PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL (WFLX) - The weather was gloomy but inside the Oakley Village tent, it was all smiles during The Honda Classic. "I've never met so many nice people," said Wayne Pasik with Classic Sports Catering. "It's fun, and everyone is having fun."
Yes, it seems as though The Honda Classic has a happy effect on folks all excited to see their favorite athletes -- standing just feet away. "In football, they have helmets on; you're 40 rows up. Here, you're right by the action," said Brent Reed.
It was the first year for Oakley to sponsor a hospitality tent situated right on the 17th green. "Golf is the fastest growing aspect of our business, and we have a product that's called G30," explained Matt Panegasser, Regional Channel Sales Manager for Oakley. "It's a golf specific lens. It's really designed to enhance the color green and contour and help golfers out on the golf course."
Some of the golfers are already wearing them during the tournament. "We've got Ricky Barnes, Brendan Steele. Most recently, we've signed a few players, like Bubba Watson, Zack Johnson, and one of our staples has always been Ian Poulter."
It was a weekend of big names at PGA National Resort and Spa thus attracting thousands of spectators from around the country, including Jane and Renee from Albuquerque, New Mexico. "I've been coming here for three years. My parents live here, and I just enjoy the tournament."
Another family traveled down from Boston. "We were here last time, and we really enjoyed it. And we thought we'd come again and see all the big names. We are a little bit disappointed that Rory isn't going to be playing. But we are looking forward to seeing Tiger."
Of course, "The Tiger Effect" – causing a major surge in ticket sales. "To put it this way, we didn't have any structure past this point when we started in 2007, and our Bear Trap was about 6,000 square feet, and it's topped out at 14,000 square feet this year. We had a 20 percent larger build overall on the golf course," said Director of Operations Brent Waugh.
Waugh and the rest of his team with the tourament are already looking ahead to 2014 promising another exciting Honda Classic.