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The History of the Ancient Order of Langhorne Golfers

September 2021


A lighthearted, absurd piece - the imaginary history of a very real golf tournament, sponsored by a local club of bourbon fanciers.

Image by Robert Ruggiero
The History of the Ancient Order of Langhorne Golfers: Project

Since time immemorial, or at least since some fool Scot took it into his head to knock a little round stone into a hole with a crooked stick, the concepts of "whiskey" and "golf" have been indelibly linked.  

Admittedly, most of these early golfers were tipplers of the Scotch variety of "whisky," a decoction distilled from a grain with the unlikely name of barley, aged in a barrel of oak which has been soaked in burnt cow leavings or something of the sort, and then given an unpronounceable name with too many vowels - but no sooner had the game made its way to the New World than those of greater intellect and refinement coupled the pastime with that most cherished of potables: Bourbon Whiskey.

Throughout the long and storied history of the various Langhorne Societies, the game of golf has provided the membership with Friendly Competition, a mission of Self-Improvement, and - most importantly - a Good Excuse to Get Out Of the House and Drink Bourbon.  In matter of fact, some of the game's most important innovations and memorable occurrences have come at the hands of our predecessors in the Grand Tradition of Langhorne.  To wit:

1848: Langhorne progenitor Putter X. Jehosephat earns a spot in the inaugural Malaysian Invitational in Kuala Lampur.  Consoling himself with a bottle of Bourbon Whiskey following his first-round defeat at the hands of the dreaded Count Slicenhooke, he climbs a native tree to get a better view of the final green.  In his inebriated state, he falls from the very apex of the plant, only to hit every single branch on his way towards the Earth.  "Upon returning, quite violently, to terra firma," he writes in his Memoirs on a Sour Mash, "I was astounded to find myself quite enrobed with the sticky sap of the tree and, after determining its unique unsuitability as a mixer for my drink, decided it might be pressed into service as a golf ball."  Thus was invented the "guttie," putting a lot of Scandinavian feather-stuffers out of business and revolutionizing the game.

1901: During a particularly memorable bender at a tavern in Pinehurst, NC, Langhorne historian Marcus Sisal III is asked by course designer Donald Ross to help him develop a list of names for courses at a soon-to-be opened golf resort.  After finishing a third bottle of finest-grade Kentucky liquor, Sisal utters the now famous words, "Well, hell, boy - why don't you just number the sumbitches?" thus sparing future sporting commentators the need to remember a lot of stuffy course names and revolutionizing the game.

1930: After doing some quick math on the back of a napkin, a young golfer and Langhorne neophyte named Bobby Jones realizes that the ridiculously-named Bobby Cruickshanks has just won the equivalent of 120,000 bottles of bourbon (adjusted for inflation) by wagering on the young Jones' performance.  In a rage, Jones swears off competitive play forever and devotes himself to establishing the Single-Barrel-Whiskey of Golf Courses.  Having a post-boozer snack, Jones realizes the viability of pairing such a facility with a sandwich made of cheese and roasted pimiento peppers, thus establishing Augusta National Golf Course and Haberdashery and revolutionizing the game.

1966: After blowing a six-shot lead in the US Open at Olympic, Arnold Palmer (Langhorne Tolerated Hanger-On) vows to never again touch a drop of Intoxicating Spirits and invents his now signature "cocktail" of iced tea and lemonade.  (This did not revolutionize the game.  It is only here included to explain why proper Langhorne golfers do not talk about Arnold Palmer.)

2017: On a Saturday bargain-and-used-golf-club excursion through the hinterlands of eastern Crawford County, future Langhorne Club co-founders Christopher Tsavatewa and Lee Greenway, taking in a yard sale behind a rusted-out Airstream, happen upon a well-marked copy of Putter X. Jehosephat's Memoirs on a Sour Mash - wedged between a photo album from the 1987 Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota and the starter solenoid from a 1974 Volkswagen Thing.  Upon purchasing the volume from the yard sale's proprietor, the pair are amazed to discover an annotated history of a "Langhorne" society, prompting them to gather other like-minded individuals to revive the defunct organization, and revolutionize the game (of drinking).

The History of the Ancient Order of Langhorne Golfers: Text
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