The secret to Bubba Watson’s longevity in golf…

The secret to Bubba Watson’s longevity in golf.

By Charles Lightfoot

During my recent coverage of the 2018 Northern Trust FedEx Championship, I was reminded of the comment “You apparently haven’t seen my swing.” fired at me during a media center interview when I asked Bubba Watson about rotation and torque challenges.

I also recall Wayne De Francesco coining the phase “The Step Out Boys,” i.e. Patrick Reed, Johnny Miller and I added extreme rule breaker Chi Chi Rodriquez at the 11th Tee U.S Open at Oakdale Hills that described players who produce stepping out motions like Bubba Watson.” Could this be why Bubba is capable of doing amazing things with the golf ball?

The following day during a visit to NYU Langone Medical Center in New York thinking there were physical advantages to such action I ask Dr. Craig Antell, Director of Orthopedic Ambulatory Rehabilitation what he thought about Bubba Watson’s swing.

Dr. Antell’s avid golfer side he stated, “Bubba has an incredible amount of rotation, some extension, and some torque. His lower body makes a big rotation, and he has a great balanced finish. He also stated that golfers who exercise and consult with wellness professionals might avoid or delay some injuries.  

He further added,  “experiencing golf injuries are basically inevitable to some degree, especially when they involve a combination of forces rather than simply sagittal or vertical force. Many flexion injuries involve rotation, while rotation with flexion is accompanied by dislocation of one or more facet joints, whilst rotation with compression may additionally be accompanied by small fractures of the vertebral body.”

Based on this conclusion Bubba Watson’s “stepping out motion during such ferocious rotations maybe what allows him deliver a powerful yet effortless swing that keeps his body balanced reducing risk of injuries while improving longevity.  His swing is a model that new golfers especially those who have physical rotation limitation will do well do emulate.