Pro golfers often have the reputation of being distinguished gentlemen of high society, playing events at the most beautiful and exclusive courses in the world, but there is a group of young golfers bucking that trend, including the newest Masters champion Bubba Watson. The name Bubba would suggest that he is a fun loving southern boy and that is exactly how Watson has been during his nine years as a professional golfer.
It is the mindset of most parents these days that to give their kids a chance of playing professional sports they need to hire the best coaches and start at a young age but that was not the case in the Watson house. Gerry Lester Watson, Sr. taught his son, Gerry Lester Watson Jr., (Bubba) how to hold a golf club then natural ability took over. With no professional lesions Bubba made his high school golf team at Milton High School. The Milton team also had Heath Slocum and Boo Weekley who are also currently on the PGA tour with Bubba.
In college Bubba earned Junior College All-American honors at Faulkner State Community College before transferring to the University of Georgia where he helped the Bulldogs win the South Eastern Conference Championship in 2000.
Bubba started his pro career in 2003 competing on the Nationwide Tour for three years before he qualified for the PGA Tour in 2006. Since joining the PGA Bubba has continued to work but he have a lot of fun which has made him a favorite among fans and fellow players.
From the start Bubba has been one of the longest drivers in the game averaging 319.6 yards in his first year with the PGA. His longest professional drive was a monstrous 422 yard drive he hit on the Nationwide Tour. The long drives come with a little extra flair as he has always used a bright pink shaft on his driver and is now using a pink head to raise money from Ping for his charity.
Also separating him from other players has been Bubba’s sensitive side which he got from his dad. Bubba broke down in tears after dedicating his first PGA Tour win to his parents and more specifically to his father who could not attend the tournament because of his battle with cancer. Bubba lost his father a few months later but it helped him put golf in perspective.
During the final round Sunday Bubba worked his way into a sudden death playoff at the Masters with Louis Oosthuizen. This was Bubba’s second playoff at a Major Championship the first time coming at the PGA Championship where he came up one shot short of a win. After tying the first playoff hole both players hit errant tee shots to start the second. Bubba was deep in the woods but hit an absolutely amazing second shot onto the green to set him up for the win where he broke down in tears as he was congratulated by his caddy, his mother and friends.
Winning the Masters was a great accomplishment for Bubba and now his popularity among fans is bound to grow even more as he continues to do the things that have made him the likeable athlete he is. Bubba will still have fun with wife Angie and their newly adopted son Caleb. He will continue to wear camouflage pants, drive the General Lee 1 he bought at auction and sing with his fellow pros in their boy band “Golf Boys” only now sporting a slick green Jacket.
For more photos of Bubba Watson check out Newscom.
You may also be interested in these other posts on FocalPoint: