When Ralph started HickoryGolf.com in 1998, he was the initial and only web based resource of information on playing with hickory golf clubs.
Many people, myself included, reference back to when they discovered the site and how it opened their eyes and be comfortable going forward with finding an old historic club to be able to play golf with it.
Once you become a player, you are adding a "new life" factor into an old club. I think the spirits of golf's past are comfortable with this! Look what has happened...there are hickory golfers and groups all over the world. And for the most part, the most popular clubs and their restoration is done pretty much as Ralph described it. He worked out his techniques over the half dozen years that preceded the website...quite a passion!
The CLUBS Section of this site is retained in full with all Ralph's original information. You still cannot go wrong by reading this over and over until it is embedded permanently in your brain. Couple that with the experience you gain along the way and you're quite the knowledgeable playable club restorer!
I will also try to then fill out the rest of the content of the site with up to date information, resources and points of view. Ralph and I talked quite a bit over the years and I think I have a pretty good idea of where he would be coming from today. We saw many things in the same way. He was much more of an in depth researcher than I, but our goal was similar - to understand the clubs, the history, and to apply what we learned as the real fun part of this hobby.
I am going to reference some content from other sites, because there are some very good ones now, and I see no sense in listing the same hickory event list for example, as is already diligently posted on the SoHG site. I will try to expose some new thoughts and examples that hopefully will encourage more people that there is more to do with hickory golf than just dressing up funny and hitting with wooden clubs.