Do you remember what you dreamed about when you were little?
So often, we get what we always wanted, and then we get greedy.
We start wanting more money and more recognition. But that stuff doesn’t make you happy.
It’s time to get your priorities straight.
Remember why you started in the first place.
On today’s episode of The School of Greatness, I talk with one of the best golfers in the world who is grateful just to be able to play: Bubba Watson.
Bubba Watson Jr. is a self-taught professional golfer who is a 12-time PGA Tour Champion. Bubba reached a career-high 2nd place in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Bubba is a famous golfer, but he feels the most loved when he is serving. The way he gives back to his community and helps others is truly inspiring.
He wants to be a hall-of-fame husband and dad.
So get ready to learn how to thrive by spinning your negatives into positives on Episode 761.
Lewis: This is episode 761 with 2 time Masters champion Bubba Watson. Welcome to the school of greatness my name is Lewis Howes a former athlete turned lifestyle entrepreneur and each week we bring you an inspiring person or message to help you discover how to unlock your inner greatness. Thanks for spending some time with me today, now let the class begin.
Melody Beattie said “Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates vision for tomorrow.” And Doris Day said “Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty.” Welcome to a very special interview with Bubba Watson who is a top professional golfer in the PGA tour. One of the few left handed golfers on the tour. Taught himself golf, only had one lesson and taught himself the rest which is a fascinating feat. He’s a multiple major champion with victories at master’s tournament in 2012 and 2013, he’s an Olympian he loves charity and giving back to his community and he’s an all-around good old boy with a big heart. And in this interview we talked about the power of focusing on self-improvement over comparing yourself to others. We talked about the power of gratitude and how it affects mental focus in peak performance, the impact in losing Bubba’s father had on his golf game and winning perspective. Bubba’s journey with adopting his children and how his perspective has change as a father and the power of living a life of service and how he can make a difference big or small by giving love to others, this and so much more in this inspiring interview. Make sure to share this with your friends’ lewishowes.com/761. If this is your first time subscribe on iTunes, Spotify or anywhere podcast is at and leave us a review, let us know what you enjoyed the most about this and as always share this with a friend or a few friend and send them a text and a message on social media. Again, lewishowes.com/761 to spread the message of greatness.
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Big thank you to our sponsors and I am so excited about this interview so without further ado let’s dive to this one with the one the only champion Bubba Watson.
Bubba: Ranking yourself as an American, how many people on the team first of all?
Lewis: Well there’s 16 they’d take with us but it’s 7 on 7. America as in the world are very low probably like, I mean we can compete for a while but these guys played since like they’re 7 years old you know and just the technicality of how they move is just like, if we play basketball against them we would win because we’re better athletes, but they just know how to move the ball.
Bubba: What’s the word?
Lewis: But we probably like can’t compete at a world level let’s just say that. Like in the world championships in Olympics we would be like in the bottom.
Bubba: But if they let you go to the Olympics you’re in?
Lewis: Well in 2028 that’s an automatic qualifier because it’s in the U.S. I’m 35 right now so yeah 45 then it’ll be tough but we’ll see anything is possible. Just staying healthy and we’re going on the Pan-Am games this year so if we win the Pan-Am games we qualify, but the South American countries are really good.
Bubba: I was gonna say it’s very rare in the U.S.
Lewis: There’s no pro league it’s all amateur club and practice like once a week.
Bubba: But I truly believe though if people saw it it’s incredible, it would blow up.
Lewis: That’s why I saw it in the Olympics in 2008 the first time I just got done playing pro football and I watched this at like 3 AM and I was like what is this sport? This is amazing and I started googling and researching and there was nothing and no teams in Ohio. So, I move to New York City to play with a club team; learned the sport and got on the USA team and it’s been like traveling ever since the last 8 years.
Bubba: Is it like your own dime when you’re travelling?
Lewis: Own dime. I pay to play with USA team. But for me to wear USA on my chest and sing the national anthem in Israel, Brazil and wherever it’s like amazing for me, and I am one of the older guys on the team.
Bubba: I’m with you anytime I can play a team event with the USA flag on the sleeve what a dream.
Lewis: And I never take it for granted, every time it happens I’m always like this could be the last. It is such a physical game and guys get injured all the time. Every time a tournament is done and I have everything intact I’m like ‘thank goodness.’ I get bruises everywhere but as long as I don’t break something it’s good.
Bubba: So my thing is in 2010 my first cup and my dad about to pass away of cancer and so he watched me 9 days later and passed away. So this year in France or last year whatever, last Ryder Cup my mom was there and so I hugged her when I get beat on the final day and I said, and I was crying not because I was beat I was beaten many times at golf I’m use to that, but it was the emotion of this could be my last time and my mom because that was the last time my dad watch me play, last time my family got to bond before he passed away. And so for me and my mom being there it was the emotion, the crying everything about it was about my dad and my family because that could literally be my last one ever.
Bubba: Because you never know right.
Lewis: How long do you expect to play for?
Bubba: I mean I expect to play for a while but at a level to make a Ryder Cup team, I mean you’re talking about top 12.
Lewis: They take 12?
Bubba: They take 12 guys, 4 picks but if you’re not in the top 30 or so in the world.
Lewis: No chance?
Bubba: Well, I mean Tiger Woods always got a chance but my name is Bubba Watson so I don’t have a chance. So that’s what I am saying at some point old age catches up and you’re not gonna put this young guns out.
