Casual observers strolling along Park Avenue may have felt like they passed through a temporal distortion last weekend . Men in plus fours, shirts and ties and ladies in long flowing skirts dotted the fairways of the 1914 Winter Park Golf Club. They might have stepped into 1914 for all they knew. The only thing missing were Model T autos rolling along the surrounding roadways.
The Florida Hickory Golfers rolled back the clock and played 18-holes on this delightfully renovated nine-hole track (considered one of the best nine-hole layouts in the country). The first loop was completed with reproduction Haskell-style mesh balls while the second nine was played with gutta percha balls like Old and Young Tom Morris. Tees for the entire day were fashioned out of sand just as they did at the turn of the 20th century.
Will Peterson demonstrated skills comparable to Jones and Vardon by carving out an even par 70 to take low gross honors by a margin of 9 shots over Dan Colfax and Bill Geisler, who tied with 79s. Net winner was Jeff Shafer with 61 while James Chambers and Bernie Alessandrini took the team title.
Of special interest — most players scored better with the gutta percha ball than the more modern mesh ball! The average score on the front side was 43.3 while the back nine average was 42.6. Granted, the yardage was shorter for the gutta percha round, but that’s still pretty impressive considering most folks had no idea how the gutta balls would fly or the distances they might go.