HZG Blog March – Enigma or rule breaker?
Whether you love him or hate him, Bryson DeChambeau is changing the way we think of golf and these thoughts are happening from all corners of the golfing world. Amateurs want to now hit “Bombs” like him, The PGA hierarchy want to restrict ball distance due to how far he is hitting the ball, manufactures want to make drivers so you hit it harder, faster, and stronger and the man himself is making claims of how he approaches a golf course that no other golfer dare think about. The thing that has surprised the golfing world is this has all happened in the last year or so. How the world has changed in that time, and golf is no different
Let’s rewind 15 months.
In 2019 Bryson came on Tv after the President’s Cup win in Australia and said he was going away to change his game. Totally strip it back and change his game. Until that time Bryson had won 7 PGA competitions as a professional since 2016. At that time people took his comments with a pinch of salt and did not fully believe what was being said. The Nickname “the mad scientist” had already been attached to the golfer because of the way he was now thinking about golf and the unique way he approaches certain courses. However, he did not have the tools in the arsenal to back up his mindset. That was about to change.
Since saying he was going to change, Bryson put on over 20pound of muscle. Nobody in the history of golf has done this to the extreme he has. Many pundits and golfers could not believe the change to Bryson. He had gone on a strict protein diet to bulk up and gain muscle. Bryson is 6.1ft so can carry weight very well but you can visibly see a dramatic change in his appearance. His work on weights to become stronger and working with the like of Kyle Berkshire who is the 2020 longest drive world champion really paid off. He has taken the physical world of a golfer and the way we hit a golf ball with a driver to the extreme. Some saying, will his body withstand the torque and years of pressure it will take? Tiger woods came onto the scene in 1996 and eventually, after thrusting golf into the sport it is today is struggling with back, knee and hip problems because of the physical aspects of his game. The change to Bryson is obviously a personal one but are the authorities in other areas stopping his unique approach.
In 2020, The Masters was hosted in September for the first time and Bryson made a statement saying he was having to “relearn the course and treating the Augusta course as a Par 67”. Many laughed saying why would he suggest these things. The PGA noticed this, and it set the plans in motion of stopping Bryson. In February 2021, the PGA released a statement saying they are looking at working with ball manufactures to limit the distance of golf balls. Some which first got mentioned in 2019. Bryson has hit drives over 400 yards and with a driving average of 323 yards this season he has by far the longest driver of a golf ball in professional golf. Tiger was a big hitter; Rory is still a big hitter, but Bryson is the longest.
Is this down to his club? Cobra, his Club manufacturer have worked with the golfer since he became a professional. His idea is for all his clubs to be the same length. 37.5 inches (95.3 cm). According to manufactory reports only 20% of the market do this. Nobody else in the top 50 in the world do this. Is this Bryson’s unique approach or will we see more golfers follow suite?
In 2020 Bryson then stated he was working with a 48inch driver. Again, a first from a professional golfer which then triggers the likes of the great Phil Mickleson follow suite and see more distance could be had with a longer driver.
As we have mentioned earlier Bryson is approaching courses unlike nobody else and more recently at the Arnold palmer invitational in March 2021 at the 15th hole Bryson made a statement saying if the wind were in his favour (over 10mph) he would go for the Green. This Green on this hole is 555yrds from the tee, over water. Nobody ever had attempted it, and nobody would even be close however Bryson was not far off. The example below is the shot Bryson took and the many Red and Blue dots are the rest of the field.
The Following event Bryson mentioned that on the 18th at TPC Sawgrass he was going to shoot the ball over the water to an area never used by anybody which was 308 yards away to leave a short iron in to the green. The organisers quickly rule the area as out of bounds to stop the shot.
Some may say this is Bryson DeChambeau is a modern-day genius in the way he plays golf. Some may say he is straight up crazy in his approach, but he is the only person to think of these new routes to shoot a lower score but why stop it? Why restrict the ball distance because of one man? Why question a sports person attempt to enhance his physical ability to improve his game? Others in sport have done the same. A report has recently been issued saying Lionel Messi dislocates his ankle when shooting for a better ball strike. Adidas put rubber on the predator football boot to help ball striking. Sports men and woman are always looking for the extra edge to set them apart from the rest and Bryson is doing that but the questions is,
WHY STOP HIM?
Everything he is doing is within the rules and whether you Like him or loave him, Bryson Dechambeau is arguable one of the top 5 golfers that pull the biggest crown alongside Tiger, Rory, Dustin, and Jordan Speith arguably. All of which have their own game and their own style which crowds love. But you can be the judge.
Is he playing by the rules or revolutionizing golf?