of golf.
Was a fun day on the WINDY links! :)
We'll do it again next year.

2016 Apple City Hickory Open

2016 Apple City Hickory Open

2016 Apple City Hickory Open Winners (L to R)
John Sweeney 3rd - Dana Niehaus Champion - Steve Viskochil 2nd.

Saturday May 14th,
Every now and then a golfer breaks free and puts together that inspiring round that everyone looks at in awe. Our 2016 Apple City Champion and low gross winner, Dana Niehaus, shredded the course and competition with a 9 under par 63 that was darn impressive! Great playing to a well deserved champion.


Our 2nd place winner was new-to-hickory-player Steve Viskochil, shooting even par 72 after stumbling out of the blocks with an 8 on the first hole! :o Nice Brassie by the way!

Last year's Champion and Apple City poster boy, John "the foozler" Sweeney, nipped out a few close pursuers for 3rd place, with a fine 1 over par 73.

Glenn Lynch, Brian Stipanovich, and Ron Taylor were our Scramble winners, firing a smooth even par 72 gross (Combined 41 with 8 blind bogey holes). They are looking forward to next year's event and playing solo! :) They'll be tough.

Our 2 closest to the pin winners:
Brian Stipanovich #9 - 5' 6"
Tim England #13 - 20' 7"

We had a few first time hickory players that picked up loaner clubs that morning and did extremely well on a very unforgiving golf course; some playing the course for the first time... Wow!

The usual hole-by-hole electronic scorecards uploaded to our results page here:
Results 2016 Apple City Hickory Open

$200 gift certificate/prize breakdown:
$60 1st - $40 2nd - $25 3rd.
$15 x 3 - Winning Scramble team.
$15 x 2 - Closest to flag

As always a big thanks to Amy, Jacques and the Spring Hills staff for doing all that they do and for allowing us to host the post round celebration in the pergola patio.


A big thanks to Michael Scott and wife Lorri for supplying the generous case of Jacques' fabulous wine. It was fantastic!

If you have any pictures to upload (I unfortunately took none), there is a gallery dedicated to the event here:
2016 Apple City Hickory Open photo gallery

IMG 389 IMG 390

See you next year!

94th Annual Oakland City - Hickory

94th Annual Oakland City - Hickory

Sweeney smudging fingerprints on the Champion's Trophy dating all the way back to 1923.

May 1st, 2016 - National Hickory Golf Day
Five National Hickory Golf Day ambassadors from the NorCal Hickory group represented in the 94th Annual Oakland City at Lake Chabot Golf Course. This event originated in 1923 with the first winners playing with the same wooden clubs we've now brought back. Winners of this event are a who's who of NorCal golf and include names such as British Open winner Tony Lema.

This year there were just over 140 players traversing Lake Chabot's hilly terrain. This is a very unique event on a very hickory friendly 1922 built course where very little has changed. There are other 100 year old amateur events, but most are exclusively scratch championships and would discourage hickory golfers from participating. Not so here at Lake Chabot. This event is very accessible to all including a Senior Net & Men's Net division.


A big thnx to the staff and fellow competitors for allowing us to share our love of playing hickory golf. We always meet the nicest people at this event. The surprise hickory division trophy that the pro supplied was a nice touch, Thank you.


Congrats to Michael Scott in winning the Senior Net flight with hickory clubs! He received a FREE entry into next year's event along with $150 gift certificate. Nice shootin! :)

The 100th year of this event is fast approaching. If you have the time and are in the area, you should consider playing in the Oakland City Championship. You'll have a blast.... we sure did!

Lake Chabot GC
1922 - Willie Loch

It has been great fun reading about the various activities each regional group did for National Hickory Golf Day. What a great idea Durel of APNational came up with to unite everyone. Look forward to being a part of this next year.

Update April 23rd:
Wishing the 5 hickory competitors luck in the 94th running of the Oakland City Championship this upcoming weekend. Kudos for stepping out of the norm and being the unique hickory golf ambassadors on National Hickory Golf Day. Hit 'em straight and show all those other 440cc titanium competitors how to have fun!

The brave hickory ambassadors:
Michael Scott
Kris Surano
Dana Niehaus
John Sweeney
Steve Henneuse

Par 3 9th hole: Just a wee bit downhill!

