Today, golf pros and instructors stare blankly at their schedules. Today, golf magazine editors look at the stack of proofs that they can no longer use.
Kids all over will now pick up a golf club, hardly matters which one, and will flail away at a golf ball until it does what they want it to.
Why is this happening, one might ask? What is causing this sorrow in golfing adults and such fun in kids just starting?
Because Bubba Watson just won the 2014 Masters giving him his second green jacket in three years. Teachers of the game are sad because they know that a bunch of people are going to ask them if they will be able to make “me play like Bubba.” Magazine editors are weeping because the reams and reams of paper that would be filled with “how (pick a name) did it,” “swing like (pick a name)” or slo-mo video of golf swings are now meaningless.
In the last three years, Bubba Watson has turned the world of “proper” grips, take aways and weight shifts completely on its ear. Think about it, Watson has won the Masters once with a shot only he could imagine and, again, by being long, accurate, imaginative and plain keeping himself in focus and out of trouble. Just like you’re supposed to.
PING, of course, will say it’s their pink driver and G25 clubs that were the difference. I’ll bet that Lee Westwood was using basically the same clubs with very different results. I believe that Watson could play with a 2×4 and find a way to get around a golf course.
Before Harry Vardon won his six Opens (plus a US Open) golfers used the natural ten finger grip like they swung an axe or a big hammer. I can imagine there was the same feeling of gloom of golf instructors more than a century ago when pupils came to be taught “that grip Vardon uses.”
Last year there was a hue and cry so loud about the “advantage” that players had using the long “broom” putters there had to be a rule change. Watching Keenan Bradley (MC +9) and Adam Scott (T14 +1) miss putts showed that rule change to be hasty.
While Watson is the winner of the Masters, the real winner was the game itself. Golf shows us that there is no “right” way to play this game there is only your way. You can’t tell me that the early Scots or whoever invented this game plopped down a fistful of coins for lessons. Par has been 72 for as long as any one can remember. No matter the cries of hitting it longer, higher, straighter, whatever, it remains so. Over the last four days in Augusta, only a few reached that number or lower and those players are gifted.
Bubba Watson held it together for his magnificent win in the Masters by playing golf his way without a lesson showing that the real winner this weekend is this wonderful game we play that takes a punch but never goes down for the count.