Bubba Watson’s choice of a business venture was a pretty easy choice.
“I’m a kid at heart,” Watson said. “Hey, I play golf for a living. But I want to do other things, too. Why not a candy shop?”
Watson was dressed in a Blue Wahoos baseball cap, Oakley T-shirt, gym shorts and athletic shoes for the official ribbon cutting for Bubba’s Sweet Spot in downtown Pensacola. It features homemade candy and ice cream.
The ingredients come from local farmers as much as possible, including Southern Craft Creamery, a Marianna, Fla., farm [http://www.southerncraftcreamery.com/] that owns about 800 cows and makes deliveries daily to Bubba’s new store. The creamery is about 130 miles east of Pensacola.
Until now, professional golf has been Watson’s business. He’s experienced success on the PGA Tour – winning the 2012 and 2014 Master among his nine PGA Tour titles, earning close to $35 million in his career and reaching sixth on the official world golf ranking.
Watson has become wildly popular with his antics, such as his music videos with the Golf Boys, his purchase of the “General Lee” from the hit TV show, “The Dukes of Hazard,” and recently his Oakley commercial debuting his “Golf Cart Jetpack.”
He hopes for the same popularity and same success with Bubba’s Sweet Spot. To that end, the homemade candy and ice cream shop opened three weeks ago to survey its customers. It also is trying to learn how much ice cream and candy it needs to order to stay ahead of all its sweet-tooth fans.
Bubba’s Sweet Spot did run out of ice cream early in its existence.
“We didn’t anticipate people coming in that much,” said Watson, who is also a co-owner of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos Double-A baseball team. “This is my first time in a real business. We’re still learning but we’re heading in the right direction. Go in there. Everyone is smiling.”
As a kid, Watson joked his favorite candy was “anything my parents would let me have.” Seriously, though, he had a taste for lemon drops, gummy bears and M&Ms.
His recommendation on which of the nine flavors of ice cream or the more than 100 candies to choose from at Bubba’s Sweet Spot?
“All of them,” he said. “You can’t pick one.”
Another reason Watson said he wanted to open the store — besides other pro golfers telling him it was “cool” — was to give back to the greater Pensacola community where he was born and raised and which supported him as a young golfer. However, he did joke that you will find his mom, Molly, behind the counter, after she passed the drug test and did everything else his other employees had to do.
“I don’t see myself as a golfer,” Watson said. “I see myself as more than that. It isn’t winning trophies. It’s who I am as a husband, a father, a friend. Pensacola gave me my values and helped me become the person I am and the golfer I am.”
Look for Watson, his wife, Angie and their children, Caleb and Dakota at Bubba’s Sweet Spot.
However, Watson will be MIA until after the golf competition in the Olympics in Rio De Janiero, which end on Aug. 14. Plus, he is playing in the PGA Championship and Travelers Championship, which he won in 2010, over the next two weekends.
Although he’s played for the United States in the Ryder Cup and The Presidents Cup, Watson said he’s excited about the Olympics. He’s looking forward to the experience since his wife, a professional basketball player, was slated to play for Canada in the Olympics but missed them because of an injury.
He’s already bought tickets and plans to be a “fan” the week leading up to the Olympic golf tournament and root for his friend, American sprinter Justin Gatlin.
“What a dream,” Watson said about participating in the 31st Olympiad. “It didn’t hit home until they said, ‘Bubba, you’re on the team.’”
Watson is happy to promote pro golf, which is reappearing as an Olympic sport after last being featured in 1900 and 1904.
“There are countries that are not passionate about golf,” Watson said. “We're bringing golf to the Olympics, so the world could see it. Hopefully, the world sees it and the world gets behind it.”
And don’t forget to get behind Bubba’s Sweet Spot for unique-flavored ice cream, chocolate covered Rice Krispies, Jelly Belly Jelly Beans, M&Ms from the gravity drop wall and other classic favorites.
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