2016 Sacramento Outing & Skins - Haggin Oaks


Haggin Oaks Outing & Skins
Friday April 8th - 12:00 Noon
Haggin Oaks GC
1932 - Alister MacKenzie

John, Stacy & Steve - 2016 Season opener - Haggin Oaks, Sacramento

April 8th, 2016 - Sacramento
The NorCal Hickory group headed inland to our state's capital to kickoff the 2016 season. The 1932 Alister MacKenzie designed course at Haggin Oaks Golf complex was a great fit for our 100 year old technology. This is a huge golf complex with all sorts of facilities and functions happening everywhere around you, but the management does a superb job keeping everything organized with their professionalism and courtesy. The course was in great shape and felt very secluded once we got out there. All had great things to say of our visit and hope the venue becomes a tradition on our calendar.

We had a blowout in our skins game with Erik Beer cashing in on nearly half the pot (7 of 16 skins). With a few net eagles and even a net "hole-in-one", this was a tuff group.

$50 Gross (8 skins @ $6 each)
$50 Net (8 skins @ $6 each)

#1 par5) Erik Beer - Gross 5
#2 par4) Steve Henneuse - Gross 3 - Net 2
#4 par5) Erik Beer - Gross 4 - Net 3
#6 par3) Stacy Brown - Gross 2 - Net 1
#7 par4) Chuck McCollum - Net 3
#9 par4) Erik Beer - Gross 4 - Net 3
#10 par4) Steve Henneuse - Gross 3
#11 par5) Erik Beer - Gross 4 - Net 3
#12 par3) Steve Henneuse - Gross 2
#16 par3) Stacy Brown - Net 2
#17 par5) Dana Niehaus - Net 4

Here's a photo album of the event and a place to add any pictures:
2016 Haggin Oaks photo gallery

IMG 367 IMG 368 IMG 369
IMG 370 IMG 371 IMG 372
IMG 373 IMG 374 IMG 376

2015 Turkey Shoot - Spring Hills - SCRAMBLE

Tim - 2015 Turkey Shoot

The 2015 season concluded with a Turkey Shoot Scramble. A casual fun event mostly attended by the Santa Cruz/Spring Hill's family, 82 players were in attendance for this year's tradition. Our 4 hickory teams starting on the difficult 8th and 9th holes.

nice chip Dylan!

The format was blind draw scramble. At round's conclusion, 6 holes were randomly drawn and the totals for these 6 holes were used to calculate a handicap. The resulting handicap was then added or subtracted from the team's 18 hole score.

Results/holes that were picked:

The team of Dana, Paul and Steve just edged out the other groups by a single stroke. Willy, Bob, Susan and Jaime were awarded runner-ups after a back 9 cardoff. "Turkeys" (20 dollar gift certificates) were awarded to the winning players.


Gerry, Stacy, John, and Tim were the only team to hand in a perfect card (no bogeys) with some outstanding scrambling and putting from the group.

A big thanks to the Spring Hills Men's club for inviting us to participate in the annual event. Look forward to doing it again next year!

2015 Monterey Hickory Classic - Del Monte

2015 Monterey Hickory Classic
Old Del Monte GC @

2015 Monterey Hickory Classic Winners
Gary Yoro (gross) - Kris Surano (Champion)

Friday Sept 11th, 2015 - Monterey,
A record breaking heatwave for the Monterey Peninsula didn't phase Diablo CC's Kris Surano en route to shooting a 9 under par 63 and running away with the championship. The round included a slew of birdies and a chip-in eagle 3 on the par5 13th.

In the gross division, things were a little closer. The title came down to the final holes with first time hickory player Gary Yoro from Spring Hills GC and Orion Galioni of Pacific Grove eventually tied at 78. A playoff should have been immediate and mandatory, but Yoro was deemed the official winner via cardoff (Gary played the final 10 holes 1 over par getting things kicked off with an eagle 3 on the par5 9th.)

A cardoff was also needed to determine our runner-up with 3 players tied at 2 under par 70. Mike Kosich's back nine was slightly better than Dana Niehaus and Orion Galioni.

Hole-by-hole electronic scorecards were posted on the results page here:
2015 Monterey Hickory Classic Results


In our Skins game, thanks to Stacy Brown and Orion Galioni's diligent and careful efforts, we have zero errors to report.

We had 2 gross eagles, 4 net eagles, a slew of birdies, and even a gross par that won a skin.

