Why People Love Bubba Watson

Here is why people love Bubba Watson –

People (not just “chicks”) dig the long ball – he is longer than long.  Check out his play on the crucial 18th at the Masters, once to earn the playoff, once to win the playoff – driver through the claustrophobic tunnel referred to as the “fairway,” and  sand wedge, where others hit middle irons.    Bubba leads the Tour in driving distance almost every year, by a modest margin, but the margin gets way bigger whenever he wants to go  really long.

Hits the same shots we all hit – big slices, big hooks, low balls, high balls, shots from the trees, whatever.  It’s just that, unlike the rest of us, he hits them on purpose.  Unlike the other pros, who mostly hit just one shot (typically, a high fade), he hits whatever feels right to him, but the only thing that never feels right to him is a straight ball.   His game is a carnival of funny looking shots, and we all love to watch it – even Tiger says he would rather play practice rounds with Bubba than with anyone else, just because Bubba is so much fun to watch.

Has never taken a golf lesson or seen his swing on video.  Hits every shot based on feel, not on  research or thousands of hours of drills and tweaks.  Does not have a swing coach, a fitness coach, a mental coach, or a wardrobe coach.

Is not insecure about his masculinity.  Cries in public about anything –  illness of his father, adoption of his first child, having a chance to win a tournament, buying a new car, whatever.  Wears pink in public – pink shirts, pink hats, a pink driver for goodness sake.

Does not appear to have a single muscle in his entire body.  Tall, lean, maybe a bit ‘wiry’ strong, but definitely did not spend long hours trying to look like a strong safety (or a middle linebacker) like Tiger and all the Tiger wannabees.   Clearly, he is super-long because he is good, not because he bought his swing in a gym.  (Remember back when Tiger was a skinny young guy who outdrove everyone by 15 yards and won the Masters by 12 strokes? Notice that he is now a pumped-up blimp who is injured more than he is healthy and would struggle to outdrive anyone by 15 yards other than Luke Donald or Yani Tseng?)

Plays to win.  Unlike most of his fellow tour players,  who mostly play to maximize earnings by scoring top-10s.  Like Phil (who is also loved, for the same reason).  Takes big risks when the game is on the line – will take a hard swing at a driver on a narrow hole, play giant hook shots from the woods in order to reach the green, etc..   Hits an important tee shot into deep trouble on one of the final holes of the Masters, but instead of throwing a club or a tantrum, tells his caddie, it was a little off line but I really ripped it!  Clearly, he loves the game, loves to win, is temporarily down when he fails, then moves on.    And his name is Bubba.   What’s not to like?

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