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Masters Champion Bubba Watson is the PGA Tour’s latest superstar, but don’t think for a minute fame will change him
From the Print Edition:
Jeff Daniels-The Newsroom, July/August 2012
(continued from page 1)
But as Fisher well knows, it isn’t all about golf for Bubba Watson.
“I have a blast with Bubba. He’s a man who really enjoys life,” says Fisher. “Golf is something we do between having fun.”
Fun for Bubba Watson is music, especially that sector of rap music that has a more wholesome quality. He’s combining that love with a charitable endeavor in Columbus, Ohio, this May called Bubba’s Bash. There, performers such as Trip Lee, Toby Mae, Canon and Jamie Grace will be on the card as Watson raises funds for a medical clinic in Liyavo, Kenya.
Fun for Watson is adding to his collection of athletic shoes, which exceeds 200 pairs. Fun is buying the original “General Lee” Dodge Charger that was used on the “Dukes of Hazzard” television show. He’s got all the tapes from that show, too. Fun is tweeting, Jet Skiing, goofing with people.
Under the rules of the adoption process, his wife Angie had to stay in Florida with their new baby so she couldn’t come to the Masters. Watson and Fisher went to a movie one night, and Fisher recalls a classic Bubba moment. They parked their car next to one in which a young couple was having what seemed an intense conversation. Bubba kept looking at them, smiling.
Looking and looking and looking, smiling and smiling and smiling. Then he pulled the car forward, stopped, looked back at them smiling. Then he drove away, came back, parked next to them again and smiled at them. It was unlikely they knew who he was, but eventually he got a smile out of them.
“Bubba is a very interesting man,” says Fisher. “He’s child-like, not childish. He’s serious when he needs to be.”
Watson has always had a charitable heart. He has been a long-time sponsor of the Divot Derby, a junior tournament in Pensacola. He gave $50,000 to build a playground at the Ronald McDonald House in Pensacola. He’s been associated with Birdies for the Brave, an organization that helps wounded war veterans. Before 2012 started Watson established Bubba and Friends Drive to a Million in association with his equipment maker PING to raise $1 million for various charities. PING donates money for every drive Watson hits over 300 yards with his pink-shafted driver. He also has charitable work going with his apparel company, Travis Mathew. During the Masters he wore the same outfit each day, a white shirt with pink accents and white pants. Mathew made 100 of the outfits available for $200 each with all money going to charity. They sold in a flash, crashing the company’s website in the process.
“Somehow this year I’ve just played great. Now I’m the Masters champ,” says Watson. “But the other stuff is what I really want to be a big impact [on] and we are doing the Bubba Bash where 10 artists are putting on a concert to build a medical clinic in Africa. So that stuff is more important to me. Right now, with this platform that I have of winning the Masters, it’s going to give me a better chance to raise good dollars for cancer, for the center in Africa and different things.”
Monster golf, creative golf, charitable work, fun. And now a new baby, Caleb. That’s Bubba’s life, that’s Bubba Golf.
“I’ve never let golf ruin my life,” says Watson. “You are talking to someone that’s goofy and messed up in the head. So I’m different than everybody else.”
Jeff Williams is a contributing editor of Cigar Aficionado.
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