My husband and I both grew up in the small southern towns of Quincy and Marianna, Florida. Both towns had a very large and active community of golfers. Many social activities radiated from the local country club which was centered around the golf course. Families had dinner at the country club on Friday nights, dad's played golf with their golf group on Saturdays and son's and sometimes daughter's tagged along with dad while he straightened out his swing on Sunday afternoons.
One of the first outings my husband Bill and I had after we started dating was a golf date at the Cavern's golf course in Marianna. He even prepared to propose to me on the 18th hole. He was thwarted in his efforts when he realized he couldn't drop the ring box into the hole after he putted in before me due to an unexpected water "hazard" in the bottom of the cup. He did finally present the ring, appropriately, later that afternoon while we were watching a popular Celebrity/PGA event.
So, for us to watch the ending of the Master's golf tournament today was a special pleasure in that a Florida Gulf Coast native (Bagdad, FL), Bubba Watson, won the tournament in a tense playoff with South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen. Now I've had my share of favorite golfers over the years, Jack Nickalus, Freddy Couples, Fuzzy Zoeller, and Phil Mickelson. But I like Bubba for a lot of reasons. He's real, he's emotional, he's got an accent like mine AND he's a born again Christian not afraid to share his faith. Bubba lost his dad over a year ago just prior to the 2011 Master's Tournament. His win today was a sweet-sad victory because it was his first Master's win, he had a brand new baby at home and his dad was not there to witness the tearful end to an exciting tournament.
Our area is home to some of the finest golf courses in the world. And yet, you can play golf today and be fishing in the gulf tommorow because of our close proximity to the beaches of Panama City Beach and the pristine emerald green waters of the Gulf of Mexico and clear cool waters of the Econfina and Deer Point Lake. Something Bubba Watson knows only too well.