The purpose of the AGS equipment rules list is to keep authentic clubs as close to original as possible. This may mean that a club having been played in hickory events for years may not comply with these more strict requirements. We also hope is to interject fun auld elements into the already interesting hickory game. Seeing what can be accomplished with even more strict and authentic options should be even more rewarding to the player who can appreciate the opportunity.
1) By choice, the AGS will suggest limiting the play set at 7 to 9 individual antique clubs (choice of event coordinator). This is done to encourage individuality in “favorite” club selection and to place emphasis on “shot making” as was more prevalent in the auld days of golf.
2) Original or replacement leather wrap grips are allowed. These can be smooth or rough side out, and can be treated with pitch/tar or wax type treatment. No “slip on” or tennis/hockey wraps can be used.
3) Leather, fiber or plastic inserts for particular eras, can be installed in wooden club faces to repair or preserve the club. These may be adhered with glue/epoxy but must represent the look of a comparable era club. Wooden dowels and nails were commonly used to hold the faces in place and to add a fancy look. Screws in the faces typically are associated with more modern heads. Weight can be added to wooden club heads. This was usually done with additional lead in the sole of the club.
4) It is best if irons are left as original as possible or as intended as an ‘auld” design (restoration for play is of course allowed, bending and grinding minimal). The goal is to discover clubs that work for the individual player or adapt to what you can find. The majority of clubs we find do not have custom modifications. There are though, clubs that have been found with modifications. It has been stated that if a modification “could have been done” in the auld era then it is acceptable to do it now to improve the play of a club. If a player is adept at modifying an authentic club, then at least he is involved at a level that is representative of his passion. It is discouraged, but not unacceptable to have a wad of lead tape (as it is not era representative) stuck to the back of a club head. There are cases where the clubs are so worn down from cleaning by caddies over the years that they have lost some of the original weight. What we do know is that the match between an auld iron and it’s shaft may not always be optimum for the player trying to revive it. An option to adding weight is to sand down the shaft a bit to add a little give and feel to it which may also make the club play better.
5) Players in AGS events might just be more appreciated by their peers for club authenticity, set selection, and shot making efforts made during play – than for their end of day score. It is reminiscent of the phrase that “you’re only cheating yourself” if you give in to the temptation of over modification or replication.
6) It seems appropriate and the AGS is supportive of era replica golf balls. The McIntyre Golf Ball Company is a supplier of era specific golf balls and it would be expected to use one of the models for participation in AGS events. One of the first things onlookers ask is “what kind of golf ball do you use?”, and answering “ProV1” just doesn’t ring right in the ear of an AGS member.
7) No alignment lines or marks may be drawn on a golf ball and used to aim a putt or drive.