Lessons of a lifetime: Tom learns from Bubba


In his career, Tom Watson has pulled off some spectacular shots. None, however, were quite like what Bubba Watson did on the second playoff hole en route to his Masters win.

'The only two people that I have witnessed be able to hit a wedge like that are (Lee) Trevino and Andy North. They can turn a wedge just right around a corner. I can't do that. I can't turn it that much,' Watson said Thursday at the Encompass Insurance Pro-Am of Tampa Bay.

The elder Watson did not quite understand the magnitude of the shot until he saw it after it landed and spun on the putting surface.

'When that shot hit the green and (Nick) Faldo so correctly said, 'I've never seen a ball screw to the right like that on this green ever.' We've never seen a shot like that,' he said. 'He had to play that shot and he did and won the tournament with it. That's what makes certain tournaments legendary.'

The 8-time major winner observed those types of shots are more emblematic of Augusta than anywhere else.

'They don't get lucky enough to get tournaments like that very often, but at Augusta it seems they get lucky a lot with tournaments like that,' he said.

Watson, twice a Masters winner, could not characterize the Florida native's technique.

'My dad always said, 'Beware of the guy who comes out on the first tee and he's got a terrible grip and a terrible golf swing. If he's in that tournament with you, there's a good chance he knows how to play with that type of golf swing,' and Bubba's that type of person,' he said.

While Tom may not want to emulate Bubba's full swing, he learned something from the current Masters champion which may help him in Tampa this week.

'I practiced my chipping on Wednesday and (Bubba) came up and I was practicing. We were 10 feet from each other, and I notice every chip shot he hit was absolutely dead solid perfect. I mean dead solid. In my ear, you can hear it,' he said. 

'I look at his form there and I said to myself, my hands aren't quite far enough ahead when I chip, and I started doing that today and practicing the last couple days. Who would have thunk it, you know? I'm starting to hit the ball solid again with the chip just by watching Bubba chip, the way he was chipping.'