My seven simple tips for playing better golf.
What is Bubba Golf?
For me, it’s about creating the shot, creating a moment. I don’t care if it’s in a major or it’s just me at my house. You’re trying to create a moment, a shot, a feeling that makes you smile and want to come back and play golf again.
Why do you hit it so far?
It’s technique, but I’m not thinking about it. I never dreamed of trying to hit it further than everybody else, it’s just what I do. Back when I was six years old my swing was past parallel because that’s what I discovered I needed to do to hit plastic balls further in my yard. It made me swing faster and got me five feet further. My dad just said hit it as hard as you can and have fun with it. From there, you’ve got to figure out how to tighten it up. I just kept getting better and had to work out how to hit fairways.
What else did your dad teach you?
The first thing he taught me was the grip – and the importance of what the clubface was doing at impact. It’s like Jim Furyk. He has a funky swing at the top but it’s what happens at impact that matters and he’s one of the top golfers in the world at impact. There’s never been two golfers that swing the same. All the greats in the game have a different style of playing, a different way of thinking. But they’re all really good and really consistent right at impact. My dad made me just swing around impact, so it got my hands used to the feeling of square. Now when I move the ball it’s all about my hands leaving it a little open to cut it or closing it a little for a hook.
What are the most common mistakes you see from handicap golfers?
It’s thinking they’re better than they are. They’re taking a 7-iron because one time they hit it 180 yards and now they think that’s supposed to happen every time. But the key is they don’t practice. Just because it looks like I don’t practice, I do. The first thing you tell amateurs to practice is the short game but they all want to get the driver out and hammer it. But you need to practice, and especially the short game.
What advice would you give to amateurs on the short game?
It’s great to be able to hit it 350 yards off the tee but if I miss a three-footer that counts the same. If you can practice from five feet and in then when you chip it to five feet you can make six out of 10, which is great for an amateur. That’s going to lower your scores. You’ll get confidence and you’ll see that practicing does help.
How do you hit different chip shots?
Most golfers are different to me and they’re going to use equipment, so they’ll use different clubs from a 60° wedge to a 7-iron to change the height. But I use a 63° all the time. I hood it and hit down on it to get it coming out lower and I open it up to create more height. Also, the farther back the ball is in your stance the lower the ball will come out and it’s easier to get the ball high if it’s further forward.
How do you approach putting as such a natural feel player?
It’s still about technique – and when I say technique, I mean it’s a pattern because you’ve done it so much that you know how to create what you want to create. In putting, that’s straight back and straight forward. Some golfers open and close the blade a little but the most important thing is that you’re consistent. I practice five footers all the time. There’s no secret to it. It’s just more practice and trusting your reads and stroke. You also need to keep your head down because most amateurs look up because they want to see if it went in.