Just about everyone has a reason for Tiger Woods' recent demise on the golf course. Announcers, other athletes, coaches, wives and fellow players, but few on tour get a chance to play, and observe, Tiger as much as Bubba Watson.
Watson is a guy that Tiger was enamored with when they first met, because he hits it so far and is so creative on the golf course, and Woods took a liking to Bubba. That was before the goofy left-hander became a household name, and after winning three times on tour in the last 10 months, Watson is quickly turning into a superstar in the golf world that everyone wants to hear talk.
So when Bubba offered up his advice to Tiger in a press conference this week at Quail Hollow, it seemed for the first time that Bubba was actually stepping into that superstar role behind the microphone, and not shying away from the hot topic off the golf course.
"You know, I think ... yeah, I'll just go ahead and say it. I think Tiger is going the wrong way. I think he's so mental right now with his swing. Just go out there and play golf. He used to hit shots, used to bomb it, used to do all that stuff. In 2000 and '97 I think he did pretty good. He won the Masters by 48 shots or whatever he won it by. [...]
"All of us are good at golf. Sometimes I think some of the great players, they get too wrapped up in the mental part."
You'd have to be a housemate of Osama bin Laden the last few months to not agree with what Bubba was saying. Tiger has been working with Sean Foley, and the two carry a video camera around during practice rounds. They are always observing, tweaking, talking and changing things on the range and on the course, and it seems that at some point, Tiger is going to have to stop and just play golf.
The golf swing is complicated, and there are times when changes need to be made, but look at what Tiger's changes (or Padraig Harrington for that matter) have done for him over the last year. They've made him a basket-case when the pressure gets to him, like we saw on the back nine at Augusta National, and eventually he's going to need to push all that technical jargon out of his brain and go back to "see ball, hit ball."
Remember, 2011 is the year of the Bubba, and that even holds true in the advice category.