The Old White celebrates its 100th anniversary - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

The Old White celebrates its 100th anniversary

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Bubba Watson and Jim Justice Bubba Watson and Jim Justice
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There is certainly plenty of history surrounding The Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs.

On April 19, the destination tabbed as “America’s Resort” celebrated a milestone on its famous golf course, The Old White TPC, which turned 100 years old.

The list of pros and amateurs who have teed off from the No. 1 tee box is incredible, from presidents and dukes to princes and Tigers.

To top off the 100th birthday event, Jim Justice, chairman and owner of The Greenbrier, hit a celebratory tee shot using a 1914-era wooden club and ball.

He was joined at the No. 1 tee by the 2012 and 2014 tournament champion at The Masters, Bubba Watson. Watson swatted a shot of his own using his own familiar pink driver.

Watson spent the week following his April 13 victory at Augusta relaxing at The Greenbrier. He and his wife are building a home on The Greenbrier property.

“It’s pretty neat for a golf course to be open 100 years, especially here at The Greenbrier,” Watson said. “It was an honor and a privilege to be here.

“We came (to The Greenbrier) to vacation (after The Masters) and have just been hanging low. I’m still trying to take it all in, live in the moment and get some good rest so I can be ready for the next tournament and play some good golf. Fortunately, I was able to be here for this.”

Watson will be in the field when this year’s version of The Greenbrier Classic is played July 3-6.

“It would be pretty special to win, especially since I’m building a house here,” Watson said. “It should be ready by then. It will be nice to hang out again here in West Virginia.”

Watson is becoming more and more at home with both West Virginia and its people.

“I was looking for a mountainous home, a kind of a cottage getaway,” he said. “I met Jim (Justice) way before the (2013) tournament and talked to some of the players that have played here.

“I told my wife that we needed to check out The Greenbrier and the tournament and see what it’s like.”

Watson said he and his wife arrived a week early, and it was love at first sight.

“It’s mountainous and has a great family feel,” he said. “It also has four golf courses. It’s a perfect place for me, and also has a hideaway mountain feel. For us, it was a no-brainer.

“By the end of the week, I had already bought a lot and met with a builder. I started the process as soon as we got here pretty much.”

Watson said his house should be finished in about six more weeks.

“I’d love to have the support (of West Virginians),” Watson added. “I’ve noticed that Jim (Justice) is quite the sportsman. Bringing the (New Orleans) Saints here (for training camp) is big; being the closest NFL team to Pensacola, Fla., that was my team. It’s a big deal. It’s really neat.

“Hopefully, the people of West Virginia, they love me and I treat them well and they respect my golf, win or lose.”

Justice had praise for Watson as well.

“Bubba is the real deal; He is a real family man,” Justice said. “Besides that, he has every (golf) shot in the world and then some. And he can handle the pressure.”

The Old White was designed by famed gold course developer Charles Blair MacDonald and opened in 1914. It joined the exclusive TPC network of courses in 2011. A subsidiary of the PGA TOUR, the TPC, or Tournament Players Club, signifies the top courses on the tour. The network, now numbering just 30 courses worldwide, “was founded in order to create and maintain facilities that matched the TOUR’s highest level of quality for tournaments and events,” according to the PGA.

The Old White TPC, one of four courses on The Greenbrier property, is the home of The Greenbrier Classic, a PGA TOUR FedExCup event in its fifth season.