Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 12/28/12
He was the only modern golfer who could pull it off. Bubba Watson looked just as natural in the Santa Claus suit he wore for his latest Twitter pictures this week as he did shirtless and in overalls in his classic "Golf Boys" video. The reigning Masters champion is comfortable behind the wheel of the General Lee, the original Dodge Challenger from the "Dukes of Hazard" that he now owns, and doing back-flips off of decks for his famous home videos, which always end with Bubba looking into the camera and saying, "You're welcome." About the only time he's uncomfortable is during traditional golf ceremonies, like the Green Jacket presentation at Augusta National where he looked like he was being held hostage instead of getting one of golf's most coveted prizes. Or at the Ryder Cup press conferences where he was like a fidgety little kid who needed his hand slapped with a ruler. Those are the spots where Bubba can't be Bubba, where he feels hemmed in by the trappings of the game that has made him a household name. But when he is unleashed, nobody in golf is more entertaining. The first tee at Medinah was a perfect example. Ryder Cups are always loud, but Chicago for the 2012 matches was like a Bears playoff game. Bubba added to that raucousness by encouraging fans on the first tee to cheer while he was hitting his tee shots. It was the first time in recent memory, and maybe the first time in the history of the game, that a player encouraged crowd noise while he was hitting. "It's not the noise during the swing," Bubba said. "It's when you have all that noise and then it goes dead silent. That's when it gets to you." He doesn't adhere to the traditional norms of what a PGA Tour player and major champion should be, but to call him unconventional is to miss the point. Bubba doesn't wear flashy clothes to catch attention or dye his hair to craft a brand. Walking from the locker room to the first tee, he looks like your average generic golf pro: white slacks, solid shirt, and Ping visor. His only real nod to individuality in his equipment or apparel is his pink driver. But watch him practice and play and the true genius comes through. This is a man who can spend an hour and a half on the practice tee and never hit the same shot twice. He hits low hooks, mid-range hooks and high hooks, and then low cuts, mid-range cuts and high cuts with every club in the his bag. Some of the shots could be described as baby-draws or fades and others are hard-core hooks and slices, like the sand-wedge he hooked 40 yards off pine straw to win the Masters. He doesn't hit those shots for show, it's how he plays. "He doesn't try to be anybody else," Bubba's good friend Rickie Fowler said at last year's Tour Championship. "Love him or hate him, Bubba is who he is and he's not going to change." He is one of the most interesting personalities the stoic game of golf has seen in years: a player who will video bomb a reporter in the middle of a live broadcast after bashing produce on late night television with Jay Leno. He is also the most easily diagnosed ADHD patient in history, but he refuses to be tested for fear of what he might learn. His concern is that medicating the things that make him off-putting like the time he went ballistic on Steve Elkington with the cameras rolling after Elk supposedly moved during Bubba's backswing will inhibit the things that make him great. No one else can hit a 350-yard 3-wood with a 70-yard slice that lands in the middle of a green as Bubba did at Kapalua, and no one can look so nonchalant while winning on golf's biggest stages. When he won the Masters with the miraculous hooked approach shot on the second playoff hole, he collapsed into his mother's arms, weeping like a child. "I've never had a dream go this far," he said. "So I can't say it's a dream come true." On Thursday after Christmas, he made some other dreams come true though. That day, Bubba was in Phoenix presenting the Phoenix Children's Hospital with the check for 250,000 as part of his "Bubba and Friends" campaign. The Bubba Watson Lab at the hospital will serve pediatric patients with neuromuscular diseases. That is what he does. And when you strip away all the home videos, the goofy quotes, and the emotional blubbering, that is why Bubba is one of the most popular athletes golf has ever produced.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

What the Selection Committee taught us: Week 13

Majority of FIFA sponsors demanding independent review on reforms

Zack Greinke expected to choose between Dodgers, Giants by end of week

Reports: David Price, Red Sox agree to seven-year, $217 million contract

LSU officials’ media leaks about Les Miles blew up in their faces

Sam Bradford returns to practice, but does it matter for broken Eagles?


Cam Newton won’t be ‘lured in’ by talk of undefeated season

Report: Miami job is Mark Richt’s 'if he wants it'

WATCH: Cowboys’ security guard being investigated for choking Panthers fan

Mariners ‘trying hard’ to trade Mark Trumbo before Wednesday’s tender deadline

Bill Belichick: Patriots always looking to improve win or lose

NFL: Refs did not blow calls on Ravens' blocked FG return

Colin Kaepernick jerseys on sale at 49ers’ team store

Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz named Big Ten Coach Of The Year

Mid-American Conference Championship preview

Lakers trying to decide which Kobe Bryant jersey number to retire

Matthew Dellavedova is becoming a better passer

Ryan Kesler says the Ducks are 'too good not to be in the playoffs'

Tiger Woods’ career inches closer to an end after gloomy injury update

WATCH: LSU releases video to honor Leonard Fournette

Report: Jim Hackett’s tenure as Michigan’s interim AD is ending

Josh Norman pretends to be a movie character each game

Ex-Giants OL Chris Snee 'wanted to see the Jets lose all the time'

Kyle Long gives Bears tickets to trash collector who found wallet

Last of a dying breed: Kobe's retirement marks end of an era

Golf News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

MAC Championship preview

Tiger Woods’ career inches closer to an end after gloomy injury update

QUIZ: Name every NCAA football national champion since 1950

Browns lose to Ravens as only the Browns know how

NCAA figures out how to invite 5-7 teams to bowls

Ranking top Heisman Trophy candidates

Have the New Orleans Saints given up?

This weekend in NFL stupid, ft. Rex Ryan

Missouri won’t accept a bowl bid at 5-7

Durant blasts media on behalf of Kobe

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker