Bubba Watson made history last week, becoming the first player to put a pink-coloured golf ball into play in PGA TOUR history.
Watson, who is no stranger to making bold, colourful choices on the course (he is known for playing a pink PING driver), debuted his colourful Volvik S4 golf ball at last month’s SBS Tournament of Champions in Hawaii, following his signing of a multi-year deal with Volvik to play and endorse the company’s line of extreme performance golf balls.
Unlike many player-manufacturer relationships on the PGA Tour, the Watson/Volvik deal is unique in that Watson initiated the conversation, having seen the balls being used in the World Long Driving Championships.
“For me, at first, the colours Volvik offered in a high-performance golf ball intrigued me,” said Watson. “We are trying to make the game more fun and looking at how we are going to help grow the game. And then in my testing, to find such a high-quality performance golf ball really showed me I was onto something. Once I started hitting the ball and I saw what I could do with it, I became very interested. It did everything I wanted it to do: go high, go low, curve, spin and have distance at the same time. This has worked out very nicely in both the growing the game aspect and in the performance of my own game.”
As part of the deal, Watson will play three different colour Volvik golf balls, starting with their pink, pearl blue/white and green versions of their S4 4-piece, 105-compression golf ball.
“Bubba Watson is a world-class player and champion of our sport, a top 10 player in the world that has an extraordinary appeal that attracts a huge fan base,” said Volvik USA President Don Shin. “His choice to represent Volvik on the PGA TOUR is the biggest news in our 36-year history of manufacturing and selling golf balls. This signing is not only important and extremely exciting for us because it validates our position as world leaders in golf ball innovation at the very highest level, but it is also equally exciting for golf in general as we feel expanding colours onto the PGA TOUR will help grow the game in new and exciting ways and will lead to a new future for the game to have such a charismatic, talented and extremely long hitting ambassador on Team Volvik hitting different colour golf balls on the world’s biggest stage.”
Watson is among the longest drivers on the PGA TOUR. In 2016, he posted an average drive of 310.6 yards, ranking him 4th in driving distance on the PGA TOUR. Watson is capable of generating ball speed up to 195 MPH, making him the perfect fit for Volvik’s 105-compression S4, one of the few available balls in golf with that high of a compression.
“We had a special new colour of pink made up just for Bubba in our S4 golf ball,” said National Director of Sales and Marketing for Volvik USA Jon Claffey. “It has been USGA approved and is currently in production to bring in to sell to the consumer. The green S4 he has requested should be ready by the Waste Management Phoenix Open. We are forming a pre-order list for anyone interested in playing the same exact ball that Bubba is playing.”
Watson is joining a professional staff that has had significant success on their respective professional tours. Volvik has experienced more colour golf balls in play on the world’s professional tours than any other manufacturer in the history of golf with over 900 instances of different colour golf balls being put into play with five different colours.
Volvik is one of the most played golf ball manufacturers on the LPGA Tour over the past four seasons. Their staff players have won three LPGA Tour events with different colours, including the first and second ever orange golf ball victories in the history of the LPGA Tour. Volvik have been in play in 29 different PGA TOUR events by staff player Tim Petrovic over the past three seasons. Petrovic earned a 2nd place finish on the PGA TOUR with a Volvik ball in 2015 at the Puerto Rico Open. Petrovic will continue to play orange and yellow Volvik golf balls on both the PGA TOUR and Champions Tour in 2017.