There are so many things about golf that make it unique. It’s a game that can be played for a lifetime, it’s an incredible networking tool and people can play with a buzz. Some even claim to play better once they’ve knocked out a six pack of beers. It’s no secret — golf and booze have a relationship. Arnold Palmer had a relationship with Ketal One that still lives today at Bay Hill Club & Lodge. The King fancied Ketel on the rocks with a twist of lemon. John Daly has his own cocktail with a “grip it and sip it” tag, it’s lemonade, iced tea and vodka. And several beer and booze companies plant their flag at PGA Tour events throughout the year.
Here’s a new one.
The American Freedom Distillery, is a St. Petersburg, Florida-based craft distillery of American-made, premium spirits, founded by U.S. Special Forces veterans whose story was told in the 2018 Hollywood movie 12 Strong. Horse Soldier Bourbon signature bourbon bottles are pressed in molds made from World Trade Center steel, salvaged from the site after the events of September 11, 2001.
The company made their PGA Tour introduction at the 2019 PGA Tour Valspar Championship. Bourbon fans and patriots gathered at the Horse Soldier Lounge located on the 10th hole green. And near the 16th green was a 10-foot Horse Soldier Statue at the Military Hospitality Venue – a replica of the 18-foot bronze statue that sits at Ground Zero in New York City’s Liberty Park. Known officially as the Horse Soldier Monument, the original statue pays homage to the mission carried out by the U.S. Special Forces team that were the first into Afghanistan – and on horseback — after the September 11 attacks. These team members are the creators and founders of American Freedom Distillery’s Horse Soldier Bourbon.
“The Valspar Championship strives to create a fan-focused atmosphere that not only showcases the finest professional golf competition, but a variety of activities for fans to enjoy while at the tournament,” said Tracy West – Valspar Championship Tournament Director. “Through the support of Horse Solder® Bourbon Whiskey, our official tournament whiskey, we created the inaugural Horse Soldier Lounge at the 10th green. This area offered fans a chance for a respite as they progressed throughout the course watching their favorite golfers and the opportunity to experience this fine whiskey and unique brand. We’re grateful for the Horse Soldier’s vision and support.”
American Freedom Distillery was founded by U.S. Special Forces veterans and the Valspar Championship has a long history of supporting veterans, including the Veterans Alternative Copperhead 5K, the Pinch A Penny Patriots’ Outpost and Birdies for the Brave which offers special discounts for active members of the military and their families.
“There has always been a strong connection between golfers and the Special Forces. In fact, Bubba Watson and Tiger Woods’ dads are former green berets,” said Elizabeth Pritchard, co-founder of American Freedom Distillery. “It takes time, skill and patience to master the links of the Copperhead Course and hone the perfect game. Just as it takes time, skill and patience to develop the uncompromising and complex flavors in every sip of Horse Soldier Bourbon, making this partnership the perfect pairing.”