Inside the BMW Championship merch tent: Bubba Watson socks and Medinah swag

  • Bubba Watson fans can buy a pair of $17.99 socks with his likeness, one of the more offbeat items in the BMW Championship merchandise tent.

      Bubba Watson fans can buy a pair of $17.99 socks with his likeness, one of the more offbeat items in the BMW Championship merchandise tent. Katlyn Smith | Staff Photographer

  • A painting of Medinah's clubhouse is featured front and center in the BMW Championship merchandise tent. The artist, Cassy Tully, will be signing reprints throughout tournament week.

      A painting of Medinah's clubhouse is featured front and center in the BMW Championship merchandise tent. The artist, Cassy Tully, will be signing reprints throughout tournament week. Katlyn Smith | Staff Photographer

  • The BMW Championship merchandise tent at Medinah caters to young golfers.

      The BMW Championship merchandise tent at Medinah caters to young golfers. Katlyn Smith | Staff Photographer

  • Products in the merchandise tent feature both the championship and Medinah logos.

      Products in the merchandise tent feature both the championship and Medinah logos. Katlyn Smith | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 8/12/2019 8:12 PM

Oh, the irony: Bubba Watson won't be at the BMW Championship at Medinah this week, but his crew socks will.

There's already off-the-green drama leading up to the second stage of the FedExCup Playoffs, with fireworks over Bryson DeChambeau's pace of play and questions over Tiger Woods, his strained oblique muscle and sometimes balky back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

But we're here to give you a moment of levity, an inside scoop on BMW swag and one of the most essential golf accessories: silly socks. And there's nothing sillier than a pair of socks that bear such a likeness to Watson you'll be doing a double take inside the BMW Championship merchandise tent.

The cheek mole is there. The pink driver. His long, brown mane. Thankfully, the socks don't depict Watson's "grizzly bear" chest hair, to borrow an accurate quote from Phil Mickelson.

So while you can't see Watson blast it off the tee at Medinah because he finished outside the top 70 in the FedExCup standings, you can purchase his light cushion socks for $17.99, along with other pairs made by Stance, a California label that incidentally just released a Quentin Tarantino collection. Watson became a brand ambassador in 2016.

The BMW Championship merchandise tent, conveniently located steps from Medinah's grand clubhouse, also caters to the more conservative dressers on the golf course, as well as the artistically inclined. And with roughly 8,000 square feet, the tent can accommodate the rush of shoppers expected around the marquee tee times.

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"We have hundreds of items, so everything from apparel to accessories, fun souvenir items like autograph golf balls, towels, so fans are going to have a great selection," said Sally White, merchandise director at the Western Golf Association.

Featured front and center is an original masterpiece by Milwaukee artist Cassy Tully, who painted Medinah's 1920s-era clubhouse in her trademark relief style.

"There's a 3-D element to her paintings, and she's actually incorporated some sand from Medinah's golf course," White said.

Tully's artwork has been displayed at Whistling Straits, among other prestigious venues, and she'll be discussing her career alongside her Medinah painting in the tent throughout the tournament week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The original painting and its $18,000 price tag will appeal most to Medinah members. But a $24.99 print makes for a nice souvenir from Medinah, a club with a storied history of hosting major championships.

Tully also will be signing prints and personalizing her hand-painted Christmas ornaments showing the clubhouse.

One of the most popular items so far is an $11.99 commemorative coin with the championship and course logos and yardages for all 18 holes at Medinah, White said.

For kids, $14.99 rubber golf balls have plenty of surface area for autographs.

As for apparel, the tent carries major athletic brands -- FootJoy, Under Armour, Adidas -- and devotes just as much space to women's clothing as the men's gear. Some men's polos with the championship logo retail for $68.99, while women's polos go for $54.99.

"We're finding that ladies really love the layering pieces and things that are a little bit more athleisure," White said.

Proceeds from merchandise sales and the tournament support the Evans Scholars Foundation, a Western Golf Association charity that provides full college tuition and housing scholarships to caddies in financial need. Shoppers also can make a $1, $5 or $10 donation to the foundation at checkout.

Besides Bubba's socks, the backdrop of the putting green will entice shoppers to the air-conditioned tent.

"To be right next to the clubhouse and have a view of the putting green as people are checking out is unheard of," White said.

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