Greenbrier Sporting Club member and two-time Masters Champion Bubba Watson has donated $500,000 to The Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart in Pensacola, Florida, after winning the MetLife MatchUp. People voted in this online contest for the best recovery shot of the PGA Tour season, and Bubba’s was the crowd favorite. He donated his prize to the hospital, as well as junior golf efforts.
Read more about this below or online at ascension.org.
Pro Golfer Bubba Watson Donates Half-Million Dollars to Ascension Children’s Hospital
Two-time Masters Champion Bubba Watson has donated $500,000 to The Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart in Pensacola, Florida, in the Ascension Gulf Coast Ministry Market, as a result of winning the MetLife MatchUp, an online contest in which people voted for the best recovery shot of the PGA Tour season.
Watson – who is a resident of Pensacola and was born at Sacred Heart Hospital Pensacola – is one of the most decorated and accomplished golfers on the PGA Tour.
He was one of 10 professional golfers selected as finalists in the MetLife MatchUp. The player whose shot had the most votes won a $1 million prize.
Thanks to an outpouring of support from Watson’s fans and the Northwest Florida community, along with Ascension associates, Watson was named the 2017 MetLife MatchUp Champion and announced he would donate his prize to The Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart, as well as junior golf efforts.
“Through the power of working together as One Ascension, we were able to help Bubba Watson win this online challenge and benefit the many children served by the associates and physicians at The Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart,” said Nick Ragone, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer.
The shot that won Watson the MetLife MatchUp took place in the opening round of The Greenbrier Classic 2017. Watson found his tee shot in the woods, requiring a punch-out shot into the fairway. He then bent his third shot onto the green on the par-4 13th hole and finished it off with a 41-foot putt to save par.
Watson’s donation will support the construction of Sacred Heart’s new four-story children’s hospital, which will increase access to specialized pediatric and maternity care and consolidate inpatient pediatric services in one convenient location.
“I have always been proud to represent Pensacola around the world,” Watson said. “It’s where I was born and raised. People in Pensacola helped me to become better at the game of golf and to become a better person. When I came back to Pensacola after living elsewhere for eight years, I thought about how I could help the city, how I could become an important part of it. Living here with my family, I want Pensacola and the entire Gulf Coast to be a great place for all families. When I learned about The Children’s Hospital and the need for the new building and expanded services, it really hit home. I knew I had to help the dream come true. Completion of The Children’s Hospital is like bringing a championship to Pensacola.”
The MetLife MatchUp marks a continuation of Watson’s support of The Children’s Hospital. In 2015, the annual charity event Bubba Bash, run by the Bubba Watson Foundation, raised $100,000 for the new children’s hospital.
“We’re thrilled to have such enthusiastic support from the Watson family during our construction of the new children’s hospital,” said Susan Davis, Senior Vice President, ascension Healthcare, and Ministry Market Executive, AscensionGulf Coast. “In addition to his professional golf success, Bubba Watson has worked tirelessly to better our community. We consider it both a blessing and an honor that he’s chosen to give so generously to Sacred Heart. This gift will touch the lives of thousands of sick and injured children for generations to come.”
The following essay was written by Grace Webb, who has grown up visiting The Greenbrier and spending time with her family at their home here. “Grace’s beautiful words make all of our jobs more fulfilling. This is what we strive for everyday and it is wonderful to have one of our young family members share what The Greenbrier means for her,” stated Larry Klein, VP and General Manager of The Greenbrier Sporting Club.
All of us at The Greenbrier Sporting Club are proud to be a part of this team and to serve the many wonderful families that call The Greenbrier “Home.”
A Traveler’s Dream by Grace Webb
Sometimes in life you need to travel and take a break. I know I travel a lot. I have found the perfect vacation spot in the mountains. It’s a hotel called The Greenbrier. The Greenbrier is like my second home because I have lots of memories from The Greenbrier, there are many fun things that won’t make me bored when I’m there, and most of all because it has made me a better person.
One reason that the Greenbrier is like my second home is I have lots of memories from The Greenbrier. One time my Dad took me to the chocolate store. Then he said, “What are you going to choose?” “I don’t know!” I said. It took me like 5 minutes to decide. I could tell my Dad was getting bored, but then in the top left corner I saw a chocolate covered strawberry. It was like I could see heaven. The strawberry was beautiful! I immediately said, “I want this one.” After that, my Dad bought it. My mouth started watering as the cashier handed the chocolate covered strawberry to my Dad. Next thing you know, I was devouring my strawberry. It was all over my face! I will never forget my first chocolate covered strawberry!
Another memory I have from the Greenbrier is when I played laser tag with my friends. It all started when the day care woman said, “Go!!!” The room was pitch black, the only thing you could see were the glowing red lights on the laser gun. My frenemy is Barron and he was the person I was aiming for. “There you are!” I said. I had spotted Barron from around the corner. I was getting ready to shoot when… I died. Barron shot me (He didn’t actually shoot me!) I went to sit with the day care woman. She said, “Don’t worry! You will get to go back in when I say jailbreak!” Right after that she said jailbreak! Then I started to sneak over and attack!!!! I shot Barron! He died! I will never forget that laser tag game! I will NEVER, EVER, NEVERRRR!
