Bubba Watson is very much his own man. In another time, he would be categorized as a free spirit. He isn’t afraid to shed a tear or spend more than $100,000 on a used car, for example. He is unique in many ways including his approach to golf. “He's got, to put it mildly, a rather unique golf swing,” Jack Nicklaus said last week at his Memorial golf tournament. “I think that's to his credit, which is to me what the game is all about, is learning who you are and what you are and what you do.”
One of the things Watson does is play golf but there is more to him than that. Yesterday, he visited his equipment manufacturer of choice PING, to say thank you for all of their help in what has already been a magical year for the left-hander. He bought lunch for the 800+ employees of PING and helped pass out desserts to many of them. It was his way of saying thank you for supporting him with great product and excellent service. Watson made time to autographed more than 700 items, including 600 Masters flags and 90 pink G20 driver heads, according to company officials. The flags will be given as gifts to key customers of PING and the signed driver heads are part of a Golf Galaxy promotion. He posed for a photograph with all the employees all of whom wore pink t-shirts in recognition of his visit. (Image courtesy of PING).
In honor of his win at The Masters and his remarkable shot on the 10th hole in the playoff, PING provided Watson with a gold PING wedge to commemorate the astonishing shot. At the Waste Management Phoenix Open, PING presented Watson with an oversized check to mark the official start of his “Bubba & Friends Drive to a Million” charity initiative this season. Watson received a $10,000 upfront donation from John A. Solheim, PING Chairman & CEO and yesterday at PING headquarters the two came together once again but this time it included a check for $250,000. After his incredible win at Augusta, PING announced it would sell a limited edition pink G20 driver (5,000 in total). The company said it would donate $50 from the sale of each driver, which lead to yesterday’s check presentation. It’s worth pointing out that the drivers (MSRP $430) sold out immediately with retailers. The monies provided by PING will be donated to Phoenix-area charities as chosen by it.
Business often comes down to relationships. Clearly Watson and PING stand to stay in business together for many more years to come. Perhaps he will produce a few more memorable moments along the way but both sides are intent on extending a helping hand not only to each other but beyond the golf course too.