Money Lessons from Bubba Watson, Masters champion

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Bubba Watson with the General Lee (Photo Credit: http://twitter.com/bubbawatson)

The Masters is one of the most famous golf tournaments in the world, played each year at Augusta National in Georgia. The famous Green Jacket is awarded to the winner of this PGA Major golf tournament, and the Masters championship is synonymous with grace under pressure, professionalism, and tradition.

Bubba Watson, the 2012 Masters champion is a unique person, to say the least – he does not fit the mold of what most people would expect from a golf pro.

Bubba Watson is a PGA golf pro who has never had a golf lesson. (He learned to play from golfing with his dad.) He has an unusual swing and an unusual personal style – he appeared in a boy band video called “Golf Boys” with a few other PGA golf pros to raise money for charity. (Bubba Watson is the one who is barefoot and wearing overalls.) He owns one of the original “General Lee” cars from the Dukes of Hazzard.

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Bubba Watson is an unconventional Masters champion, but his success offers a few interesting lessons for how manage your career and your money:

  • Be creative: Bubba Watson was in a sudden-death playoff for the Masters championship. He hit an unfortunate shot and his ball went into the trees. It looked like he wouldn’t be able to recover. But then Bubba took out a wedge and hit a daring, reckless, crazy shot – he couldn’t even see the green, but he somehow hooked his ball around the trees, onto the green 10 feet from the hole, putting for birdie. He went on to win the hole and win the championship with this daring move. What could you do in your money management or career that would be a little bit daring? How can you take a risk in exchange for a greater reward? You don’t want to gamble with your money, but sometimes it pays to take some risk (investing in stocks instead of leaving all your money in a bank savings account, taking a new job that has a higher potential income even though you have to learn new things and take some chances) in exchange for bigger rewards down the line.
  • Be generous: Bubba Watson is a dedicated philanthropist who is using his high profile to raise money for many good causes. The whole week of the Masters, he used a special pink driver and wore white clothes to raise money for children with birth defects. How can you be more generous with your money and your time?
  • Never give up: Bubba Watson is 33 years old and just won his first PGA Major championship. He overcame a lot of adversity along the way. His father died of cancer in 2010. His mother worked two jobs while he was in high school to help support Bubba’s dreams of becoming a PGA golf pro. Bubba Watson came from a small town called Bagdad, Florida – he was not a stereotypical “country club” kid with lots of money and privileges. Instead, he worked hard to get where he was and overcame long odds. If someone as unconventional as Bubba Watson can win the Masters, what can you accomplish in your career?

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Most of us will never be Masters champions but we can all become champions of our own financial lives, our own careers and families, and serve our communities with generosity and energy. Congratulations to Bubba Watson and thanks for the inspiration!

Photo credit: http://twitter.com/bubbawatson

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