The Charles Schwab Challenge gave golf viewers around the world their first opportunity to see what a bulked up Bryson DeChambeau looks like, and what a sight it was. One couldn’t help but be a bit shocked at first; what happened to the lean and somewhat dorky golfer that they used to call the ‘mad scientist?’
Surely this wasn’t the same golfer that used a compass to calculate the angle of his shots? It wasn’t just the reputation of DeChambeau that had been drastically altered but also the shape of his body, after managing to put on a whopping 45lb over the last few months. Seeing him hunch over the golf ball like a Texan bull will take some time to get used to but then again, there’s every chance he will continue to bulk up, his transformation may just be gaining traction. Indeed, the revolution may just be about to kick off in earnest judging by his latest comments.
‘My time is coming’
Despite all the backbreaking work in the gym whilst the season was on hold, DeChambeau was unable to stop Daniel Berger from winning the Charles Schwab Challenge, but a third-place finish was admirable going. During his press conference after his last round, DeChambeau remarked that his time was coming before hopping on a plane and heading back to California; strange utterances after finishing on the podium. Indeed, the 26-year-old’s comments almost sounded quite ominous and you can’t help but feel that he is desperate to be seen as a man who is about to transform the game of golf.
That’s Bryson for you in a nutshell; he tried to show it when he arrived on tour a few years ago with a peaky cap and shafts that were all the same length, and now he is trying to do it by proving that a gruelling gym routine can help you bring a course to its knees by obliterating it off the tee. He’s young, talented, and smart, but ultimately, DeChambeau is a bit too clever for his own good.
The numbers don’t lie
If you’ve got a few spare minutes, then DeChambeau will talk your ear off about clubhead speed, which is his new thing. The more physically toned you are, the more likely you are to deliver the face of the club to the ball at a speed that will propel it down the fairway over 350 yards. That is what he did at the Charles Schwab Challenge, DeChambeau averaged 340 yards off the tee while the rest of the field came in at around 300. That is a noticeable difference in anyone’s book.
But then the eventual winner, Daniel Berger, was ranked in 22nd place for distance off the tee and the guy who came third, Collin Morikawa, was in 45th place for the longest drives during the week. The point here is, if you haven’t picked it up by now, that whilst hitting bombs off the tee is a great advantage, it isn’t solely enough to win tournaments. Take a look back at the greatest wins over the last decade and you will see that most of them were decided by what happened on the green, and not the tee. Simply put, PGA professionals have to work on their putting in order to be remembered when their careers are finished. As they say; ‘drive for show, putt for dough.’
When DeChambeau says that his time is coming, he no doubt means in the majors where he is desperate to claim his first win. Only as it stands, he is not the favourite in any of them despite resembling the hulk nowadays.
Interestingly, if you were to look at who the favourite is by scouring the best golf betting sites, you’ll see that Rory Mcllroy is the front runner in the PGA Championship, The US Open, and The Masters. Yes, the same Mcllroy who was 30 yards behind DeChambeau during the playing of the Charles Schwab Challenge. It appears that not everyone is convinced that DeChambeau is about to conquer golf after spending months in the gym.
As it stands, DeChambeau is almost the complete package, he has the swing and the athletic build to dominate. The last piece of the puzzle is the psychological aspect which needs as much attention as he gives his dumbbells.
Without that, he will always be slightly misguided in his approach to winning. Indeed, it doesn’t matter how chiselled your torso is, no one is going to respect a naive know it all golfer, regardless of how talented.