Augusta, GA -
The tents are going up, and the golf carts are coming out. We are less than a week away from Masters and everyone is getting set for the big week. As workers get the greens ready, one local golf store owner is stocking his shelves for his biggest week of the year.
L.D. Waters has been in the business for more than 50 years, selling golf equipment at Bonaventure Discount Golf in Augusta. He opened up shop in 1955 on Highway 1 and has been a golf supply staple in the community ever since. By Monday, he’ll have 50 % more inventory to sell, and he says it will go fast.
The shine of an iron, the swing of a driver.
Hundreds of these clubs are stuffed tightly in this 12,000 square foot store for visitors to scoop up.
“We generally carry about $1 million dollars’ worth of inventory, but during the Masters we get it up to a million and five and you will sell somewhere in the neighborhood of $100,000 during Master’s Week,” said Waters.
His store is booming every April when thousands roll into town to attend the week-long sporting event.
“Naturally the golf equipment would be my biggest thing like clubs, clothes, we sell a lot of clothes like golf shirts, but mainly everyone who comes through here is looking at golf equipment,” said Waters.
Waters said the golf business has changed in the past few years.
“You used to have to buy all your golf equipment at one of the golf stores. Well, about three years ago they started allowing sporting goods stores to start handling their equipment,” said Waters.
The competition does not bother him one bit—he gets calls weeks before the tournament from people out of the country coming into town with a list of items to buy during the tournament.
It’s not only foreign visitors Waters is excited to see, he catches up with friends he sees only once a year and meets the up and coming fans.
“I have people come in that introduce me to a third generation, in fact, I’ve got some as far as five generations,” said Waters.
Waters said he is extending hours, staying open for an additional two hours, until 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday during Masters Week.