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Will Bryson DeChambeau's win revolutionise golf?

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29th September, 2020

Bryson DeChambeau’s US Open win has got people talking.

A British commentator made a prescient observation as he watched DeChambeau in a European golf circuit tournament almost two years ago. He said physics major DeChambeau’s scientific approach could revolutionise the game given the American took an exam-essay time to examine all the factors before playing a shot.

The approach was way beyond consulting a caddie about yardages and throwing leaves up to test the wind.

DeChambeau has progressed a lot more than physically transforming himself from winger to beefy front-rower since.

He’s gained a figurative honours degree by winning the US Open with, it must be said, one of the great final rounds, being the only player to break par.

But though Bryson Lightyear might threaten to take the game to the US Open, infinity and beyond, is this where the game should go?

For countless hackers golf might be inspirational figures like John Daly, Craig Stadler, Shane Lowry, Lee Trevino or Miguel Angel Jiminez, with his cigars, paunch, ponytail and Spanish version of joie de vivre.

Some of that number might find the DeChambeau’s breakfast of four eggs and five bacon rashers appealing while passing on the protein shakes.


And DeChambeau’s example might reinforce the importance of education to future golfers, though everyone can’t be a physics major or brain surgeon.

DeChambeau is certainly an individual stylist, but continuing the football analogy, future US Open aspirants might be today’s identikit front-rowers playing identikit games, with none of the individual flair that such giants as the late George Piper and George Rose brought to the bargers art.

Older golfers might remember a time when 280 yards was a long drive and 300 yards was the monster, a time before a par on a par-five wasn’t a lost birdie.

When if a professional tried to reach a par five in two it was a major risk and reaching it was a major achievement.

Advances in club and ball technology mean 300 yards is now an average drive for most pros.

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The bulked-up DeChambeau leads the US tour with an average 328 yards. His opening drive at the Open was a ridiculous almost 390 yards.

Should amateur scientists and gym junkies follow the DeChambeau pre-shot routine at future tournaments, they might have to be played over five days.

Dustin Johnson won a tournament preceding the US Open with a ridiculous 30 under par, such has been the changes wrought by equipment and course design.

That isn’t golf and was never meant to be golf.

It’s time for the game to fight back, and the recent Royal Sydney example might have shown the way.

The club wanted to remove 100s of historic trees from the course but residents and environmentalists objected and have won a stay of uprooting.


That’s what’s needed – more trees, not less, and perhaps the odd one in the middle of the fairway. More obstacles, more rough, more strategically placed bunkers.

That way there would still be a place for those who don’t hit their drives 328 yards but can make the ball talk, like a Trevino.

The late Arnold Palmer was sometimes acknowledged as the greatest driver the game has seen, but Palmer also said there was more to the game than hitting the ball a long way.

There’s more to DeChambeau than hitting the ball a long way, much more, and if nothing else he has set an example of what hard work coupled with ambition can achieve.

And it may be his individualistic approach may be a one-off. Majors mightn’t follow and others may attempt to follow his approach while lacking his talent.


Meanwhile, there is another hazard.

Medical scientists and physicists alike might caution against his dietary approach and the price to be paid.

Don’t want golfers ordering at a hamburger joint and yelling out ‘four’.