The Welcoming Committee
Every single morning, without fail, our longhorns wake at the first glint of sunlight rising over the mountain. Shaking the morning dew off their broad backs, the longhorns rise to prepare for another glorious day at The Farm, for they have an important job to do. They are our welcoming committee and have been greeting guests at the front gate every day since 2003.
Unless you visit a rodeo, longhorns are a rare sight in Alabama, so the chance of seeing not one or two but 30 longhorn steers grazing lazily in a field is unbelievable. Just like people, no two longhorns look the same. Their coats range in color from nutmeg to black midnight sky, and one even resembles a fresh carton of cookies n’ cream ice cream. Even their horns curve differently, and the tips of some appear to have been dipped in gray paint. The longhorns are mesmerizing animals, which always raises the question from visitors: why longhorns?
In 2001, David Pursell’s epiphany to build the world’s first (and only) research and demonstration golf course began taking shape. Fields that once grew cotton were transformed into immaculate fairways and lush greens. While the golf course was under construction, it earned the nickname FarmLinks, but that was never intended to be the official name. David imagined an attractive double name comparable to Shoal Creek, Pebble Beach, and Torrey Pines, but after two years of referencing FarmLinks, the name stuck.
Now, FarmLinks needed a mascot, and with a name like FarmLinks, naturally, the mascot should be a farm animal. David initially wanted a bison to serve as the physical mascot on property, but he was warned that bison do not make great fenced animals. Longhorns, however, do. David grabbed his sketch book and drew a longhorn outfitted in a white dress shirt swinging a golf club in the style of legendary golfer, Bobby Jones. The infamous “swinging bull” was born and became the official logo for FarmLinks. At the grand opening of FarmLinks in June 2003, longhorns were recruited from a rancher in Dothan, AL. Dozens of longhorns dotted the front field for guests to gaze upon.
The longhorns have been a fixture for Pursell Farms since day one and continue to marvel visitors daily. Their sole purpose is to create a lasting, first impression on guests from the moment they drive onto The Farm.