As we all know golf is full of characters. This story illustrates the life-path difference of two really fine players who participated in the same Mini Tour Event in 2003.
There is a great senior golfer who plays at my club in Santa Rosa Beach, FL named David Noto. David has been a combination golf professional and superintendent his entire adult life. He loves golf and knows the game from both sides. He has recently moved to Florida to chase his dream of becoming a player on the PGA TOUR Champions. When not playing in some senior qualifier, David sometimes joins our regular group of low handicap players.
Our club is currently closed (going through a complete renovation), so David has taken a part time job working outside services at Shark’s Tooth Golf Club nearby. He picks up a few bucks, but he has full access to their fine practice facility and Greg Norman golf course.
A few weeks ago at Shark’s Tooth, David reached into the trunk of a fine automobile and loaded two sets of clubs onto a golf cart. The first thing he noticed was the size of the woman who exited the passenger side. “RJ she was at least 6’4”, and strong. Then a slender fellow with dark hair handed me a $20 bill. I looked him in the eye… then said, ‘Thank you Mr. Watson.’ As in Bubba Watson.”
Bubba grew up and still has family in Bagdad, FL, about 60 miles from Shark’s Tooth.
As David was relating the story to me, he said, “I hesitated for a just a second, then I figured it was the only chance I will have to get the answer to a question that had been in the back of my mind for almost 20 years.”
“Bubba, may I ask you a question?” Bubba nodded in the affirmative as he and his wife Angie, who played basketball at Georgia, remained in the cart.
“Back in 2003 we were both playing in a Mini Tour Event in North Georgia at Scales Creek Golf Club. The opening round I shot 72 on that really hard golf course. The wind was really blowing. Then someone told me that you shot 62. You beat me by 10 with that 62. I thought, wow how could anybody shoot 62 today.”
“Yes, I do remember that tournament,” Bubba said as a smile spread across his face. “Do you remember what happened the next day?”
“I sure do,” Noto responded. “Bubba, you shot 61 and the wind was still blowing.”
“Correct,” Watson said. “I was playing really good, and my group was waiting to hit our tee shot on the 16 tee. Suddenly the General Manager of the golf club came driving up in his golf cart. He asked me to sign my scorecard from yesterday’s round as he shoved it in my face. He said it was a course record. Well, it really pissed me off. The GM coming out in the middle of my round to get a signature. I said to him, ‘I am not going to sign that scorecard. I am going to set the new record today.’ Then I finished eagle, birdie, birdie for 61.”
“I never did sign that scorecard for him either.”
“Enjoy your round Mr. & Mrs. Watson.”