Keiser University’s College of Golf (COG) History of Golf class students recently had the unique opportunity to participate in a putting competition using hickory-shafted putters and golf balls from different historical eras, beginning in the early 1800’s and progressing through modern day.


Organized by professor Ken Martin along with College of Golf Executive Director of Golf Operations Dr. Eric Wilson the event began at the Outdoor Putting Green as Martin and Wilson explained each of the six different putting stations. It culminated as an 18-hole competition with students putting three-hole segments using each of the following:


  • Long nose putter and featherie golf ball (pre-1848)
  • Kempshall Pyraline putter and smooth gutta percha golf ball (1848-1850)
  • Wry-neck blade putter and hand-hammered gutta percha golf ball (1850-1865)
  • Brown-Vardon semi-mallet head putter and bramble pattern gutta percha golf ball (1865-1900)
  • Spalding Hollow-Back putter and balata covered golf ball (1900-1960)
  • Personal putter and Pro V-1 golf balls (1960-modern day)


Par for the course was 36, and the first Champion Putter of the Historic Open Putting Championship was student Ian Yee, who scored 40, which included the first hole-in-one of the competition on the Hollow-Back/balata station. Finishing second by a single stroke were students David Johnson and Chris Rooney. The remainder of the field results follow: Clark Ditzhazy (42), Professor Brian Hughes (42), Charlie Wych (43), Professor David Wixson (44), Timothy Childrose (45), Daniel Ruhlin (46), and D’Andre Kinney (47). Timothy Childrose provided additional excitement when he made a hole-in-one on the Long nose/featherie station. Champion Yee claimed pictures with the Open Claret Jug replica and American flag belt for his victory.


Future History of Golf class students will continue to enjoy the competition, and they too will have their plaques added to the base of the Open Claret Jug replica to commemorate their victories.