Another time I went on a golf cart ride with my grandpa’s friend Big Steve. He is also a good friend with our family. So, one time when my brother was getting his tonsils out, my parents sent me to West Virginia. I went there for Spring Break (except for Easter). It was just Mamaw, Jimbow, and I. One day when I was taking a nap, Jimbow asked me if I wanted to go on a golf cart ride with Big Steve. Of course, I said YES! I ran downstairs and jumped on the golf cart with Big Steve. Then he asked me if I wanted to take a tour of the Greenbrier. I said YES! Off we went! The first place we went to was the Springhouse. As we drove closer I saw a little pool of water. “Why does that water smell so bad!” I said. Big Steve said that it was sulfur water. He even said Native Americans used to bathe in it. As we rode around the roads of the hotel, I learned about the history of The Greenbrier. For example, Big Steve and I saw where general Robert E. Lee (a SC general) stayed at The Greenbrier for a couple of weeks. I love being with Big Steve and hope stuff like this will never end. All of these things are reasons I have memories from The Greenbrier.
Another reason that The Greenbrier is like my second home is that there are so many things to do there that won’t make me bored. For instance, swimming is huge at the hotel. There is an indoor pool in the hotel and there are 3 outdoor pools. Of course these pools are only open in warm weather, but the indoor pool is always open and is always heated. I have been in all of the pools and I know how much fun it can be. There are even swimming lessons if you don’t know how to swim. So, pack your bathing suits and head on over to The Greenbrier pools.
Another example is ice-skating! There is a fair-sized skating rink at The Greenbrier. I have been on it many times and each time I go it is so much fun. The rink is located outside and has a beautiful view. You can also see people watching you as they stand on the balcony. The room where you buy your skates is located in a multi-purpose room. In this room there is even a hot cocoa machine. If you ever come to The Greenbrier in the winter, I would encourage you to go ice-skating.
In addition to ice skating there is also lots and lots of shopping. Shopping at The Greenbrier has never been better! You can fill us those shopping bags until it’s time for lunch or diner. When I go, I shop until I drop! That has happened to a lot of people. There is something here for everyone. For people who like sports there are about three stores that have to do with sports. If you like art there is an art gallery filled with paintings, pictures, and sculptures. For kids there is a toyshop. For chocolate lovers there is a chocolate shop. There are so many fun things to do here. This hotel is a great place to be.
Although The Greenbrier is like my second home, I love it because I have lots of memories from The Greenbrier. There are many fun things to do at the Greenbrier that won’t make me bored on a VK, but especially because The Greenbrier has made me a better person. This amazing hotel has made me a better person by socializing with friends and family. For instance, there are many parties at the hotel. For me that means EVERYBODY goes to that party, including me! Let’s just say it’s not the best, but I don’t want to fall asleep of boredom, so I go over to see my Mom. As I’m walking over to my Mom, I notice she is talking to a friend. I decide to stand by her anyway. She introduces me to this woman. I never got her name, but I know she thought I was cute. So, she said, “Hi!” “Hi!” I said in a shy voice. After a couple of hours at that party I went home. As I went to more parties I got better and better at socializing with friends and family.
Another way The Greenbrier has made me a better person is it has made me less shy. I would stand behind one of my parents’ backs and peek out a little. About the first three times I went to The Greenbrier I was very shy. Then my mom sent me to a day care center for a little bit. When I was there somebody asked me if I wanted to play air hockey (I really like air hockey). So, I said yes. This is when I started to come out of my shell. I was no longer shy! I’ve also made lots and lots of friends at The Greenbrier. For example, I once made a friend name Cleo at the day care center. We had a lot in common. When we had playtime outside we played in the sandbox together. Cleo and I went everywhere together that day. I went on the slide, the swing, and the seesaw with her. This is why I can make so many friends at The Greenbrier.
This makes me think about what the hotel will be like when I’m older. Maybe they won’t have ice-skating, laser tag, the chocolate shop, or the art gallery. Whatever happens, I hope you realize how amazing the Greenbrier is!
The Greenbrier Sporting Club member Jim Booth recently participated in the 2016 Radical European Masters, an auto racing series, winning the Fangio Trophy (drivers 50+) and 3rd place overall. “Racing is an extremely professional sport with sportsmanlike conduct shared among the racers,” Jim shared with us. In order to qualify, drivers must obtain a professional race license achieved by attending a racing school, pass an annual physical, and be approved by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FiA) whose strict guidelines are 34 pages long.
A Radical UK prototype RXC Spyder Turbo with open cockpit, closed wheel, and 640 horsepower raced him to victory. This car is highly technical with component data tracked electronically and downloaded after the race concluded.
Each of the seven events featured three races, up to 60 minutes each, alongside a minimum of two 60-minute practice sessions and a 25-minute qualifying session. The FIA-recognized championship ensured high levels of service and organization and racing in front of large crowds. The 2016 season culminated in a stellar finale at Circuit de Jerez in Spain.
1) Circuito do Estoril
Estoril, Cascais, Estremadura, Portugal
2) Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium
3) Circuit Paul Ricard
Le Castellet, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, France
4) Silverstone Circuit
Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England, United Kingdom
5) Donington Park
North West Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom
6) Autodromo Nazionale Monza
Monza, Monza and Brianza, Lombardy, Italy
7) Circuito de Jerez
Jerez de la Frontera, Andalucia, Spain
All of these races can be seen on YouTube, including the wreck in which he amazingly walked away from a year and a half ago: view here.
Congratulations Jim, from all of us at your Sporting Club!