Chris Haack is the Men’s Head Golf Coach at the University of Georgia and his players have included Erik Compton, Harris English, and 2012 Masters Champion Bubba Watson. He saw Bubba Watson for the first time when he was about 13 years old and he was already making a big impression in junior golf as he was known not only for his length but also for the knickers that he wore.
One of the things that college golfers have to do is balance their golf development with their academic development. As a result, players in college in the U.S. have to find a balance in their lives unlike amateurs abroad who are able to focus on golf only.
What you see is what you get with Bubba Watson and the same was true in college. He was fidgety and had the same go-for-broke attitude in college and while he would get guidance from his father, he never had a swing coach. One thing that has changed since college is that Bubba is not as reckless as he used to be on the golf course.
When he was on the practice range, he hit a lot of balls but he also practiced many different kinds of shapes with those shots. Among all of the players Haack has ever seen, Bubba was the most talented when it came to what he could do with the golf ball. Watching The Masters, he knew that Bubba would not have any problems from the trees in the playoff.
The University of Georgia is very lucky to have a President and an Athletic Director who are very supportive of the golf program and having the event held at their course is a big benefit to the school and its recruiting efforts. The fact that University of Georgia players are able to participate and in the case of Russell Henley in 2011 win makes the Stadion Classic very important to their efforts to build a winning team. Bubba’s win in The Masters is a huge deal in Athens not only because of his ties to the University of Georgia but also because the Masters Tournament is so important among people in Georgia and at the University of Georgia.