Everyone loves a character, on and off the green, and one of golf’s most beloved oddballs also happens to have the best drive in the PGA tour. From bright pink drivers to boy bands to hovercrafts – here’s 15 facts about Bubba Watson and his crazy-good swing that you might not have known!
- On November 5th, 1978, a golf powerhouse was born. Bubba, also known as Gerry Lester Watson was born in Bagdad, Florida – a small town with only 1,500 residents. Despite the fact that he’s from such a small town – that didn’t stop him from playing on the same high school golf team as PGA winners Boo Weekley and Heath Slocum. There must be something in the water.
- Interestingly enough, Bubba has never had a formal golf lesson. His father, an ex-green beret put a golf club in his hand when he was 6 years old. He started by hitting wiffle balls around his back yard. Instead of taking lessons, he just decided to keep swinging harder and harder. This has worked out well for him – despite the fact that it was originally considered an unorthodox way of playing, the idea to “grip well and swing hard” is now the norm in junior coaching.
- Because of his powerful swing (his average drive distance is a whopping 317 yards), “Bubba Golf”, a particularly violent form of the game, is named for him. In theory, his power should be uncontrollable, but he manages it by never hitting the ball exactly straight.
- He played golf for the University of Georgia, but wasn’t exactly spectacular. He turned professional in 2003, joining the Nationwide Tour. He was the last player to qualify for the 2006 PGA tour.
- It was a while before he got his first victory though – he scored it in 2010 at the Traveler’s championship. Once he got that win though, he powered through to win the Masters Tournament at Augusta National in both 2012 and 2014.
- He won the 2014 Masters with a driving shaft that was custom painted bright pink – which, according to sources, is his favorite color.
- A known goofball, he’s not a fan of the gym, unless of course he’s monkeying around.
- The nickname “Bubba” comes from his dad, who thought his son looked “big and ugly”. Of course “big and ugly” translated into wee Bubba looking like a football player – specifically NFL star Bubba Smith.
- He married his Canadian wife Angela Watson (nee Ball) in 2004. Angie is also a sport’s nut – she played women’s basketball at Georgia University, where they met. Topping in at 6’3 as a result of an enlarged pituitary gland, she’s an inch shorter than her husband, so it’s no surprise she played in the WNBA. On their first date, she told her future husband that she would be unable to conceive children. That didn’t stop them though – in 2012 they adopted one-month-old Caleb, and in late 2014 they adopted a baby girl named Dakota.
- He’s one of the few left handed golfers on the PGA Tour.
- Bubba and his wife are devout Christians, and he speaks openly about Jesus and faith. He tells everyone God is the most important thing in his life. He’s donated a lot of time and money to charity.
- One of his charity endeavors involved him being a member of “The Golf Boys” a boy-bandesque group consisting of Bubba himself, Ben Crane, Hunter Mahan and Rickie Fowler. The boys released two incredibly hilarious videos on YouTube in 2011 and 2013 to raise money for charities – they were produced by Farmers Insurance Group, which donated $1,000 to charity for every 100,000 views. The first one has over 7 million views, and for good reason. Seriously – go watch them right now. Speaking of boy hits – Bubba Watson is also one of Justin Bieber’s closest friends.
- He drives “The General Lee” – also known as the original car from the show “The Dukes Of Hazzard”. One of his most prized possessions, he bought the car in 2010 for $110,000. He was supposed to do the parade lap before a NASCAR race with his beloved car, but Nascar officials banned it because of the racially controversial confederate flag on the roof.
- When he’s not driving his famous TV car, he likes to drive a hovercraft. You can find him in a youtube video talking about the benefits of using a hovercraft on the golf course instead of the traditional golf cart.
- He’s one of only four golfers to win his second masters in only three years, alongside Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Jack Nicklaus. If you want to be a winner like Bubba, play the Titleist Pro V1X - his golf ball choice to get crazy-good distance!
This post was originally published by Knetgolf on November 9, 2015. Knetgolf was acquired by LostGolfBalls.