Preparations are well under way for the staging of the 4th World Hickory Open sponsored by the PGA World Hickory Open Championship (WHO) and Pro-Am and hosted for the 3rd year running by Craigielaw Golf Club between 24th and 26th September 2008.
Lionel Freedman, who is both Chairman of the Board of Directors of WHO and Captain of Craigielaw GC, as well as a member of the British Golf Collectors Scotland, reports that WHO has now established itself as a popular annual event and expects to also welcome up to 20 participants from the US, and another 20 from Sweden as well as teams from France, Ireland, Korea, Canada and the home countries - positive proof that this Tournament has now generated fast growing appeal. The WHO Championship will be the culmination of a week long festival of hickory golf. As a new venture and in co-operation with East Lothian Council, the preceding week’s golf will be played over some of Scotland’s most picturesque hickory-friendly courses including Gullane No.3, Kilspindie and Musselburgh Old Course. The itinerary for this event can be found on the event web site www.worldhickoryopen.com.
This year GTS members, St Andrews Golf Co. Ltd. has become a key partner in the WHO organisation. “As the last manufacturers of fully playable hickory shafted clubs, we felt this event was the ideal showcase for our products,” says St Andrews Golf Co. director Ewan Glen. “We have 125 years experience in making hickories with traditional materials in the traditional way.” Lionel Freedman, Chairman of the WHO, says that this plus the addition of the Festival of Golf represents the most significant development for WHO since its inaugural Championship at Musselburgh Old Course in 2005. “We look forward to developing the new relationship, which is certain to provide new depth and quality for WHO. For example, STAG will stage a longest drive competition using a hickory driver. They will also have a stand showing off their products. “And there will be more that we will talk about later,” adds Lionel Freedman. Amongst the growing band of overseas competitors, Mike Stevens, the U.S. National Hickory Champion 2005, will be returning for the 3rd year running while Scots pro Dean Robertson who won the pro-am last year is coming back for the 2008 Tournament. As part of The Tartan Tour, it is expected that the professional entry will continue to grow from the 40+ who competed last year for the £17,500 prize, one of the larger prize funds on offer in Scotland.