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Bubba Watson and the Bad Joke Apology

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Bubba Watson. Photo: Tour Pro Golf Clubs via Wikimedia Commons

This weekend was a glorious one for us golf players and fans: Masters Week. It’s a unique tournament for a lot of reasons, but what I want to talk about today is a comment Bubba Watson made after he had a bad couple of rounds.

Bubba’s game suffers in difficult conditions for reasons that I won’t get into today. He played poorly. After his second round when it was apparent he was going to miss the cut he made a comment to reporters about how golf was difficult but writing an article was easy. This isn’t completely true; being a writer myself I know how difficult it is to write. That being said, there are far more professional writers making a living in this world than there are professional golfers.

Making enough money from playing golf professionally is no easy trick. I’m certainly not saying writing articles to make a living is easy either. I’m just saying, of the two, being a professional golfer is more difficult. But that’s still not want I want to talk about. After Watson was called out by some other reporters for his comment, he posted a video explaining he was attempting to make a joke and told it badly. He apologized and even commented on his own poor play.

I’m of the opinion that Watson didn’t need to do either. He could have made the same arguments about his statement that I just made. That argument is largely true. He chose a different course and I think it reflects well not only on Watson but has deeper implications.

How many of us immediately go into defensive mode when someone accuses us of doing something wrong? Yes, I’m raising my hand. It’s easy to immediately attack those who accuse you of some malfeasance. We have role models in politics, sports, media, and everywhere who do nothing but aggressively attack anyone who dares question anything they might say or do.

Watson chose otherwise and sets a good example for the rest of us. A little self-deprecating humor, a little humbleness, a bit of ego-checking, and some just good old fashioned kindness is nice to see. Especially after such a disappointing performance. I’m sure Watson would have loved to be out there contending for his third Masters victory. He’s not. But he’s a winner today nevertheless, at least in my book.

By Tom Liberman

Tom Liberman is a rather ordinary fellow who enjoys spending time with his great family and wonderful friends. He writes Sword and Sorcery fantasy novels in his spare time. 

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