Snowgolf was created in Fife, Scotland in 1847, by Stuart Mackenzie, Old Tom Morris’s illegitimate older brother who was fed up with all the acclaim and recognition his younger sibling was receiving for having invented professional golf the previous year. Legend has it it that Stuart said “Aye, what kind of pansies are ye to haf ta goff on greeeeeen grass. Ah reel Scotsmun would doot in da snow, ya nancieboy. And move that huge noggin of yers, it’s gargantuan, like an orange on a toothpick.”
Snowgolf blossomed in Scotland for three strong years before Stuart was killed in a tragic and supposedly unprovoked penguin attack, though some bystanders insist the penguin was acting in self defense and Stuart had it coming.
The trauma of this attack caused Snowgolf to languish and die out entirely for more than a century. Snowgolf was brought back to life in Stowe Vermont in 1974 by five local pioneers who resuscitated the Stowe Winter Carnival.
Legend has it that the first “round” was played after much discussion at a local watering hole. Odds are good that wagering and double dares and perhaps a malted beverage were a part of this first challenge. These original competitors played on through rain, sleet, and snow, much like golfing postmen, til they started dropping due to over-consumption. Today’s course stands at somewhere between 10 and 13 holes in homage to these brave inebriated warriors and the limits of their endurance, liquor supplies, foggy memories . . . and bladders.