Bubba Watson opens up about fears, ‘mental issues’
Bubba Watson is not one of the more well-liked players on the PGA Tour, and a lot of that might have to do with him being misunderstood.
Sharyn Alfonsi of “60 Minutes” recently profiled Watson, and what she discovered is that the 37-year-old could be the most anxious Masters champion in golf history. Watson and his caddie Ted Scott opened up about Bubba’s fears, and there are plenty of them. Watson, who never took golf lessons, says the physical part of the game is easy for him. The mental part is an entirely different challenge.
“I have a lot of mental issues that I just am so fearful of things, which I shouldn’t be, right?” Watson told Alfonsi. “Scared of heights. Scared of buildings falling on me. Scared of the dark. Scared of crowds. Those are my biggest issues.”
Scott spoke about Watson’s fear of crowds last year. He said it has led to Bubba rubbing a lot of people the wrong way because of his “defense mechanisms.”
“I’m just scared of people,” Watson said. “It’s just — in general.”
Watson has also lost a lot of fans by blowing up on Scott, most notably when he ripped him after a shot went in the water back in 2013. You can see a video of that exchange here. Watson told Alfonsi that he simply has to get his anger out, and Scott knows that.
“Well, so– with– with me, I gotta get my anger out,” he said. “Don’t let it linger. Just get it out. And Teddy knows. Teddy’ll– he always jokes, ‘Ten seconds. Give Bubba 10 seconds, he’s good.'”
Watson’s anxieties often turn into anger, and that was clearly the case when he spazzed out about the pace of play at the U.S. Open last year. While he has close friends on the Tour like Rickie Fowler, Watson was basically voted the most disliked player by his peers recently.
The two-time Masters champion says he is more concerned about becoming a “better person” than a better golfer. Unfortunately, fans only judge him by what they see on television and the personal interactions they have with him at the course. If those don’t go well, Watson doesn’t have many ways to make things right. Helping people understand his anxiety issues could go a long way.