While playing in the Greenbrier Classic for the first time this summer, Bubba Watson fell in love with the resort.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- It's been common knowledge for a while now that Bubba Watson is in the process of building a home at The Greenbrier.The 2012 Masters champion even appeared in a commercial for the resort with Nick Faldo and Jerry West earlier this year.But at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Watson revealed just how deep a connection he will have with The Greenbrier moving forward.Appearing with resort owner Jim Justice, Watson announced that he will join The Greenbrier professional staff and will represent the resort on the PGA Tour, joining the likes of Webb Simpson, Kenny Perry and pro emeritus Tom Watson.Watson will play with The Greenbrier logo on his golf bag. "I couldn't be more excited about joining the team at The Greenbrier and calling this my home away from home," Watson said. "I was blown away when I played The Old White TPC earlier this year. My family and I had a great time experiencing all of the different amenities the property offers and decided this was the perfect place for us. The Greenbrier has everything and more that I look for in a golf resort and I look forward to creating lasting memories with my family here."Justice also announced a new feature to be added to the Old White TPC in honor of The Greenbrier's new partnership with Watson.The course's longest tee boxes will now be referred to as "Bubba tees" and any guest that can shoot a 90 or better from them will have his or her name entered into a raffle with three winners being chosen to play a round with Watson and Justice. Attempted qualifying rounds will have a triple-bogey maximum per hole.Justice views Watson's commitment as yet another step forward for the resort and the Greenbrier Classic, and he commented on just how quickly the tournament has progressed since the first installment in 2010.
"I mean, can you imagine?" Justice said. "I grew up as just a little fella, skinny believe it or not, and used to come over and play in the state amateur and everything. But now, to sit and talk with people like Phil [Mickelson] and Bubba and have them say nice things about the place you put your heart and passion into - it's really special."The two had several of humorous exchanges on Wednesday, including Watson referring to Justice as his "granddad" and insisting the resort's owner pay for lunch and perhaps even dinner on Wednesday.When the subject of golf came up, Justice told Watson he would give the left-hander lessons, to which Watson replied, "You charge too much, I can only afford half a lesson."But when the subject turned to the resort and the friendship the two have developed, all jokes were placed aside."We have a real, live relationship going," Justice said. "His values are rock solid and he's grounded and that's what I think The Greenbrier should be all about. He's a good person with a good story, he's incredibly talented, he engages the crowd and all that, but he's a good person and that's what we're all about.""It's an honor," Watson said. "I didn't take school as seriously as I should've and so I had to be good at sports. Golf has taken me all over the world and now to a great resort at The Greenbrier. To be associated in a roundabout way with names like Sam Snead, Tom Watson and the logo, Mr. West - just to associate myself with The Greenbrier - it's an honor to be associated with those names."
Watson said he looked at four different floor plans for his home on Tuesday evening, and while construction hasn't started, he hopes the house will be completed in time for the 2014 Greenbrier Classic.Reach Ryan Pritt at 304-348-7948, firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him at twitter.com/Rpritt.