There’s an unofficial mold a PGA player is expected to fit. He’s supposed to be reserved and polished in his bespoke golf slacks and polo shirt spotted with sponsorship logos. He keeps his expressions subdued, both on the course and in media interviews—speaking in the accepted go-to cliches of “one hole at a time, one shot at a time.”
Bubba Watson did not tumble out of that mold, and he never showed a moment’s interest in sticking to its rules. A player with a big personality, he’s known for showing an equally big sense of humor and unreserved emotion on the golf course and in front of the cameras. While other champions hide behind their stoic demeanors, Mr. Watson is never above trading a joke or two with the gallery or shedding a tear or two when he takes home a trophy.
The two-time Masters champion adds those Major Tournament wins to 10 other tour victories. He’s easy to spot at any PGA event, standing 6-feet 3-inches and always wearing his signature visor. One of the longest hitters on the tour for years, he’s known for taking risks on the course that a more sensible but less entertaining player would never attempt. As he continues his 18th year of professional golf, the 41-year-old Watson never makes fans guess as to what he’s thinking or feeling on the links.
Mr. Watson and his fellow pros spent unexpected months at home when the PGA Tour went on its Covid-19 hiatus. That meant bonus time with his wife, Angie, and children (Caleb and Dakota), so his heart is still back home in Pensacola, Florida, even when he’s on the course. It’s no surprise his five favorite things all involve his family.
The Watson Kitchen Table
In a normal year, the global PGA season runs almost year round – though virus restrictions cancelled spring and early summer events in 2020. As the tour got rolling again in June, Mr. Watson might find himself home a couple days per week with Thursday to Sunday tournaments, practice rounds and pro-ams filling up the rest of the week. When he does make it home, the family dines together.
“I think about Angie’s cooking while I’m on the road,” Mr. Watson told Mansion Global. “We sit at the kitchen table every night and have dinner together. I really miss Taco Tuesday and cheeseburger night during the season. Sure, I can get any of that from a hotel or restaurant, but it’s not the same.”
His Kids’ Bedside
“When I’m home, Angie and I make sure to put the kids to bed together every night,” Mr. Watson said. “We say a prayer with each of them separately. During the extra time home with the shutdown, it was really a special time to be able to tuck them in and have that time together to pray with them.”
Mr. Watson and his wife extend their love of children beyond their own kids, involving themselves with multiple PGA Junior Golf charities and acting as ambassadors for the Studer Family Children’s Hospital in Pensacola. In addition, the Watsons donate time and money to Birdies for the Brave, a national military outreach initiative with the PGA dedicated to honoring the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces.
His Children’s Bibles
“Caleb and Dakota each have their own kids bible, and I love reading a bedtime story to the kids at nighttime before they go to bed. We all pick a different bible story every night,” he said.
His Nautique Wakesurfing Boat
The PGA Tour might take the boy out of Florida, but there’s no way of taking the Gator out of this lifelong native. When his schedule allows him to find his way home, it doesn’t take Mr. Watson long to get back to his Nautique Wakesurfing Boat.
A sport unique to the ocean bays and lakes of the Sunshine State, wakesurfing allows a rider standing atop a wakeboard to trail behind a specially designed tow boat to ride the water churned up by the vessel’s propellers. During his extended off-season stay at home, Mr. Watson and his family spent lots of time on the water.
His ‘Uno Attack’ Game
Many families have that one go-to card or board game to pass their quality time. For the Watsons, that’s Uno Attack. A variation of the well-known, four-color card game with its familiar mix of “Draw Two, Skip, Reverse” twists and turns, the Attack version adds an electronic “card shoe” that fires a barrage of Uno cards to the unlucky recipient. The resulting chaos and laughter is a far cry from the quiet of the golf course, and Mr. Watson likes it that way.
“If I’m home, we will play Uno Attack every single day at some point. I look forward to those games a lot when I’m out here. In fact—my family, the games, the fun, the bedtimes–I really look forward to all of it when I’m out here.”