This is my second blog about golfers that you will see in action if you check out any of the Master’s tournament in Augusta, GA. Today, we will dig in to the story of Bubba Watson, one of the most popular players on the PGA tour, He is known for being self-taught, and for his incredible driving. That is, he is known for his long shots off the tees, the look of his drivers (the famous pink shafts) and what he drives (he owns the original “General Lee” car from the Dukes of Hazard)
To explain why I am a fan of Bubba Watson, I’ve got a funny story to share about my first ever experience with Golf. I took a golf class in college, because I wanted to try golf out and see if I liked it. There are few things that are less elegant than a beginning golfer taking his/her first hacks at the little dimpled ball. I was as unelegant as they come. My shots, if they would get in the air at all, would have a vicious slice to them. So I thought, like all beginning golfers do, that it must be something wrong with my golf club! (Couldn’t possibly be the golfer could it – I mean I’ve been honing these skills for a full 8 minutes!) So I did what made the most sense. I took my loaner 5 iron back to the rack and perused the selection for the club that would carry out it’s task of hitting the ball straight. Well, the only clubs left were left handed, and the one that I returned was a righty. “Well”, I thought, “It’s not going to be a worse result!” so I grabbed the cleanest lefty club and went back to my spot. And I found that I was correct. My shots were traveling significantly straighter. So from that point on, I became a left-handed golfer (except on the green – for some reason I have more success from the right side – must be all that ambidextrous mini golf training from my younger days)
Anyway, that is a long story to let you know that I take notice and appreciate all the lefties that I see on the PGA tour. (and there are really not that many of them). Bubba Watson, though, is a lefty, and as I looked into his story, I came to find out that we have some more things in common too. We are both competitive, and if we are not cautious, that competitiveness can result in frustration that shows itself through tantrums. Here is a story from CBN about Bubba Watson and his tantrums that got so intense that his caddy vowed to quit if they continued. For more detail on their conversation you can check out this article by Bruce Berlet found at snegolfer.com.
This part of Bubba’s story resonated with me because I know that I have battled being uber-competitive in my life. I remember countless times when I would get frustrated and flip out in a small (or occasionally bigger than small) tantrum. One difference was that most of my play involved pick up games or church league games – not professional vocational competition. As I write this, I remember a friend of my on a church softball team kinda calling me out for my attitude and behavior. I didn’t receive it very well. I dismissed it and continued to do the same things. It is only here and now, reading this article, that I wish I had been able to take his advice and reign in my physical displays of frustration. It would have made me a more pleasant teammate to be around. Have any of you noticed how important perspective is to things that are troubling us. Shanking a tee shot on the 2nd hole is not a serious issue. Popping out the pitcher with the bases loaded in a church-league softball game is not a serious issue. Good friends can help us gain perspective – and sometimes it requires hard intervention. Thankfully, Watson listened to the advice offered to him by his caddy.
And that caddy, Teddy Scott, had another special place in the life of Bubba Watson. Check out this story from Bubba Watson’s website about the part Teddy played in Bubba’s father coming to Christ. He wrote a letter to Bubba’s dad, Gerry, who was battling cancer and was not a believer in Christ. Through the letter and the faith-sharing of Watson and Scott, Gerry Watson gave his life to Christ before he passed away.
It is so amazing to see how God works in the lives of his people. I have seen God at work in my own life, changing me, molding me into the Christian, husband, father, friend and c0-worker I am called to be. There is still a lot of work to do, but He is faithful to work it out in His way. I love to see how God is working in the lives of others, too. That is the heartbeat behind this blog. I wish success to come to those that I write about – but success in God’s eyes. A chance to live life out loud for Him and let others see and know what He is doing in their lives. I hope Bubba Watson and his story spoke to you as they did to me.
And congratulations to Bubba and his wife Angie, who recently (like 2 weeks ago) adopted a baby boy!
At the end of day 1 of the Masters, Lee Westwood leads. As far as the guys that I have blogged about… Watson and Ben Crane are both currently tied for 4th. We’ll check in tomorrow to see how round 2 goes.