Every year the global community of water sports athletes and fans travels to Pine Mountain, Georgia to Callaway Gardens for what many feel is the greatest water ski and wakeboard event of the year. As a rider, getting invited to the Masters can be a career highlight. If you win, you join the rarefied ranks of Masters champions. What could be more fun, right? In my opinion, the real battle at the Masters can be found on the golf courses of Callaway Gardens on the first day of the tournament. That’s when the Nautique Open golf tournament is held. While most look forward to the events on the water, as do I, the real fun is getting all your friends who are riders and industry heads out for a round of golf.
We all love this sport and want to see it grow in all aspects, but the thing is…we all really love golf, too. I couldn’t tell you the amount of times I heard “This place is amazing” or “I would rather play golf for a living.” This year’s Nautique Open was held on one of two courses on the property – Mountain View Course. Mountain View, a 12-time host to the PGA Tour’s Buick Challenge, is an exacting test of golf that stretches up to 7,057 yards. This challenging, but playable layout will test your strategic and shot-making abilities, just as it did for PGA Tour pros when it hosted the Buick Challenge from 1991 to 2002. The list of winners is a who’s who of Tour stars, with champions including Davis Love III, David Duval, Steve Elkington, David Toms and Jonathan Byrd.
My golf team consisted of BuyWake.com/Ambush Board Co. team rider Jeff Langley and his good friends, Scott and Hodges from Ten-80. We felt good, we looked good. We are Team Tito’s. Out of the gate our first hole was the long drive hole and none other than Jeff Langley hit a bomb 307 yards, but would miss the top five long drives of the day by ten yards or so. We got hot early as the dew helped slow the greens down and we couldn’t miss any putt inside 15ft. The greatest part of the day was no matter the shot, good or bad, we were having a blast. We always talk about coming back every year and how we can’t wait for this event. It’s always an opportunity to catch up with old friends and make new ones. Our team ended the day with a 79 which we were proud of, but then quickly realized that first place was a 76. The entire time we played we were playing for us. Just a group of dudes out having fun at a golf tournament, had we known we were 3 shots off the lead toward the end we probably would have hustled to get some shots.
Every year we sponsor a hole through BuyWake.com and this year it was a 197 yard par 3. The best part about a par 3 hole is it’s anyone’s game. You can get a hero shot close to the hole or even go as far as to making a hole in one. We were playing like a bunch of heroes and once again another round of golf passed us by without the elusive hole in one.
Beyond the Nautique Open, the beachfront on Robin Lake is the hot spot for the weekend and it’s where you can find families and friends soaking up the sun and enjoying the on-water events. The real action on the beach can be found in the Ambush Board Co. tent where you can score some of the best deals in wake from Hyperlite and Ronix. The Ambush crew has been going to the Masters for some 17 odd years and every year they kill it in sales on the beach. So mark it down in your calendar for next year, as the 56th Masters will be bigger and better! Below are some of the highlights of the golf tournament and the action on the beach, but if you want to see even more make sure to check out the #NautiqueMasters hash tag on Twitter and Instagram.
Huge congrats to BuyWake.com/Ambush Board Co. team rider Danny Hampson for winning his first Masters in Wakeskate!!!