April 18, 2006

'Swing Hard, Find the Ball, Hit It Again': Bubba Watson, a 27-year-old rookie on the PGA Tour, hasn't won a tournament since college, avoids practice, won't exercise and says he'll quit the game before he ever takes a lesson. Tiger Woods calls him the "future of golf."

posted by rcade to golf at 08:37 AM - 24 comments

I'd say the reason he's a "self-described redneck" is no one else will call him that. No NASCAR maybe, but no beer?

posted by yerfatma at 09:21 AM on April 18

"About halfway to the hole, he said, 'Bones, take that out of the hole,' and it went in," Watson said. "That was my first taste of Phil." Make the visions stop!

posted by JJ at 09:23 AM on April 18

I saw a little bit of this guy earlier in the season. Fun to watch, but at some point he's got to hit more fairways.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:27 AM on April 18

Like you wouldn't remove your pin to let Mickelson's ball drop in your hole. Please.

posted by smg at 09:37 AM on April 18

Also, this kid probably doesn't care about missing fairways at this point because as long as he doesn't miss one with a bad slice or snap hook he's a few yards in the rough and can still hit the green with a short iron. Obviously missing 50-60% of all fairways will catch up with you, but he's clearly got some all around game to make up for some arrant tee shots. And I'm not comfortable with him calling himself a redneck either. I mean if he doesn't tank Budweiser's, work on his own cars, fish for crappies and smoke Marlboro reds, he isn't a redneck. I think those are standard prereqs.

posted by smg at 09:46 AM on April 18

Fairways are completely over-rated. Nobody ever won a golf tournament by virtue of hitting fairways.

posted by JJ at 09:58 AM on April 18

Since when are the admission standards so high for being considered a redneck? The guy's named Bubba. He's from Bagdad, Florida. He has that haircut. He don't cotton to no fancy book-larnin'. If the neck fits ...

posted by rcade at 10:19 AM on April 18

Your'e right, JJ. Even though he's not hitting many fairways, he's 8th on tour in GIR. Obviously, fairways are more important on some courses than others, but 8th on tour is pretty impressive. This guy's gotta have some ability. It's only a matter of time before he wins. Dude can freakin' bomb it!

posted by Desert Dog at 10:29 AM on April 18

I love it! This just might be better than Happy Gilmore. Although I doubt Bubba will be scrappin' with Bob Barker anytime soon.

posted by willthrill72 at 10:51 AM on April 18

JJ, are you saying he could continue to hit 43% of his fairways and be a consistent winner on the Tour?

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:57 AM on April 18

This guy's gotta have some ability. I was most impressed by his completion of an entire tournament without a single bogey. That puts him in an entirely different category than a bomber like John Daly. He already has two top-four finishes in his first eight events this year.

posted by rcade at 11:06 AM on April 18

Had to check dateline one this one, vision of Sid Finch and all. As far as hitting fairways, heck anyone can shoot par from the short grass.

posted by elovrich at 11:23 AM on April 18

If he can play, he'll last. If not, see ya. Ask 80% of the PGA Tour.

posted by rukidng at 11:25 AM on April 18

I have to admit, never heard of him till now. Obviously loaded with a lot of raw talent. Oh! sounds like a wanna be Redneck. I'll have to keep track of him.

posted by livedawhile at 11:33 AM on April 18

Me? I didn't say anything other than some wrong shit about Phil and some vague Yoda-style nonsense about fairways not being the path to winning. He hasn't won yet, so I'm not going to say anything about him winning consistently. All I was driving at [see what I did there?] was that while you can certianly lose a tournament by spraying it all over the course, you can't win one just by keeping it in the fairway all day. Given the choice, I'd rather be hitting wedge from 90 yards in the knee-high grass than a five iron from the middle of the fairway. But that's just me, and I've always played that way - I was only ever good at two things - hitting it miles off the tee and then holing ridiculous putts for par after I'd finally extracted myself from the trouble I'd hit it miles into. I haven't seen him play, but I'd like to see the swing. As rcade just pointed out, a hundred holes without a bogey is pretty impressive, and he's hitting lots of greens. Put it this way; Tiger is winning plenty this year, and he's only hitting 56.5% of the fairways (and is ranked 138th compared to Watson's 181st). That said, I doubt I'll be backing Watson to win at Winged Foot. On preview - what rukidng said. Could that be the most eloquent, concise and to the point post ever posted?

posted by JJ at 11:41 AM on April 18


posted by yerfatma at 11:50 AM on April 18

Great article...he sounds like a kid to watch for, and to root for. Plus I like his Dad's advice. Similar to what a friend of mine always says "If you don't know where the ball's gonna go, might as well hit it hard"

posted by vito90 at 12:08 PM on April 18

JJ, take a look at rcade's link to his season thus far. You'd know the style of play on these courses better than I -- is Tuscon so wide-open that Watson could just swing for the fences and then play it from wherever? He was -11 on the Par 5s there. And at Doral and in the Buick, are those courses particularly narrow or punishing beyond the first cut? He didn't play nearly as well on the par 5s in those tournaments. I guess I buy your point about hitting sand wedge vs. 5-iron, but I would only think it would hold in places where you wouldn't be absolutely buried when you missed the fairway. I mean, would you prefer a wedge from the deep rough or a 5-iron from the fairway on The Old Course?

posted by wfrazerjr at 12:19 PM on April 18

Besides, who wants to be in the fairway anyway. That makes the game way too easy. I prefer to play from the woods, desert and/or water. Makes the game more challenging LOL.

posted by Desert Dog at 12:55 PM on April 18

You can miss the fairways and hit the greens, but if you don't lower that putts per round it will catch up with you.

posted by cocco at 01:12 PM on April 18

I'm most impressed that he's comfortable enough to use the hot pink Aldila NV shaft. That's a sweet look that I don't think most guys could pull off. is Tuscon so wide-open that Watson could just swing for the fences and then play it from wherever? That's very likely, especially in a desert layout where you can play desert areas as lateral hazards. Not sure if that's true at Tuscon though.

posted by YukonGold at 02:08 PM on April 18

Yukon, that was like the first thing I did after the mohawk in my last Tiger golf game. Whaddya got against a pink shaft, sweetie?

posted by yerfatma at 05:01 PM on April 18

I don't know Tucson too well, but Phil won there as an amateur and as a pro, so obviously it suits a slogger (then again, I think Sluman has won there too, so slogging isn't necessarily the only way to take it on). Doral used to be called the Blue Monster, but I thought that was because it was just looooooooooooong (and relatively speaking isn't anymore). ... I would only think it would hold in places where you wouldn't be absolutely buried when you missed the fairway... I've always been split on this - if you're a dead cert to put your 3 wood or your 1 iron in the fairway, then fine, but mostly I found the best approach on really tight nasty courses was to beat the living daylights out of it off the tee. My logic was that I was just as likely to miss the fairway with a 3 wood as I was with a driver (or with a gentle driver), so better to be up to my neck in the Bundhu from 90 yards than from 150. That's more a failing on my part though for never learning a shot that got me in the fairway on a regular basis. As for the Old Course - there isn't much heavy rough there, but you do run the risk of hitting it exactly where you wanted to, exactly as hard as you wanted to, and then arriving at your ball only to find it has run into something that looks a bit like this. Is it just me, or has every golf thread recently degenerated into a double entendre-fest about Yerfatma's extra stiff, pink shaft being waggled over his dimpled balls?

posted by JJ at 04:26 AM on April 19

has every golf thread recently degenerated into a double entendre-fest about Yerfatma's extra stiff, pink shaft being waggled over his dimpled balls? Wouldn't have it any other way.

posted by YukonGold at 09:59 AM on April 19

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.