Monday, April 09, 2012

04/09 (Bubba) Quickie

I'm torn by Bubba Watson's Masters win.

On the one hand, it's a victory for non-conformity -- as Bubba's mythology goes, he has never taken a proper lesson. That unconventional shot on the second playoff hole -- one of the most memorable in Masters history -- was a perfect symbol of "Bubba golf."

On the other hand, we like to talk about "process over outcome" -- we like to think that if we get professional help, our performance will improve. Maybe that's a myth, but more likely, it'll get you to a 90% or 95% outcome but potentially not let you be an outlier, with an accompanying outlier result. (On the other other hand, maybe he debunks the notion of gurus, which isn't a bad thing.)

In other words, Bubba isn't a model -- he's an exception. And we should appreciate and enjoy that exception for all the same reasons we appreciate and enjoy lots of exceptions out there. I just wouldn't look at it as a model.

(Check that: I wouldn't look at it as a model of how to win a Masters -- I would absolutely look at it as an example of someone who seems to have his priorities in order: He is open with his emotions, he is a devoted new father and husband, he spends his money on pop-culture kitsch, he seems hyper-competitive but not to the point of losing his humanity.... we could all learn something from that kind of "Bubba" lifestyle.)

-- D.S.

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