My Five: Favorite Improvised Beginnings

January 26, 2011
Editor's Note: Jaime Diaz compiled this list in January 2011. Another potential candidate could be Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey, who recently captured his first PGA Tour win at the McGladrey Classic.

When 26-year-old rookie Jhonattan Vegas won the Bob Hope Classic, it was the culmination of a golf journey that began when he was a boy hitting rocks with a broomstick in a Venezuelan oil camp. Some of golf's greatest characters have come from similar roots, all of them not coincidentally wizards of shotmaking. Here are my favorite five.
Bubba Watson

5. Bubba Watson

As a kid in Milton along the Florida panhandle, Watson took some plastic golf balls given to him by his father, drew a five-foot circle in his dirt driveway for a target and then spent hours finding a way to hit every shot imaginable. "Hitting a plastic ball low is hard," Watson says. "So hitting a low cut with a plastic ball, think how hard that is. But when I learned to do it with a plastic ball, doing it with a real ball was easy." With his 125 mph-plus clubhead speed, Watson is the most dramatic curver of the ball in the game, supplanting Corey Pavin, who he defeated in a playoff at the Travelers Championship for his only official victory.
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Subscribe to Golf Digest
Subscribe to Golf Digest
Subscribe today