The Belvedere Golf Club in Charlevoix will welcome in golfers from around the country this weekend for its 12th annual Hickory Open.
Set for June 15-17, the three-day competition is played using pre-1935 hickory shaft clubs, with competitors wearing authentic period clothing.
Some 60 golfers will take to a course designed by prominent golf architect William Watson in 1925. Having worked on dozens of famous golf layouts, Watson’s original course plans for the Belvedere Golf Club had been lost until last year.
Once the originals plans were secured, Bruce Hepner of Renaissance Golf Design was brought in to make the necessary design changes.
“Watson’s drawings in 1925 were found in an old building in downtown Charlevoix,” said Chuck McMullin, Society of Hickory Golfers founder. “Bruce Hepner was brought in as a consultant and laid out the changes for the golf course.”
Hickory golfers will enjoy the changes that include expanded greens and fairways as well as the original bunker designs.
“It’s a very user-friendly golf course with multiple tees,” McMullin said. “You can still walk the golf course. It’s a golf course for all ages and calibers.”
“It’s a very, very playable course,” hickory golfer Bill Sewell said. “It’s the course that is very similar to all of the hickory courses that the Bobby Jones, the Sarazens and the Hagens played back in the 20s and 30s”
It’s the course’s history that attracts these golfers.
“The old, classic golf courses allow the bump and run shot,” McMullin said. “You can hit low shots and bounce them along on the ground. You can still do that kind of golf. That’s classic golf. The classical golf courses lend themselves to that. That just draws hickory players to those golf courses.”
Friday’s first tee time is set for 9 a.m.