Bubba Watson vs Jack Nicklaus

Bubba Address1I’ll be away all day today, at the Blue Jays’ charity golf event, but I’ve whipped up a post on what I saw yesterday while watching some of the Memorial in Ohio.

Bubba Watson blew a late-round lead to finish 3rd, but what caught my eye was a spot on his swing.

You all know (well, if you’ve been following the blog) that I view the classic swing mechanics from yesteryear as superior and much more mechanically-correct than the “modern” golf swing mechanics being taught today, from the stance to the pivot.

Well, imagine what I saw yesterday – something I’ve been doing for a while now, the crew at CBS brought in Peter Kostis (with whose views I don’t always agree when it comes to the swing, but this was right up my alley) to compare Bubba’s swing with that of Jack Nicklaus.

I have talked before about the old swingers having so many of what I call MCS principles, and you can see them in Bubba’s address position.

Turning the address around to better suit those used to looking at right-handed swings, I’ll deal with Bubba in the terminology of a right-handed swing, but lefty swingers would of course just reverse any references to “left” or “right…”

Bubba Address1

You’ve got Bubba in the classic MCS principle stance, erect posture with a relaxed spine, legs nearly straight and not squatting, and the arms hanging extended and not vertical.

You have the bias to the right side (Bubba’s left), with the requisite spine tilt away from the target, talk about the classic MCS “Leaning A” address position… just so much good stuff going on with Bubba’s swing.

My friends, this man can hit a golf ball, and much of it has to do with natural talent, true – but look at his fundamentals and ask yourself, if he’s doing so much of what the greats like Nicklaus, Snead and Hogan did while standing over the ball, why more people aren’t teaching these fundamentals.


5 thoughts on “Bubba Watson vs Jack Nicklaus

  1. Seb

    You know me mate, I don’t believe that anything is natural, especially after having a child. Everything comes from exposure and hard practice, like when I taught myself to ride a bike, constantly falling off and making mistakes is what makes you learn properly. And Bubba is self taught, which begs the question, if he is self taught then how did he arrive at that swing model?

  2. Buddhabob

    I would think from watching the greats on t.v. in the 70s-80s and studying photos of their positions. He was an admitted obsessive about golf growing up. He had a mind’s image of the swing from that and then moved on from there. Had he started with teachers as a young competitor in the 90s he no doubt would have lost all that.

    1. D Watts Post author

      Wow, what a day I’ve just had at the Blue Jays’ charity event – but to answer that thought, Buddhabob and Seb, I think Bubba just developed his swing naturally and intuitively, which is the best way to do it – if one has that ability…

      Not many people can do that, but we really don’t have to, in my opinion. I believe the greatest gift given to us as human beings is the ability to learn from others who’ve figured out something we haven’t been able to do, and therein lies the challenge – to learn what others have learned, or to teach others what we’ve learned.

      I’m so beat after spending all day in the sun, I’ll retire for the evening and see you all tomorrow. Have a great night!


  3. Brandon

    Bubba has always swung to hit the ball far. He used to take plastic wiffle balls and hit draws and fades around the corners of the house. That is why he shapes it the way he does but he always just hit the ball hard. He was taught fundamentals and was then told to just swing. Some can figure it out and others need a little instruction to help them along but swinging a club is like swinging anything else. Every person will be different but certain aspects will always be present in the best.

  4. Buddhabob

    in addition, the swings he saw the greats use on t.v. at that time were mostly classic swings. That was probably an easy mind’s eye influence just as it had been for decades – kids before youtube,digital and high tech just watching the best adults play. Folk tradition. Natural.

Comments are closed.