T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.
Garcia, TaylorMade surprise golfers at Bethpage Black
Series: Golf Buzz
Published: Tuesday, July 01, 2014 | 9:28 a.m.
You've seen commercials over the years with star golfers surprising unsuspecting weekend warriors at the local muni over the years -- whether it was the old Tiger Woods/Buick commercials, Phil Mickelson/Ford, or the newer Tom Watson/MasterCard commercials.
Well, the folks at TaylorMade stepped it up a bit. They visited the mother of all munis -- Bethpage Black in New York, site of two past U.S. Opens, as well as a future Ryder Cup and PGA Championship.
TaylorMade also brought along one of its star endorsers -- Sergio Garcia.
During the stunt, Garcia shows up on a crowded Bethpage driving range and then announces he and TaylorMade have a gift for all the golfers there -- a fitting for a free SLDR S driver.
It didn't stop there. As golfers made their way to the first tee just below the famous Bethpage Black sign that reads: "WARNING -- The Black Course is an extremely difficult course which we recommend only for highly skilled golfers" -- they were met by a gallery, standard bearers, Golf Channel's Tripp Isenhour on the mic to announce each player for the full on PGA Tour Experience.
As you'll see below, the fans were blown away.
It also looks like Garcia built up some good will with the fans at Bethpage. In 2002, he was heckled relentlessly for excessive waggles before he hit each shot. Fans were literally counting the number of waggles before Garcia pulled the trigger.