A lesson in winning golf from Bubba Watson


“What I say goes. I’m hitting shots that I want to hit. I’m doing the things that I want to do. I play it my way.”Bubba Watson

By Ian Hardie

As you will no doubt be aware by now – the 2014 Masters Tournament at Augusta

Was won for the second time in the last three years by a guy called Gerry Lester Watson, Jr

A golfer that you and virtually everyone else in the world – simply knows as “Bubba”

Best known for his prodigious length with all of his golf clubs, not just from the tee

Bubba routinely pounds out drives in excess of 300 yards during nearly every round he plays

His longest drive in professional competition on the PGA Tour was some years ago

A mere 442 yards or 404 metres at the 2006 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational!

During the last round of the 2014 Masters Tournament on the 510 yard 13th hole at Augusta

He drove the ball straight over the trees on the corner of the dog leg left hole

The drive measured 366 yards – leaving him a sand iron shot to the green for his second!

Now you might be thinking that the lesson that I was going to highlight from Bubba’s wins

Would be something like ‘How to drive the golf ball as far as you possibly can

But it’s not and in fact originally I was going to call this post something completely different

Because even though all that most people saw Bubba doing was driving the ball a long way

I noticed something interesting about both his Masters wins

Something that can help all golfers lower their scores, not just long hitters

‘How can one of golf’s longest hitters help someone who isn’t a long hitter?’ - I hear you think

In both of his Masters wins – Bubba Watson’s average scores for the par 3’s at Augusta

Has been under par during each tournament

For his first win in 2012 he had the best average of any player in the field – 2.75

That meant that he was 4 under par for the 16 par 3’s he played during the tournament

For his second win in 2014 he had the second best average of any player in the field – 2.93

That translates in real terms to playing the tough par 3’s at Augusta in 47 shots

Which was 1 under par for the 16 par 3’s he played during the tournament

Contrast that performance on the par 3’s to the 2013 Master’s winner Adam Scott

Who in 2014 finished tied for 14th place and we will see that he played the par 3’s in 51 shots

Which was 3 over par for the same 16 holes

What can we take from all this?

Next time you watch Bubba play golf on television (it’s ok to watch a little)

As well as enjoying the show that his great shot making and length from the tee provides

Take a bit of time to watch a truly great player at work

When he gets onto the tee of a par 3 hole

See if you can work out what he is doing differently to you when he’s playing a par 3 hole

I’m going to leave you to think about that for a bit before I give you my thoughts

On why he plays the par 3’s on a golf course better than almost anyone else

In the meantime, if you get a few minutes to practice your golf

Spend it working out how to play the par 3’s better

You will be surprised at how much that can improve your scores

Play well


Related Posts

A helpful chipping tip from Phil Mickelson

A lesson in ‘real’ golf from Jim Furyk

A quick chipping tip from Seve Ballesteros

A lesson in improvisation from Kenny Perry