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Friday, 25 December 2015

Bubba Golf

It seems Bubba Watson might not be all that comfortable with the limelight; and has even talked of retiring if he reaches number one in the world, or ten wins--which seems to be pretty much a given the way he's been playing.  

Bubba is nothing if not himself.  No one swings remotely like him.  No one is able to curve the modern golf ball the way he can.  His shot out of the pines to beat King Louis at the Masters will be remembered as one of the most audacious, and brilliant, shots ever witnessed at that great tournament.  As a two-time Masters champion, Bubba, whether he likes it or not, is part of perhaps the most elite, and cherished, clubs in golf.  And he will be a lifetime member, whether he retires from the game or not.

Bubba is also a wonderful example of the fact that, in this age of technology and swing instructors, nothing beats a great set of hands.  At the end of the day, golf is still played with your eyes and your hands.  While the modern swing theories tend to try to take the hands out of it to a certain degree, the hands remain your only link to the club, and a person with a good set of hands, and some imagination, can still work some magic with the golf ball.

Sam Snead admonished us not just to hit the ball, but to paint beautiful pictures by playing shots.  As an artist with a golf club in his hands, Bubba certainly paints in bold curving lines.  He is no paint-by-the-numbers player.  He's a Picasso off pine straw.

It seems Bubba learned to shape shots playing with those plastic practice balls with the holes in them. He just learned to make those whiffle balls curve all over the place on demand.  He plays golf like he's playing table tennis, cutting, and chopping, and spinning the ball.  It may not produce consistently great golf, but, when Bubba is inspired, it certainly produces brilliant golf.

Bubba is great for the game.  He reminds us that golf is not about textbook swings.  Golf is about seeing shots, and using your hands to produce them.  Nothing beats a great set of hands when the inspiration is there.