Hitting the Links in Luxury
Steps from your favorite fairway is a luxury home designed by our own team of creative and knowledgeable engineers and designers – your oasis forged from the world’s highest quality materials and handcrafted into something truly remarkable. Pros and novices alike have found they have a meaner swing, more fun and perhaps even more impressive stats when they have the comforts of home with them around the green or wherever they find themselves.
“I never really considered getting an RV until a few years ago,” said professional golfer and Marathon coach owner Bubba Watson. “Wish I had done it sooner. It is so much nicer than I imagined. I used to worry if my hotel room would have a comfortable bed or a funny smell. Not anymore. With my RV, I know exactly what to expect at every tournament, and it is really nice. It’s easy to see why so many people think of RVs as their home away from home, but like a lot of people I didn’t really understand until I gave it a try.”
Although Marathon Sales Representative Kasey Hess sold Bubba his new Marathon, it was Lee Pharris, owner of Pros Home on Tour, who introduced him, and plenty of other pro golfers, to the benefits of the luxury RV lifestyle.
Lee first convinced Bubba and his family to stay at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort during the Arnold Palmer International. “They stayed in a bus for the week,” said Lee, “and they absolutely loved it. It was brand new. He ended up buying that exact bus two weeks later.”
Lee got his start in the luxury motorcoach lifestyle some time ago working the Nashville music scene. “I lived it,” said Lee. “I experienced the lifestyle for many years riding down the road and sleeping in the back of the bus as a tour manager and a road manager, and then I spent years being in front of the bus actually driving the thing – so I’ve seen it from both perspectives.”
It was also through the country music scene that Lee became acquainted with golf – specifically through Joe Don Rooney of Rascal Flatts. “With Joe Don introducing me to golf, I just fell in love with it,” said Lee. “About five years ago, Joe Don and I were sitting there talking at the clubhouse area of The Masters through his connections, and it just dawned on me – players are like entertainers. They live a similar lifestyle, being out on the road all the time. I turned to Joe Don and asked, ‘Why don’t these guys do the bus and motorhome thing like entertainers do?’ And that’s where the idea started.”
Lee recognized that professional golfers were on the road 20-25 weeks per year for tournaments, dragging their luggage from town to town, packing, unpacking and packing again.
“My whole selling point with delivering luxury on-site tour accommodations,” said Lee, “was so players could have a greater sense of stability and a home life – not living out of a suitcase all the time. By getting a motorhome and living on the road that way, as opposed to the hotel all the time, they have everything they want there. It’s their home.”
Relating to his days as a road and tour manager, Lee sets up compounds, much like he did for Rascal Flatts, in various configurations: one example – entertainment bays facing inside, chef’s truck in middle and a mini dog park.
“My idea with this business was to bring the bus world as I knew it to the golf world,” said Lee. “I wanted to bring that service end of it to the players. There was no mechanism in place for someone to manage and maintain all of that for them. My idea was kind of an offshoot of my road managing world – always taking care of the artist – so I wanted to relate that to always taking care of the player.”
Not surprisingly, the service was a hit.
“I remember Bubba, early on, was going on about how he loved it,” said Lee. “I saw him one time when he’d just flown private in; he only had a backpack and clubs. I asked, ‘You got anything else?’ He said, ‘No, man, this is all I need; everything else I need is on the bus.’”
Although familiar with the PGA, as well as Bubba’s salesperson, Marathon Sales Representative Kasey Hess is actually new to golf, embracing the game only after numerous invitations from clients. Preferring the outdoors to indoors, he continues to play for the great views and the epic challenges.
“I had a lot of our coach owners ask me to join them for a round while at an RV resort,” said Kasey, “so I began to take lessons. There are some beautiful golf courses near many of the luxury RV resorts that we frequent. This allows you to see some beautiful places and resorts and brings you close to world-class golf courses and country clubs. As I have worked with more and more professional golfers, I have seen how it really enhances their lives on the road. They find themselves in a different city several weeks a year and normally rent a house or stay in a hotel. The professionals who have adopted the motorcoach lifestyle are able to stay near the course, bring their families along and basically take their home with them. No need to pack and unpack a suitcase, worry about the bed or lodging conditions. It gives them a sense of normalcy and consistency week to week.”
Bubba isn’t the only pro with a Marathon coach. “Tim Petrovic, who plays on the senior tour, has had a Marathon for 13 years,” said Marathon Coach Texas Sales Representative Dennis McBride. “In our conversations, he’s shared that one reason he loves his Marathon is because he can travel to tournaments with his wife and kids and enjoy complete privacy. Of course, it also allows him the flexibility of making his own traveling arrangements when it comes to vocation and advocation.”
Marathon Coach Texas may soon see more professional golfers and golf enthusiasts than ever before as the PGA Frisco project is currently under construction. Only 45 minutes from Marathon’s Texas location, this $520 million mixed-use development will serve as PGA of America headquarters and the Northern Texas PGA headquarters. Located on 660 acres, it’s slated to have two championship golf courses, a 10-hole short course, a 100,000-square-foot putting course and an Omni Hotel and Resort, with another 2,500 acres slated for future development.
“The PGA Frisco project is coming along nicely,” said Dennis. “They are still projected to open in the summer of 2022. They’re currently working on the courses and building a huge clubhouse. It’s going to be awesome. It is going to bring the world’s top golfers to our area, not to mention the world-class practice facilities.”
Dennis started playing golf in his mid-thirties after accepting an invitation from a friend. As soon as he hit his first good shot, he was hooked. “There’s so much I love about the game,” said Dennis. “It’s something that can be played at any age. Plus, there’s being outdoors, smelling the fresh air and seeing some absolutely beautiful parts of the country. However, the true gift of the sport, in my opinion, is the variety of people I meet – and of course, the rush I get when I hit that perfect shot. One of the reasons I love working with Marathon is that it allows our clients to travel the country and play all the beautiful courses in absolute comfort. Being able to store your clubs in the storage bays, which take up a lot of space, is also helpful.”
Of course, aside from all the storage for those clubs, golf clothes, snacks and more, there’s the added convenience of having your entire home steps from your favorite fairway, providing large screen TVs to watch any televised action, as well as the ability to have the celebratory champagne chilled to just the right temperature. Perhaps even better than all of that is that it’s the perfect oasis for when things don’t go quite as planned, whether that’s due to unexpected storms, illness or something else.
Whether playing golf is your daily enterprise or your escape from the usual routine, Marathon Coach, the world’s largest luxury bus converter both in number produced and facility size, knows that comfort and convenience mean more than what you see on the surface – that’s why you can always count on our superior engineering and exceptional craftsmanship.
Wherever the game, or life, takes you, we’ll be there.