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Bubba Watson just took the most absurdly aggressive line you’ll ever see

October 27, 2019

It was a tee shot that would make a golf course architect weep.

Bubba Watson stepped to the par-5 6th hole on Saturday at the Zozo Championship — and turned sideways. Rather than hitting driver down the fairway, Watson took dead aim towards the trees on the right. From there, he threaded a cut with his driver through the branches, over a pond and down over another set of trees.

When you see an aerial view, it sort of makes sense. Here’s the line Watson was taking on, which undeniably makes Narashino Country Club’s 6th hole significantly shorter:

Narashino Country Club's par-5 6th, played Bubba-style.
Narashino Country Club's par-5 6th, played Bubba-style.

But then you see the view from behind and realize just how hard this shot is to pull off. Still, Watson avoided the first two layers of obstacles — the hole sign and the first set of trees — and avoided embarrassment in the process. Give it a peek:

The shot is nightmare fuel for course architects everywhere, who would shudder at the idea that the hole would be better attacked by ignoring the hole altogether. It calls to mind Justin Thomas, who in 2017 played No. 12 at TPC Boston by ripping driver over the trees and down the 13th fairway instead. The hole had been freshly redesigned by Gil Hanse, but Thomas didn’t think much of the changes.

“I thought it was a great hole before,” Thomas said at the time. “I personally don’t think that it was a very good job re-designing it.”

We doubt Watson harbored any similar ill will toward the hole’s designer. More likely, the outside-the-box thinker found his curiosity piqued by an alternate routing — and he was far enough down the leaderboard to risk it (and he alluded to as much on Twitter). There was no reward for the unbridled aggression, as Watson went on to make par en route to a final-round 75.

One thing we’d bet on, though? The next time the PGA Tour comes to Narashino Country Club, there will be an extra tree or two planted down the right side of No. 6 to prevent any Bubba imitators.