Want to swing like Bubba? Don’t hold your breath.
Bubba Watson, who just won his second Masters in three years with a dominating, three-strokes-clear performance at Augusta National, is a lot more than a 6-foot, 3-inch 180-pounder who wields a pink-shafted, pink-headed driver.
His all-PING equipment, in case you’re wondering, includes a G25 driver (8.5 degrees loft); G26 4-wood (42-inch shaft, 16.5 degrees); S55 irons (3-PW, the same irons he’s employed since 2004 but replaces with a newer set every November); three gap wedges (52- and 56-degree Tour Gorge, and a 64-degree Tour-S TS); and an Anser Milled 1 putter (34.5 inches, 3-degrees).
And that’s just what’s noticeable. A closer look details how Bubba personalizes his gear to enhance that extraordinary, play-by-feel talent, including:
- Iron heads with a lie angle flattened by one degree to minimize hooking;
- Iron and driver grips with 10 wraps of tape on the top and 12 wraps on the bottom;
- Irons 3-5 sporting an extreme heel grind;
- Iron shafts that are plus one half inch in length; and
- A True Temper Grafalloy BiMatrx graphite driver shaft with a lower steel component.
So… is it the equipment or the man?
Consider this: Watson is a six-time winner on the PGA Tour—currently ranked fourth on the official world golf ranking— that has mastered the art of playing cuts and draws as well as hitting the ball both high and low. The left-hander learned his craft as a six-year-old practicing those very shots for five, sometimes six, hours a day at his parents’ home in Bagdad, Florida.
Watson’s ball-flight wizardry served him well Sunday, when, playing from the left-side trees on Augusta National’s forested 15th, a par-five with a pond fronting the green, he tempted fate instead of playing a safe layup. A six-iron blasted Watson’s Titleist Pro-V1x between the branches, cleared the green’s false front, and rolled just over the green for what would become an easy par.
Routine? It was a feat that blew away even the television announcers.
Or remember the 2012 Masters when, in a playoff with Louis Oosthuizen, he purposely duck-hooked a 160-yard wedge off the pine straw that stopped 10 feet from the hole, leading to his first career major?
Watson’s now-iconic hooks, slices and skyscraping drives make him the game’s most imaginative and audacious player today. That he wears his humility and emotions on his sleeve is nothing short of amazing, considering the wealth and fan base he’s accumulated since joining the Tour in 2002.
Not nearly as wide-eyed wild as the super shot-shaping talent that makes him a trophy contender at virtually every event he enters for the foreseeable future.
Point being: Buying Bubba’s golf clubs doesn’t mean you can play golf like Bubba.
Chris Duthie is a contributor to Colorado AvidGolfer, the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it. It publishes eight issues annually and proudly delivers daily content via www.coloradoavidgolfer.com.