A round of golf at Kissimmee Bay Country Club isn’t just 18 holes; it’s a history lesson in the game.
An assortment of the game’s historical artifacts and some treasures, common and uncommon, are on display throughout the course’s foyer, pro shop, dining room and formal hall. The total collection numbers about 3,000 pieces, all procured by the Langley family, one of the founding families at Kissimmee Bay.
The collection of memorabilia and artifacts has come to be known as the Langley Golf Museum. Earlier this year, the family donated the entire collection to the Rotary Club of Kissimmee Bay.
“We cannot think of any group more qualified and deserving to own the Golf Museum than the Rotary Club of Kissimmee Bay,” Mr. Langley said.
The Langley collection began when a friend gave the family a vintage canvas golf bags with three hickory-shaft clubs. After cleaning and oiling them, they displayed them near the door of their home course in Kentucky.
“As more people became interested and asked questions about the old clubs, so did we,” Mr. Langley said.
That marked when the Langleys were bitten by the “golf collection bug” and set off to acquire additional items from around the country — and the world.
“I joined a golf collectors society, which helped get stuff in directly from Scotland,” Mr. Langley said. “There’s handmade stuff from Old Tom Morris that you can only find in Scotland.”
When the family relocated to Kissimmee Bay in 1992, the Langley museum relocated with them.
Among the artifacts are vintage clubs and balls — and descriptions of how they were made — photos, postcards, golf-themed china and glassware and even a vintage greens mower displayed in the pro shop.
The family said the golf museum was started for two main reasons — to preserve the history of golf for future generations and to provide enjoyment and a better understand of “the most popular sport in the world.”
“With more than six million players, from three to four years old to who knows how old, playing with family friends or by yourself and in tournaments, it teaches honesty and integrity. No other sport provides all those benefits,” the Langleys said. “We cannot think of any one or any group more qualified and deserving to own the museum than the Rotary Club of Kissimmee Bay. We feel confident the Rotary will care and protect and properly display the artifacts.”
The Rotary will continue to display the collection at Kissimmee Bay. It is open to the public and free to visit, as course staff encourages visitors.
The Rotary Club is an international service organization of over a million business professionals worldwide dedicated to advance goodwill and peace around the world through service.