$104 Gross (8 skins @ $13 each)
$103 Net (6 skins @ $17 each)

* Open played from WHITE tees @ 6085yds – 70.2/128 - received 2 extra NET strokes
* Seniors played from RED tees @ 5435 yds – 68.4/116 = base for NET calculations.
* Ladies played from RED tees @ 5435 yds – 72.3/116 – received 4 extra NET strokes

#1 par5) Dana Niehaus - Net 3
#2 par4) Steve Henneuse - Gross 3 - Net 3
#3 par4) Kris Surano - Gross 3 - Net 2
#5 par4) Dave McMurtrey - Net 2
#9 par5) Gary Yoro - Gross 3 - Net 3
#10 par4) Bill Ratto - Gross 3
#11 par4) Gary Yoro - Gross 3
#13 par5) Kris Surano - Gross 3
#14 par3) Michael Scott - Gross 3
#15 par4) Gary Yoro - Gross 3
#17 par5) Jim Thompson - Net 4

Some stellar play that canceled out skins:
Dan Vordale and Jim Hanson both birdied (net eagled) the extremely difficult par 3 6th.
Mike Kosich and Steve Henneuse birdied (net eagled) the par 4 16th.
Mike Kosich and Jim Thompson birdied the par 5 13th (net eagled) to steal a skin from Kris Surano.

A big thanks to Neil Allen and staff @ Del Monte. We look forward to next year.

We had a few first time players: Jeannine Niehaus, Tim Bell, Jim Hanson, Gary Yoro, and Charles Chapa. Thanks for participating and hope to see you again!

2015 San Francisco Hickory Open

2015 San Francisco Hickory Open
Historic Lincoln and Sharp Park Golf Courses

"The good guys" - 2015 SFHO 17th Lincoln Park

Saturday Oct 3, 2015
San Francisco and October are a perfect match. Graced with blue skies and Indian summer conditions, our annual fall tournament got underway at the Historic 1902 Lincoln Park Golf course. San Francisco's first municipal golf course, Lincoln park has an abundance of interesting ground and design features that keep you coming back for more. As an example, the demanding back nine Par 3's play (and probably should be approached) as short par 4's, while 3 of the back nine par 4's are under 300 yards! The grand daddy of these perilous par 3's, the signature 17th, at 220+ yards with O.B a few steps from the green both left and right, can be a scorecard wrecker or a fantastic photo op. New-to-hickory and scratch golfer Bill Houghton was one such causality of this brute of a hole. A quadruple bogey 7 would be carded by the top player in the event. Despite the derailment, Bill would finish with a respectable gross score of 77 and wow the group with his introduction.

The first round's scores were tallied up over a few beers on the deck overlooking the 18th green. When the dust settled, the only sub-70 round at Lincoln Park would be held by John Sweeney, shooting even par 68 and a 2 stroke lead over Dana and Steve (70) heading into Sunday's final at Sharp Park.

Saturday concluded in Oktoberfest style at Der Steins, a German pub with brats, Wienerschnitzel and all the customary cuisine and spirits.

Indian Summer - SFHO - Lincoln Park

Sunday Oct 4th, Sharp Park
The 2015 SFHO concluded at Sharp Park just down the road in Pacifica. The scenic parkland is a 1930's MacKenzie gem that continues to inspire the modern generation hickory golfer. At 6400 yards and wide sweeping fairways, Sharp Park is a nice compliment to Lincoln Park's more nontraditional layout. The course has appeared to have won its legal battles and a 10 million dollar restoration project is scheduled to begin early next year.


Four players managed to break par this day with Dana Niehaus crowned our tournament champion with a stellar 68, 13 gross pars and two-day score of 137. Steve Henneuse was runner-up as well as our low gross winner. John Sweeney took home the 3rd place hardware handcrafted by master craftsman Tim England who rallied to finish up his awards the night before. Thanks Tim!

Complete hole-by-hole electronic scorecards can be viewed @ results page here.

Look forward to seeing all next year!

Tim England - Last minute preparations - Sharp Park

Wife Sharron surprises Jim Norris w/ a surprise Birthday pastry!

Jerrod flag hunting - 17th Lincoln Park

Pictures can be added to the 2015 San Francisco Hickory Open photo album here.

IMG 362 IMG 348 IMG 349 IMG 350 IMG 351 IMG 354 IMG 355 IMG 356 IMG 358 IMG 360

Paul Tran created a facebook photo gallery here.