Bubba Watson is scared of heights, crowds, the dark and buildings falling on him


Bubba Watson has spoken publicly of the anxiety he feels on and off the golf course ahead of challenging for his third green jacket at The Masters this week.

The 37-year-old American, who won at Augusta National in 2012 and 2014, is one of golf's most colourful figures, attracting plenty of supporters with his unorthodox swing and straight-talking manner.

Watson, though, is not as laid back as he sometimes appears, revealing some of his apparently irrational concerns an interview with CBS.

"I have a lot of mental issues, that I just am so fearful of things, which I shouldn't be, right?" Watson told 60 Minutes on Sunday.

"[I'm] scared of heights. Scared of buildings falling on me. Scared of the dark. Scared of crowds. Those are my biggest issues."

But Watson is clearly not scared of competition.

The former world number two said he has to battle to harness his inner demons, particularly when he is around the big crowds that the event at Augusta National never fails to draw.

"In between holes is really scary to me because there's so many people that close to you ... I'm just scared of people. It's just ... in general," he said.

Those fears manifest themselves in a hair-trigger temper that often focuses on long-suffering caddie Ted Scott, who said: "Whew, man, he is a mess ... but he's a fun mess, y'know? I think Bubba is an extremely emotional person, but 95 per cent of the time that's happiness.

While many players agonise over the minutiae of their swing technique, Watson, a self-taught natural, appears to have more trouble with the psychological aspect of the sport.

"The physical game is easy," he said.

"That sounds bad. But it's easy to me. I can do that. I can hit it far. I can curve it. I got the shots. It's just mentally being at that moment, right then."