Bubba Watson on dealing with anxiety: ‘I thought I was going to die’

Bubba Watson talks with his caddie Ted Scott on the ninth hole during the first round of the 2020 Memorial Tournament. Photo by Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY/Golfweek | By  | October 28, 2020

On many sleepless nights, Bubba Watson thought he was going to die.

Alone in the darkness with only his thoughts to keep him company as he dealt with crippling anxiety that kept him up at night, Watson contemplated his mortality and often thought back to the passing of his father and namesake, Gerry, a former Green Beret who battled post-traumatic stress disorder and died in 2010 after a long battle with cancer. Not even wonderful memories of his wife, Angie, and their two adopted children, Caleb and Dakota, gave him comfort enough to sleep.

His days weren’t easy, either.

“I had a lot of noise in my head,” Watson told Golfweek in a recent phone interview about some of his darkest moments some two years ago. “I thought I was going to die. It was rough.”

So, too, were the three times in recent years he was rushed to the hospital thinking his life was going to end from a heart attack. Or when he just didn’t feel like playing and wanted to withdraw from a tournament. Or the time 18 months ago when he tipped the scale at 162 pounds, some 30-35 pounds below his normal weight, because the fear raging through his body made eating nearly impossible.

“When I started losing the weight and was getting skinny, it gave me flashbacks to my dad,” Watson said. “So that gave me more mental issues, more anxiety.

“So I quit weighing myself.”



CHARLOTTE, NC (Oct. 14, 2020) – ProSport Management, a leading international sports talent management firm, has hired Frank Johansen to lead its business in Scandinavia. Frank will work directly with partners Oskar Olsen and Mike Gartlan, as well as U.S. based agents, to create a more seamless path for clients to move between Scandinavia and the Americas.

“We have found the need for a person on the ground in Scandinavia and are thrilled to have Frank join the team”, said Oskar Olsen, ProSport Management partner and co-owner of the soccer division. “With his background, we know we are getting the best person in the region to help bring players to the top leagues in Scandinavia and identify local players for MLS and Liga MX.”

“Frank was an amazing find for us,” said Mike Gartlan, ProSport Management partner and co-owner of the soccer division. “He has a great background and contacts and is quickly showing his value. Our clients are our number one priority and bringing on someone of Frank’s caliber allows us to provide even better service to them.”

Prior to joining ProSport Management, Frank worked in various positions in professional sports as well as other industries. Most notably he was the youngest chairman in Norwegian elite football at the age of 25 when he ran Follo FK and was Head of Partnerships for Vålerenga Football Club, Oslo.

“I’m looking forward to expanding the ProSport Management brand in Scandinavia and Europe,” said Frank. “My philosophy is in line with Oskar and Mike as they are always looking to help their clients and partners reach their potential and their dreams. ProSport Management has built a lot of momentum already and I am thrilled to be a part of the next chapter.”

In 2012, the Norwegian Football Association named Frank Young Leader in Norway. Frank has a master’s degree in Sport Management from the University of Stirling, Scotland.

For more information contact Katie Bratland kb@prosportmanagement.com.