Sweet tea dunking booth gives 2024 LIV Golf Nashville event a southern flavor

COLLEGE GROVE, Tenn. — Melissa Rowe checked the forecast then checked the work assignments for the LIV Golf Nashville event at The Grove on Friday.

There appeared to be only one way to keep her cool and that’s why Rowe, a Murfreesboro resident, signed up for the Sweet Tea Dunking Booth.

Rowe spent Friday, the first round of the event in the sweltering heat, perched on a seat in a giant Red Solo Cup under a big umbrella being dropped into a huge vat of sweet tea every time a contestant was able to hit a target by tossing a football.

The sweet tea gave a special southern twist to the inaugural LIV Golf event near Franklin.

“It’s absolutely refreshing,” Rowe said. “The tea is staying cool because we’re under this umbrella. It’s not sticky like people might think. It feels great.”

Long before the event began with a shotgun start at 12:15 p.m., Rowe said she had already been dunked too many times to count.

“The longest I’ve gone without being dunked is probably about two minutes,” she said.

Lexi Reiter, 26, a Franklin resident, attempted three times to send Rowe into the drink narrowly missing the target each time. She was desperate.

“I heard you win a fan if you dunk her,” Reiter said.

Reiter asked her boyfriend Matt Taft, 27, a former college football player, to give it a try and on his second attempt he nailed the target.

“After the first time, once I felt the balls weren’t real footballs, they’re foam, I was like, “I know how this is going to go,'” said Taft, who played football at Stetson. “It was more of a flick of the wrist.”

Taft played running back at Stetson and said there were trick plays designed where he would throw the ball from time-to-time.

Unfortunately for Reiter, there was no fan for a prize.

“Well, it was still fun seeing (Rowe) go into the tea,” Reiter said. “We’ll just have to find another way to stay cool.”

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek