Bubba Watson said he didn’t like the golf ball changes. Then he stopped

Bubba Watson hits his tee shot on Friday’s 18th hole at the Tucson LIV Golf event.

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Bubba Watson was asked for his opinion on the proposed golf ball changes – and he responded with a name.

“Justin Thomas,” said Watson.

“I don’t like it. That’s pretty much what he said.”


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Opinions on the subject do not seem to have been difficult to find. On Tuesday, the USGA and the R&A unveiled a proposal that includes a model local rule that — for tours and championships they adopt — would effectively mean rolling back the golf ball and introducing a fork, i.e. creating a different rulebook for professionals and top amateurs against the rest of the golf world. And the footage came, including one of Thomas delivering a three-minute tirade – his word – to the opposition on Wednesday.

On Thursday, ahead of the second LIV Golf event of the year, Watson agreed to the roast. Then he was asked why, and the two-time Masters winner had some Thoughts.

His answer was around 275 words and included a little bit of everything.

He spoke of “commercialism”.

“Well, there are many reasons,” Watson began, “but first of all, commerce is the one that pays all these bills for the USGA and all these other organizations, and now you’re asking them to spend millions to do something.” change a ball or design a new ball and do all those things. Why?”

Then he went in a different direction and talked about building riders that ride straighter and farther.

“Pro golfers are a little – minute in the game of golf as a whole, everyone plays it, so why not make a driver that allows someone to hit further straight,” he said. “Make a ball that a guy or woman can hit farther with, boy.”

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He then spoke about fellow LIV golfer Bryson DeChambeau.

“Just because you’re hitting it further doesn’t mean it’s going to be straighter,” Watson said. “I’m not trying to throw Bryson under the bus, but Bryson tried to do something, he did it, but he took it back a little bit. He still hits it further than everyone else, but he took it back a bit because he realized your failures are further – because I’ve been into this for a while; my mistakes are further away.”

He then said golf was the only sport that was changing.

“Coming back to the ball, I just don’t see a reason for it,” Watson said. “We’re the only sport that’s changing what we do and we get mad when a guy shoots 10-unders for three days, but we celebrate when a guy scores 50 points or hits three home runs or four home runs, a guy throws seven touchdowns. We’re celebrating. We don’t do it, hey, you can’t throw that many passes next game. So why are we playing with it?”

Then he said that you shouldn’t mess with a good thing.

“The sport is at an all-time high so let’s not mess with it, let’s just keep growing,” Watson said.

“That’s my short answer.”

As a matter of fact. At the press conference, Watson and fellow LIV golfer Harold Varner were then asked if they could imagine a situation where they would decline to play any other ball in a Major.

“I’ll ask my sponsor first if I can do that, and then I’ll be happy to play that ball if he lets me,” Watson said. “When I’m in a degree…”

“I’ll play whatever they tell me,” Varner said.

“Or if LIV says you have to play that ball, then…” Watson said.

“That’s the only thing that interests me about the whole ball thing,” Varner said. “Everyone complains about the millions of dollars, there’s a lot of money, but if they change the golf ball and give you a golf ball, we’ll play the golf ball.”

Watson then said long hitters will still be long hitters.

“Corey Pavin,” he said, “I’m not trying to challenge Corey Pavin. Zach Johnson, Jim Furyk…”

“Harold mentioned you in this conversation,” said a reporter.

“That’s fine,” Watson said.

“Hey, I didn’t see him play tomorrow,” Varner said. “He is old and decrepit.”


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Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski

Golf.com editor

Nick Piastowski is Senior Editor at Golf.com and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf community. And when he’s not writing about how to hit the golf ball further and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can contact him on any of these topics – his stories, his game or his beers – at nick.piastowski@golf.com.

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