By Larry Canning
IS anyone else in a complete state of confusion with Bubba Watson?
I have two distinctly different views on the left handed golfing genius and I just can’t figure out which one is right. I know I’m not bipolar or anything … just the other day I was discussing this with myself and we both agreed I wasn’t. It seems the dual Masters Champ is the perfectly balanced dichotomy.
I don’t know whether I want to take Bubba down to my home club, play nine holes then buy him about 15 beers … or put him over my knee and slap his spoilt backside.
Watson plays the golf like no-one I have ever seen. And at my age, I’ve seen a few. His swing is totally self-taught with movements that often defy physics, however he has more club head awareness than Nicklaus, Woods and Hogan put together. Bub see’s shots no-one sees and most times pulls them off but If it goes wrong, his ball can finish up in places no human has been. For me, this makes him the gutsiest and most watchable golfer currently on the Earth.
With his extraordinary power, he could easily throttle back more often, like he did on the 18th tee when he smoothed a 5 wood up the middle to make sure of the hard earned victory. More times than not though he will play insane, risk reward shots similar to that on the par five 15th where instead of punching his ball down short of the water to protect his three shot lead.
On the other side of the coin is his spoilt brat attitude towards his colleagues and friends when things aren’t going all his way. The way Watson spoke to his caddy, Ted Scott during last year’s Travellers Championship when the volatile lefthander drowned his tee shot on the 16th then hit his next shot over the back was nothing short of disgraceful. “There’s just no reason for you to show up” was his final insult when facing a one foot putt for a triple bogey.
We only heard this because it was being captured on a TV microphone but you can constantly see him whining away directly at his unfortunate looper when an iron shot is either short or long or right after he misses a putt. Watson was also heard giving Steve Elkington an absolute gob full a couple of years ago when he accused the former US PGA Champ of moving when he was trying to hit. He followed this up with a reference to all older respected tour players by saying “Tell you what man….veterans can kiss my arse!”
One part of me wants to turn the other way and watch another group when I see him loading up on his caddy but the side of my brain doesn’t want to miss the next spectacularly courageous shot, I know I won’t see anywhere else.
What is an old pro to do?… or not to do?