By Jim Davis
I’ve always been a fan of Henry Longhurst – the broadcaster, the writer, the golfer. I’ve two of his books, one My Life and Soft Times (1971), gave me a understanding of what it was like to grow up in Great Britain, go through public school, serve in Parliament, and come to grips with a staggering and lifelong habit of meeting and befriending the rich and famous, world-class golfers, and traveling the world on someone else’s dime. The other was an anthology of selected essays titled, simply enough, The Best of Henry Longhurst.
Longhurst had a gift for language, writing in an easy and highly literate style that rewarded his readers with delightful descriptions of the rich tapestry that was his wonderful life and the characters who joined him along the way. Only he could describe seeing a poor woman on a street in Dublin, begging and holding a baby, “possibly her own.”
“Longhurst was in a class by himself,” said Herbert Warren Wind, who knew a thing or two about golf writing.
Golf Digest has been publishing a series of “The Best of…” its columns and articles from the past 50 years. Recently, its editor Jerry Tarde selected a story of his own about Longhurst that involved the great writer’s good friend and WWII flying ace, Wing Commander Sir Douglas Bader, a chap whose experiences during that war must be read to be believed.
I heartily recommend the above two books if only for you to share in the wonderful style and sense of humor that was Henry Longhurst. For now, click here to see Tarde’s story on the Golf Digest website. I fully trust it was Longhurst, and I also fully believe he communicated this bit of wisdom while seated on a lovely veranda with gin and tonic in hand.