Lewis: They’re freaks right? Because you’re 40 now right? And these guys are 20 or 22 coming in and just like they’re training at a different level, they had coaches and trainers, sports psychologist at 10 years old.
Bubba: They don’t have wife and kids yet. Nothing is wrong with wife and kids it just takes away from being.
Lewis: 100% on the game?
Bubba: Right focus on the game.
Lewis: Most people don’t know this if they’re not golf fans but you actually taught yourself golf right? You taught yourself, you had like 1 or 2 coaching sessions when you were younger.
Bubba: My dad was the only one. Let’s make sure to put that out there right, there’s no coaches.
Lewis: There’s no coaches it was your dad.
Bubba: Yeah, and I don’t. He barely broke 100, he probably shot in the 80’s a few times. So he just taught me the basics and he said “The golf swing if the ball is in the middle of your stance the golf swing is about a foot and a foot and a half.” So 3 foot is where your golf swing is because it’s all about knowing where your club faces at impact, if your club faces open the ball goes that way, the faces closes it’s that way. So it’s knowing the club faces.
Lewis: It’s simple right?
Bubba: Hit as hard as you can and then make a putt.
Lewis: When did you realize that you had talent? How old were you? Because you were teaching yourself. You were just kind of hacking the ball around and figured it out?
Bubba: That’s a great question. I don’t think you know as a kid, well I think you just focus on what you’re doing and I have sent plastic balls around my house to my dad, and my mom always said like “You have stepping stone, you have a ladder.” So if you can see yourself improving every year, I won my first tournament at age 8, I happened to shoot 62 at age 12 I think in a tournament. So it’s one of those things where I develop but I was never focus on I’m better you, I was focused on how do I get better. So I just kept trying to get better and make more birdies. And then Payne Stewart about age 12 is where I started realizing that golf was on TV, this was before golf channel and stuff. So, I watched Payne Stewart and wanted to be like Payne Stewart, he stood out to me. I don’t know if he won tournaments or he lost tournaments but I knew him because of the knickers, always knew who that was on TV. And so for me that’s what it was I fell in love with the game because I saw this guy play, he stood out to me and then obviously I was in high school, I graduated in 97 Tiger won the master in 97. So he stood out to me, that baggy red sweater he was wearing pumping his fist. Then that change get a free education in college but then seeing these guys, guys that I played in same junior with wining and performing and Tiger Woods, that’s when I was like “Okay maybe we can do this for a living.”
Bubba: Basically high school is where I really thought a living can be a chance.
Lewis: How often were you training or practicing? Was it daily?
Bubba: Daily. Yeah, my mom would pick me up she took her lunch break at around 2:30 to pick me up from school, she drop me off and then my Dad would be there around 5:30 to 6 at the golf course. So, I get 9 holes in I putt and chip around the practice screen and then I just play golf, and then it rotate one would drop me off and one would pick me up.
Lewis: How old were you at your first pro tournament?
Bubba: I was out of school so I was around 24.
Lewis: What was that feeling? Because that was the dream from many years, what was the feeling the first time?
Bubba: The feeling was.
Bubba: No actually I wasn’t. I wasn’t focus on money so most of time on many tour golf the minor leagues it’s about money, I mean it’s back then it was 1,500 to 2,000 dollars just to play. And so when you’re doing that basically the winning check was anywhere 10 to 20,000. So, I was never focus on paying bills, I wasn’t focus on anything except the next level. So it wasn’t about money or anything except getting better so if I got better I can make it. So there was not one time I ever had to putt or shot where I was focus on income, I was always focus on getting better and so money is never been, I’ve never hit a shot and got “look at the money we could’ve made.” So I had a 5 footer to win a small event, I never focus on what this means to me, what it means to me is I am getting better and the next level.
Lewis: Even in the Masters you’re not thinking like “If I miss this pot I’m gonna lose an extra million dollars or make an extra million if I make it.”
Bubba: No, because at the end of the day you play your sport right? You play football now handball but you played football you’re focus on the super bowl, you’re focus on getting the contract. So when I focused on the PGA tour I focused on getting there, I want that little car say ‘Bubba Watson PGA tour player.’ That’s all I cared about. And then after you get that part then you think about the trophy. So if you pull anybody that’s playing today if you said there was no money but you have a Tiger Woods and a chance to win 80 events and be one of the greatest or the greatest of all time, he’s gonna say ‘Yeah I’m in’ the money is a byproduct so you’re not really focus on that you’re focus on the trophies. And if you are focus on the money you probably not gonna go this way.
Lewis: The pressure is gonna be too high. So when you got the pro card what was that like?
Bubba: I mean it’s like a driver’s license you know, it’s exactly the same size as your driver’s license, when you got that driver’s license you saw that you were the man. And so when I got that tour card like they literally hand you the card and it says ‘Bubba Watson PGA tour player’ and I remembered doing my interview to the lady right next to me golf channel, and she ask me I was the last person to get my card that year and she ask me and I didn’t get a word out, I cried the whole time. So she talked to me I did get 1 word out I nodded my head a couple of times but I cried the whole time, the whole interview because that was my life. Now, I have to change my goals and I had a wife at that time, I still have a wife but at that time she played professional basketball so she was all about golf as well, so that was our dream together to get that card.
Lewis: Okay, so once you achieved one dream you said you have to create new goals. Was the goal I want to win the Masters or?
Bubba: The goal was we hear interview after interview as win a tournament. So after I got my card I can win a tournament, but what I did instead of win a tournament every year I said “10 wins” if a person in this day and age can get 10 wins double-digit wins with the talent across the world, Tiger Woods has pushed it across the world. So you’re talking about young guys from every continent because of Tiger Woods, so to get 10 wins is unheard of. I thought it would be, leaps and bounds before ever do. So, I mean it took me 5 years to finally get my first win.
Bubba: Yeah, so I started in 06, 2010 I got my first win. So I never thought it was gonna happen, I mean obviously paying bills but never winning so I just wanted to keep winning, I kept going to try and win. And so to finally win was like ‘Oh my God I did it.’ Did I ever think to get to 10 wins? No. But I put it out there in my head, not for the public but for me in general and to get that first one like I was one in the PGA tour.
Lewis: That’s crazy.
Bubba: I mean a guy named Bubba from Bagdad, Florida no lessons, I mean you’re talking about.
Bubba: Right it can’t be done. Now I’m sitting with 2 Masters and 12 wins it’s crazy. And an Olympian by the way sorry I forgot that.
Lewis: So you’ve achieved the 10 win goal and you have to create new goals right? What’s the new goal for you?
Bubba: Progression would be 20 but as I get older may 15. So, 15 would be the new goal you know as I get older it kinds of fallback a little bit, but 3 more wins would be I mean gosh I would be set for life. It’s already been done that I never thought I could do, I mean I want to do it I dreamed it but to actually go home and see 12 trophies is something that you can never even, I mean an Olympic ring too.
Lewis: Is it a ring?
Bubba: Oh they give you a ring for making.
Lewis: Oh my gosh that’s the dream.
Lewis: Did you ever think you’d be an Olympian?
Bubba: No, because golf is never in it. Funny story for some of us but not all of us but my wife is from Canada playing basketball, 6’3 professional basketball. The women’s basketball team there finally made the Olympics but my wife was hurt so she can never be an Olympian. The one chance she had she was on the team and had to get a new player in, so she never got to be an Olympian and now I’m an Olympian, so it doesn’t sit well in the house.
Lewis: Now these young guys are just so talented right? All these 20 or 23 or whatever, they train they think a different way, where do you think you’d be if you’re 20 years younger and gone to the same training as them? Do you think you’d be better off now or do you think you had a mentality that they never had?
Bubba: You know it’s a tough one I would have to say be better off because I would look at it different. So, I would probably go into gym, I mean I didn’t go to the gym until I was 30 or something so. So, I probably go to the gym, I probably look at it differently you know now we’re looking at stats, we’re looking at performance. We got all these stuff you can use it would definitely, I’d get there quicker. You know if I am going to be a champion I probably get there a little faster but the way I did it you know I don’t have to worry about a swing thought, you know I’m on [?] we all got nerves. But if you’re trying to get to one of these young kids with coaches they’re trying to get to a certain position you know under pressure that might be tough but for me always think there and end up there, I don’t think about my swing I think about where the ball would go. So, for me I think that’s how my progression was just mentally understanding me as a person and understanding me as a golfer. But I think getting into the gym faster helping me under the gun deal with nerves, breathing and doing all those certain things that people talked about probably would’ve helped me a little bit, but I don’t know how much. I can’t hurt it wouldn’t have hurt me.
Lewis: It’s the swing like mechanics is what messes’ people up when they’re thinking too much. Sounds like you are ripping and ripping and you’re like ‘I’m just gonna hit it there.’
Bubba: Right and hopefully I win. I mean that’s really what I am doing and I can picture here at [?], I can picture the trees on 18 as we sit. So, I aim it at those trees and just we call it ‘bleed it off or cut it off’ and that’s all I think about, I aim at those trees and just bleed it off of there. So, I am not thinking of anything else my takeaway or anything, all I am thinking are those trees and bleed it off, cut it off there. So that’s all I think about on the tee shot.
Lewis: What’s the routine like when they call your name or they going out to the, to set the tee down and drive, what’s the routine and rhythm like for you? Do you have a specific pattern? Do you have a specific mindset?
Bubba: Truly I’ve changed over the last I would say 5 or 6 years maybe is my thought process and focus on ‘I’ve done this many times and this is what I love doing. So no matter what I’ve got a great career and I’m still a golfer.’
Lewis: Wow, every time?
Bubba: I mean yeah you try to tell yourself that and then as that happens you know we’re talking about 1st shot, so you’re just focus on that and get in the round. When you get in the round your thought process changes. So I start thinking about the shot before I even get there. And then these courses that I play year after year, so then your process changes in your head but that first tee shot you just, you’re trying to just relax yourself and hit it good because you want to hit a great shot but we’re all gonna messed up, you just hope you mess up all the other people.
Lewis: So you really focus on gratitude and focus on like ‘I’m grateful to be here, I’m blessed to be here.’ Do you focus on like I’m here to win you know I’m going all out?
Bubba: Truthfully I’ve never focus on winning. Now the last 6 holes maybe the last 9 holes yes of the 72 tournament, but I’ve never went to a tournament and I’ve got to win this one because I can play my best golf or I can have the best attitude. But what if it’s a rookie right and you have your best rounds ever, so you beat me I did nothing wrong you just had your best tournament ever. So I need to be happy with what I did and I can’t focus on what you did, you know shake your hands you beat me, next week we’re going to it again. And so that’s where the first 5 years or so my childish upbringing you know focus on the things. And so that’s where my mental side change of thinking of myself as a kid again going this card is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me on golf. And so sometimes we lose that as an athlete, we focus on why not me? Why didn’t I make that putt? Why didn’t I win that trophy? Instead of going you know what I’m just blessed to be here.
Lewis: That’s cool. So your mindset has shifted a lot it sounds like.
Bubba: It shift a lot especially with a wife and kids and everything.
Lewis: You adopted 2 kids right? What did that do for your career when you started adopting kids and having you know more of a complete family as opposed to just you and your wife? Do you feel like that served you in a bigger way in your performance or was the time and energy and thought process something that was a struggle or challenge at times?
Bubba: We’ve talked about because we knew from when we first started dating that we’re gonna have to adopt to have a family. So my childish ways when I first turn pro thinking I need this, I got to have this and I want this and you know the mindset of why not me? Why everybody else is winning and I’m not?
Lewis: The first 5 years right?
Bubba: I can move the ball, I can do stuff that other people can’t do so why am I not winning? And so it’s the childish young and dumb I guess you would say you know and then you know the wife standing beside me all the time cheering me on and trying to help me in a loving way and then my dad getting sick in 09, we had a scare with my wife too we thought she was having some issues too so we had some scans on her head all at the same time. And so that 9 months that he live after we found out.
Lewis: Is that throat cancer?
Bubba: Throat cancer and so that year we were going to different doctors for her and with my dad and for some reason my whole thing was about perspective. In my head I’m arguing that I am not winning but wife was going through something and luckily in turned out to be nothing. My dad’s going through something, my whole family is going through something and the one bright spot for us was watching me play golf. So when I got inside the ropes everything went away because I went back to focusing on me and the golf ball and my family got to throw everything away and focused on watching me at the golf tournament. So, in 2010 I somehow I win the travelers and now 18th on points trying to make the Ryder Cup team, and I’m like “Oh my God if I’m top 10 here with double points at the PGA championship I can make the Ryder Cup team or get picked.” And I lose in the playoff and so first question they interview me after losing in the playoff I said “I’m not answering the question until I make the Ryder Cup team.” That was my comment to them and they said you went from 18th to 3rd because the points doubled. So I went from 18th to 3rd so obviously I made the team and so now I get to call my dad and do the interview. And so it wasn’t about money, it wasn’t about career it was about I made the Ryder Cup team my dad gets to see me. Dad was drafted in Vietnam so he was in the war and had some shrapnel in his back still. So there’s a lot of things history there, I get to put the United States flag on my shoulder and get to represent our country, win or lose who cares it was about getting to represent the country and my dad was watching.
So there’s so many things that changed my attitude around that time period and then him passing and winning twice the next year, I mean I think all of that freed me up and made me realize what life is about and it was about that card again, it was about this is what I wanted to do as a kid it’s not about the money, bills or this it was about I made it to this one place. So, I think the sicknesses and all the stuff going on our family it made me realized that you’re going at this the wrong way. Who cares if you win it you don’t have to worry about bills, you don’t have to worry about anything your mom is taken care of now because your dad is not there 42 years they were together and not having the man there anymore. So just all the stuff and then in 12, so we started the adoption process in 09 as well but then we put it on hold because of my dad. So then in 12 we get this call and ‘do you want this boy?’ So we were like ‘yeah’ but I’m in a golf tournament so I can, this is Wednesday morning of a golf tournament I had to make the decision but then we realize in that short of time you can’t leave the state of Florida because our adoption process with our lawyers wasn’t complete so we head to lease a house, we had to do all these things.
Lewis: No way.
Bubba: So, Monday is when we pick him up so we had to find a house, we had to find furniture I mean we had to do all these stuff and I finish 4th Tiger Woods won by the way. But again why did I finish 4th? I was playing great don’t get me wrong but I was so focus on inside the ropes it was about golf and then outside the ropes it was chaos. And so then a week and a half later we win the Masters in 12.
Lewis: A week and a half after you adopted?
Bubba: After adopted. I was only with him 3 nights because I had to fly back to Arizona to do some adoption with lawyers and my home study and all these stuff with it and then I flew back to Florida, grandparents are there now, my mom is there her parents came from Canada. She looks at me and she goes “look you’re playing really good at golf right now go to the Masters early.” So I said ‘okay’ and my father-in-law from Canada was like ‘I’ll go with him.’ So we went to [?] and I win but I think like I said in 09 is where it hit me what’s most important right. Like I mean you can always downsize house, a cheaper car I mean you can figure out a way to get a real job instead of this glamourous life of golf when all these family stuff happen. So how truly blessed are you in 09 and I think that just freed me up mentally like “Man, if I win that’s awesome if I lose I tried my best.” So, I just changed and I think that’s really what changed me over the first 4 years, I guess I matured in those first few years.
Bubba: I hate to say that my dad’s sickness change who I am as a person.
Lewis: In what ways?
Bubba: I think it’s because of how I thought about things, not golf but other things as well and you know using this negative as a positive, you know change how my mom thought and how my mom saw things and change how my family saw and thought things. And so you have to use negative to a positive and that’s what we did as a family.
Lewis: What was the biggest lesson your dad taught you?
Bubba: There’s a couple that stand, I’m gonna tell you 2 because I always change it up but the first one was never lie. He said I don’t care how much it’s gonna hurt somebody you tell the truth because it’s gonna be better than not telling the truth. He always said that if he found out later that I was lying to him.
Lewis: He’s gonna whoop your butt.
Bubba: We don’t do that. But you’d be in more trouble and he said as a poor person all you have is the truth and if people can’t trust you then you have nothing. So I’ve always told the truth wrong or right, sometimes it might come a little mean but I always tell the truth. And then second one he, without saying a word when he left the room, left the house he kiss my mom goodbye and when he came home first thing he did kiss my mom. So, I always saw that and remembered that and it was a way to see they truly love each other. So now when I leave the house and come back there’s no words just ‘bye I love you’ and then when I come back it’s a kiss I don’t care about anything else. It’s something that always stuck in me and seeing a loving couple, a loving family. No matter how upset they were at each other they could be upset at each other but he would kiss her goodbye before he stormed out. So it was the 2 things that stick with me today.
Lewis: So he got to watch you win.
Bubba: And play in the Ryder Cup.
Lewis: Play in the Ryder Cup and he get to see the Masters.
Bubba: He went to the Masters one time. So [?] they’re from my hometown they’re 5 years older than me so we didn’t play in high school golf together but we all went to same high school. So those are my idols growing up, those are the people I saw every day playing golf. And so they’ve won on tour and now I, so us 3 on the same high school all have won at least 3 times on tour and we all made the Masters. So my dad went to the Masters only way I didn’t make the Masters in 09, so yeah he got to go but he couldn’t walk he had Rheumatoid arthritis and some health issues so he couldn’t walk.
Lewis: Do you think you would be as successful as you are now without your dad passing?
Bubba: That’s a good question. If he was totally healthy and none of this, let’s just say no because I think I spun it for me, I spun it to a positive real fast. You know my wife going through health scare, we went to many doctors brain scans on her, and so I think all of that. We can spend everything we want, we can spend it negative or positive and you know going back to losing this playoff to win the PGA championship my first major, if I had won that what would have happened? Would I ever have won the Masters? You know what I’m saying just spitballs. So, I would have to say I wouldn’t be as successful if my dad is here. I know that sounds negative but I don’t know if I would have hit the maturity button really fast.
Lewis: It’s interesting because my dad is still alive but he got on a really bad car accident about like 13 years ago, and he was in a coma for 3 months, we had to teach him how to walk. He’s still recovering and he still has amnesia and so my dad is alive but he’s not really my dad the way I used to know him. Now the conversation are different he’s not emotionally available really, it’s not that he doesn’t want to be it’s like the brain injury that he had.
I remember we used to kind of rely on him for so much financially you know as a young guy playing football at college like he would just take care of me. And when he had that injury it was like everything changed and I remember thinking like I’ve got to figure stuff out now, like I don’t have my dad emotional support, I can’t communicate with him, financially all these things changed. And I look back if he didn’t get injured there’s no way I’d be living the lifestyle, have a business success and impacting the people the way I do. None of this would be happening I think and it’s like I’d rather him healthy and available but at the same side I’m also that I get to do something greater that I probably wouldn’t have done.
Lewis: It’s crazy right.
Bubba: For sure. I remember my dad when I won travelers in 2010 you know I called him we were on the 16th hole so he had to drive back to 18. So call them and get the word out and we were crying you know he said “I love you” and all the stuff and the next day I was going somewhere to another event I called him. I remember like what he always say “I don’t care how good you are you got to keep practicing because those other guys are practicing.” And so that stuck with me when you’re about stuff like that. The very next day I got a trophy in my car where we are going and he said “Are you practicing?” I said “No dad, I just woke up I’m going to the next tournament.” Well they’re practicing, he was basically giving me a mindset “Look is this it or are you gonna work hard?”
Lewis: That’s powerful. How important is that adversity in your life? Do you look for adversity? Because you know it will ultimately make you stronger and probably make you better with your mindset.
Bubba: You know as a human being I falter a lot and I look at the negatives, I mean right now negative [?] on TV right, not this but everything else. And so negative sales and that is what we call the clickbait right and so I fall in that trap. If you look 6 months ahead you forget all about what happened because you got other issues, you got other things going right or it could be positive in 6 months, it could be another win or another birthday of a child. And so I don’t look for adversity I don’t want adversity but when you think about it what you’re going through is minor because there’s somebody always going through worse.
Bubba: And somewhere in the world somebody is going through worse and you can find them really fast who’s going through worse. So, for me I don’t look for it but I mean if you look deep when you think you’re going through something really bad, you can definitely spend it positive real fast too.
Lewis: What is being a dad taught you about being a golfer and being a better human?
Bubba: Just alone now with YouTube and people wanting to get their phones out and make fun of you and the commentators want to tell you how you’re yelling at people, I got to change my tune real fast. Golf is the one place where I’ll use a word that you shouldn’t use real fast and this day and age with cameras.
Lewis: They catch everything.
Bubba: And if you’re gonna call yourself a Christian don’t get me wrong by calling myself a Christian doesn’t mean I’m perfect.
Lewis: You’re not a perfect human being?
Lewis: I’m not perfect at all.
Bubba: That’s what I’m saying for me I’m not perfect and so that’s why I need help. But my child Dakota doesn’t know TV and YouTube yet or any of that stuff, Caleb started understanding it and getting what we’re talking about. So for me no one can be looking or years down the road this is going to be in the web somewhere, it helped me again like in 2009 it helped focus on catching myself, trying to be better. Golf is the one that always brings it out there’s no other time in my life where I can think of just freak out.
Lewis: So frustrating right?
Bubba: It’s unbelievable and I’m probably thankful that my son is not into golf yet because he’ll probably freak out too.
Lewis: I feel like you’re more under control now than 5 or 10 years ago with your reactions when something doesn’t go as planned?
Bubba: Oh for sure definitely better but doesn’t mean I’m good. You know my thing is always joke about if you’re doing something wrong a hundred times a day then next day on Tuesday instead of Monday you down to 99, you’ve improved I’m never near perfect at 99 bad things, but if I can improve if we go 6 months from now ‘man you’re down to 95 things.’ We’ve improved and I’m not saying this improvement is gonna happen overnight or you never gonna be the perfect human being but my goal is to try as hard as I can and then if my trying lets my kid or kids or my friends or my wife for that matter improve their own selves, then we’re doing something in the right direction.
Lewis: What’s your biggest flaw or think you need a work on in your marriage, as a father, and as a golfer?
Bubba: That’s simple they all work together, I need to read more. Reading for me personally is the mental part right, it’s to be clocked in. When I’m on the road I play video games because I want to space out.
Bubba: I don’t know I play Call of Duty.
Lewis: You can swear there right?
Bubba: Right, I don’t.
Lewis: Because they record them too.
Bubba: Golf is a great sport but it’s very bad for everybody. So, I want to space out and then when I get home a lot of times I focus on, when I’m at home I focus more on golf. And so by reading this books more, reading the bible more it shows you and teaches you it makes you focus on the positive instead of the negative and a lot of times I focus on the negative. And so I believe all of that helps me in life and I think over the last, anyway my last book it’s 300 pages it took me about 3 months to get through it, 20 minutes a day. So I woke up 20 minutes early and start reading and it took me forever to understand the quote.
Lewis: What was it about?
Bubba: It was just about life.
Lewis: So reading more.
Bubba: But truthfully it’s a boring message but I want to read more about [?], I want to focus on being a better person. The bible tells you to love all people. So if you love all people you’re not gonna honk the horn if somebody cuts you off. If love all people and you’re focus on helping other people and not worried about the self-centeredness and myself, what can you do for me? A lot of times we go on that mindset, when I say we, me go into that mindset. I got to focus on my wife, if I’m focus on my wife in making her happy and she was reading the same book and she was focus on making me happy what a relationship that would be. And I think I’m the one that’s lacking in that part and so to get better there my kids will see that, they’re gonna feel the energy they’re gonna see it, we’re gonna a light for them and so it helps them. So with the right process in the game of golf the same help and all these other stuff. And if that means losing every week but enjoying the game that I truly do love, I mean I played every day at home so what is a trophy gonna do for me? So like truthfully the things that I want to read are gonna help me in all areas of life.
Lewis: When do you feel the most loved in your life?
Bubba: I can’t answer that question but I can answer it this way: At church I just served for the first time at my church and all it was at the pre-school desk, so the kids can go to their little classes we call sunny school and the parents go up to the sanctuary and listen to the message. And for me checking a man and then taking the kids to their little classes and the pastors, it’s a new pastor a young pastor has 3 kid but his wife is away. So, he’s a man trying to take care of 3 kids and trying to lead the church. He’s 36 years old. So, truly I felt more loved then but I feel it’s more of a satisfaction from me.
Lewis: Being in service?
Bubba: Right being in service and helping. It’s not like, I don’t think there’s anything you can do that makes me feel more love. It’s me really doing it myself and that sounds really bad but it’s what I can use my platform, God has given me this platform and how do I used it and making a smile on somebody’s face shows me love in general because I helped them. He didn’t even really give me a smile and that made me feel like I was doing something, doing a part to help somebody in a small way but it was, you know my wife telling me she loves me and my wife being there cooking meals and making sure everything is right, yeah I feel love don’t get me wrong but we actually talked about it at church service. It was an eye opening experience but a fun experience.
Lewis: When was this?
Bubba: It was yesterday.
Lewis: So you’re 40 years old. This is fascinating me that you said when you are serving a couple of pre-school kids and the church.
Bubba: Because you know truthfully I look at life differently I grew up differently. I don’t know how some people grew up but some people grew up they have to be the best, they have to be the greatest. And as we’ve seen in many sports and many businesses there’s been trying to use advantages to get to a level because of a big contract, but I’ve never been motivated by the money. Nobody is ever gonna dangle money in front of me and say “Bubba do you want to do this?” No, I’ve turned down big deals, I’ve turned down traveling out of the country for big deals because that’s not what motivates me. As I’ve had the kids and my wife and things we’ve been able to accomplish and be a part of and help, the Masters helps me personally. Again as a kid I want to win it and I think after I won in 12 I think my quote was ‘I’ve never dream this far.’ Because now we’re in the media and all these people looking at me and waiting for my great advice I’m about to give the world, but my dream as a kid you’re making a 10 foot putt to winning the Masters.
As a 12 year old you don’t know about fame, money, and social media at that time big house, debt you don’t think about all these stuff. And so your dream is you’re catching a touchdown pass you’re throwing a touchdown pass to win and that’s it.
Lewis: That’s your dream.
Bubba: Right, I didn’t think about the car. I thought win the Masters and my life is set. And so when I did win it that dream doesn’t work out the same way I did in my head. So, that’s why I don’t feel like people telling me how great I am on social media, the golf channel or ESPN I don’t listen to it. I don’t want to be positive too high or too low I want to stay right here. My goal is to win as many tournament as I can for my own self. So, yeah I don’t really feel love because Monday morning they’re off to the next one they’re focus on who’s gonna win the next one.
Lewis: You lose the next one ‘Oh it was a fluke.’ So is this a new awakening or new awareness that yesterday happened or is this something that you’ve been doing for a while or serving other people whether it’d be the church or using your platform for good and feeling that sense of love.
Bubba: I’ve always tried to help charity wise
Lewis: Donate to hospital and a lot of charities.
Bubba: Yeah and even when I started on the mini tours I didn’t have any money right it was pocket change. So I used to sponsor a women’s college tournament in my hometown and it was 2 grand. Now, you’re talking about $2,000 I’m gonna do it and I did it for years until like they cancel the tournament. So for me it was something I’ve always done but starting to serve and serve in a community and I move back to my hometown because I wanted to be part of the town. I didn’t want to be Bubba Watson, I wanted to be a citizen, I wanted to be part of this town get involved with this town and like you said the children’s hospital came up and I wanted to be a part of it. It was a 2 year process to move back home and how do you do that? How do you get involve with the city? How do you try to get back as much as the city gave to me and when I say that the city raised me. There was somebody at that time that paid for this tournaments that I could play for free or for small amounts of money that my parents can afford. So when I think about that now as a golfer and not a golfer I want to give back and my profession just happens to be a golfer. So, I give back to the game of golf, the children’s hospital, different organizations around the country around the world that we’ve been involved in and it’s been a dream and that, the Masters is personal but don’t get me wrong the Masters win help me in my platform.
Bubba: And being involved in organizations that give back. And now the adoption process that we went through the struggles and the sadness, that’s why we teamed up with [?] with the adoption stories that they have. So this is just another avenue to get our word out and use our platform the right way to impact lives and so that means more to me. My business side winning golf tournaments does help the platform and helps the money side and everything but it’s only a personal game that jacket or that trophy.
Lewis: It’s nice though.
Bubba: But I’ve never been in my room and when people come over and say “Hey, you want to see my trophy?” You know what I’m saying? Like I don’t do it not if they ask, I mean I have 1 Masters Trophy at University of Georgia. Again by seeing that trophy maybe one of the Georgia guys get inspired.
Lewis: Now what are you doing with jockeys specifically right now?
Bubba: I’m an underwear model now. I can tell everybody I’m an underwear model, I’m not in shape as the other ones but man I’m there.
Again, like I said the adoption process the foundation is about helping them and right now the campaign is show me what’s underneath or show them what’s underneath. So, for me it’s our story, me and my wife story.
Lewis: So not exactly show them what’s underneath?
Bubba: Right it’s show them what’s underneath and helping this kids. A kid is not asked to be in a situation, all of our families they are somewhere down line the history of our families. And so for us our 2 kids alone we want to teach them about their family, the birth moms we don’t know the dads but the moms. And so the right time the right moment when they’re 18 or older I will help them meet their birth mom if they want to. I want to teach them about their family and how much they’re love and that’s why this happened. So with jockeys doing and what their passionate about and for good reason is that the adoption process doesn’t stop when the kid comes home because there’s gonna be questions. There could be mental problems when you tell them about what happened. There’s a lot of things that could happened behind the scenes that people don’t think about, you just think about the adoption. Then there something for me in general as a parent, you know I need someone to talk to. There’s a lot of unanswered question that we haven’t even dealt with yet but at the same time our inspirational story, so maybe there’s a family you know what maybe we should adopt a child and help a child in need.
Back in the 80’s 70’s adoption was not talked about very much, it was from my side I’ve never been tested to see if I could have a kid but we knew for a fact that my wife couldn’t have kids so I’ve never been tested. So that’s really our story that’s why we want to get on board so we could help, but then also I think it’s helping us more because of the fact this event that jockey does is we get to sit there and listen to families and shed tears with families talking about their stories and their ups and down. So jockey what they’re doing right now their initiative I get to be underwear model, but for them it’s building this bridges to match people up. No matter where you are in life that you have other people going to the same issues and you’re trying to work together and I think it’s a beautiful love story about our world.
Lewis: I love the way you reframed it. They were so love they were given up for adoption.
Bubba: Right, my wife says “They were born in somebody else’s womb and then given to us.” So for us, like I tell Caleb I read to him every night and say prayers. So for us we pray with him and I always try to explain to him “One day you’re gonna realized how blessed and how lucky we all are in this situation.” At 6 years old he doesn’t understand yet but he started asking a few questions because some random people will walk up “Is this your adopted son?” And my son is like “What’s adoption?” But it’s a [?] the inspirational story of our kids what we’re gonna learn from them is way more than they will learn from us.
Lewis: I’m not a parent but I know being a parent is challenging in its own way. Do you think being a parent who adopted kids is ever more challenging? If so what’s the differences?
Bubba: The only challenge that I’ve seen right now is because we can talk to her parents, we can talk to my mom about their upbringing because they had their kids. But the only challenge for us so far has been every time we’ve adopted we’ve had about a week, maybe even less than a week to prepare but if you have 9 months and get your friends and family to gifts you know. We don’t have 9 months you know like in Florida, he couldn’t leave Florida so the Masters was coming up and I was playing good. So that is the only challenge that I see different from having your own child and adoption. You can have your child without questions but then you have to show that you’re in love, you have to show that you have a loving home, I don’t know how to show that. And then when they want to see my bank account I didn’t get that but you know there’s a lot of things.
A lot of it didn’t make sense to us but in the very end product of this whole thing it’s well worth it. So that would be the only difference we didn’t have the 9 months to prepare.
Lewis: Couple of questions left but before I got to that, what can people do to be a part of this campaign or if they are looking to adopt what do you recommend?
Bubba: Well I think you just look up jockey, I mean you go to jockey.com or you’d go to jockey’s foundation website, we were selling bears for a while and we probably still are and this bears all the money goes back to the foundation. And it’s all about encouraging people with the adoption and then encouraging people to have adopted to get involved so you can have a shoulder to cry on.
Lewis: Part of the community.
Bubba: It’s a community you’re trying to create and a beautiful community that’s all trying to do the same thing is help this kids and then help families deal with situations.
Lewis: This question is called the 3 truths. So imagine this is your final day on earth and at some point you have to pass on and move on the next phase of wherever we go. Eventually you get to choose the day it’s the final day, you’ve accomplished all you want and see your family blossom and they want to create, you’ve live the life of your dreams. But it’s your last day many years from now and for whatever reason all of your trophies and videos and content that you put out in the world has to go with you. No one has access to everything else but you get to leave behind a piece of paper to write down 3 truths on, 3 things lessons or ideas that you want the world to remember you by and your experience in your life by. So what would be your 3 truths?
Bubba: First one would have to be the bible and the reason why I believe in the bible so much and why I think it’s important to this is because I don’t care if you’re a believer of Jesus God, I think if you look at this bible, the bible give us a plan of life. If you believe in bible and you believe in Jesus great, if you don’t if you read the stories gives you a game plan how to treat people. So number 1 is reading the bible believer or non-believer that doesn’t matter to me. If you treat everybody with love and respect non-believer or believer the world is a better place.
Number 2 truths. Always tell the truth. We’ve been telling stuff about people stretching the truth lately. So, I’d say always tell the truth.
Number 3 would be no matter what you accomplish there’s more you can and that’s about me if I pass away today there’s more that could be done. So, I just think that you could accomplish more I don’t feel like you can sit back and did everything possible you can do, I think that there’s always more you could’ve did. So that would be my 3rd one whenever you think you reached your goals you hadn’t reach them you could have done better, and that’s another way to push them.
Lewis: Those are powerful truths man.
Bubba: I don’t know if they’re truths but that’s what’s going on in my crazy head.
Lewis: Before I ask the final question where can we connect with you the most online? And how else can we support you?
Bubba: Instagram and Facebook obviously but Instagram is bigger right now right?
Lewis: Yeah. Just bubbawatson?
Lewis: Anything else we can support you?
Bubba: The only way to support me is pray and just be thankful for thinking of me. It starts with me being a better a husband, she being a better mom and the better our family can be. For me the game of golf is great but I’d rather be known as half of fame husband and hall of fame dad than hall of famer golfer.
Lewis: Before I ask the final question I want to acknowledge you Bubba for all your wisdom because you’ve gone through a lot of different challenges and you’ve had a lot of successes and to hear you say you want to be a hall of famer husband and dad over your career the thing you love the most or something you love very much, for me that speaks very highly of you and I acknowledge your constant growth, your constant commitment to being a better husband and a better father and I’m just inspired by you as a person so thank you for sharing your truth with us.
This is the final question what is your definition of greatness?
Bubba: Definition of greatness. I would have to say I can think of people that are great people in my life and truly what they are selfless. They always ask how you’re doing, they always want to know how you’re doing and they mean it. So, I have to say, what pops in my head as soon as you said that was selfless. Selfless acts over and over from an individual that would be greatness but I don’t think greatness can be achieve because like I said we underachieve, we’re so focus on ourselves that we don’t really do as well as we can, it’s all about us. The other people in this world I can’t vouch for but for me personally my whole life is about me, golf is about you right it’s about individual it’s not about anybody else so I’ve been focus on myself 40 years of my life, that’s what I’m trying to change and be better at. So, I think greatness can be selfless for me greatness is selfless and not one care about yourself and focus on the people around you.
Lewis: That’s great.
Bubba: Thanks for everything.
Lewis: There you have it my friends I hope you have been rejuvenated with greatness in your life today after listening to this interview, if you have make sure to share with your friends lewishowes.com/761. You can watch the full video there and over on YouTube as well. So make sure to check it out, again lewishowes.com/761 Bubba Watson people’s champion, the man, the myth, the legend super exciting.
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All right guys I’ve been so pumped we had an amazing interview and if this is your first time here we have a big interview at the beginning of the week with Terry Crews, go listen to that episode over the last few weeks we’ve had some big people on the show. Robert Sharman was a big interview we did one on relationships where I opened up about all my relationship past, the things I’ve learned the mistakes and lessons sharing all that as well. And we’ve got some big interviews coming up, I am so pumped we’ve been just diving so deep with these conversations and I love every one of them. The people that we bring on are people that are inspiring the world, they’re people that have gone on through real life experiences and I believe they can share real life practical lessons and advise on how to optimize your life to take it to the next level. Again if you enjoyed this make sure to share with a friend, leave us a review and subscribe on the podcast.
As Doris Day said “Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty.” What are you doing today? Are you living a rich life by being grateful and experience your gratitude or are you living in poverty by constantly complaining of what you don’t have. Reflect on that as we end this episode and as always you know what time it is, it’s time to go out there and do something great.