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Teed Off (Apr.7 2013)

Update: April, 06/2013 - 08:47

with Robert Bicknell

Fred Couples was always one of my favourite professional golfers, along with Sam Snead of course. He was the epitome of "cool." He never rushed anywhere, had a golf swing as sweet and flowing as maple syrup and is a genuinely nice guy. There was nothing phony about him. What you saw is what you got.

So, I was wondering who would be the next generation's version of Fred Couples and I think we found it in Bubba Watson. There are a lot of similarities in both game and attitudes.

With all the news popping up prior to the upcoming Masters tournament, Bubba Watson stole the show yet again with his Oakley golf car hovercraft.

OK, when I saw it, I figured it was an April Fools prank, but it turned out to be 100% legit and when you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. And I want one.

Hovercraft use a downdraft and don't even touch the ground except for the skirt surrounding the craft, so there is no wear and tear on the grass unlike what happens with a normal golf car. In addition, it can glide over the ponds, bunkers or anything else in its path.

How cool is that?

Instead of staying on the cart paths, you just glide over the grass on a cushion of air and, according to the expert who helped design the craft, the downward pressure is 33 times LESS than that of a human foot. So, you could glide across a green and not leave a mark.

I wonder if Club Car will take this seriously enough to jump on the bandwagon. If not, Oakley, who practically reinvented the sport sunglasses market, will have yet another super-cool product to market and I'll bet that we will see these things all over the place in the next few years.

There is also a cool picture on the web where Bubba's adopted son, Caleb, heard his father's voice on TV during an interview and ran over to watch. Fortunately, his mother had a camera phone ready and got it.

Being in the public eye from time to time, I can relate to this as my daughter used to do it when she saw me on TV giving an interview. Let me tell you, there is no feeling better than that.

Unfortunately, she also thought I was Englebert Humperdink at one time due to our moustaches. C'est la vie, he can sing better than me, but can he play golf? Come to think of it, she also thought I was Calisto too.

Now you know why I stopped golf course management and decided to stay closer to home.

Also, Bubba posted a pic of his closet where his Master's green jacket hangs, right alongside a mini-me version for his son.

Again, how cool is that?

All in all, I gotta give my vote to Bubba for the Fred Couples award, but unfortunately, he still hasn't come up with any "Freddieisms", such as: "I never answer the phone because I have a horrible feeling there will be someone on the other end."

Still, give him time and he'll probably come out with a few and cement his position.

Will Bubba successfully defend his Master's title is another question, but I don't think so to be honest. He's got a lot going for him right now and a really full life. To win the Master's you have to be hungry like a lion in a weight watcher's meeting…

Or like like a Tiger…

In this case, I think Tiger has regained the fire in his belly and will tear through Augusta National like he owns the place, which with four titles in his pocket isn't too far from the truth. He's tied with Arnold Palmer and just two wins from Jack Nicklaus. If he is to eclipse Nicklaus wins for most Majors, I think that Augusta National will play a big part in it.

Phil Mickelson is also up there with three green jackets, but I just don't see him as a factor in this year's event. Nor do I see Rory McIlroy regaining his mojo in time for Augusta.

Still, it would be nice to see Bubba do it again, just to watch his kid jumping up and down in front of the TV. — VNS

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