The week after the Masters in 2016, Bryson DeChambeau made his professional golf debut. Many “experts” had questions about his game, his swing and his potential as a professional. Today, he’s far exceeded most of those expectations.
The reason was, in part, because Bryson DeChambeau used irons that were all one length. He was and is still called the mad scientist of golf. Amazingly, DeChambeau was a physics major in college, and he is scientifically minded. He was determined to utilize the science behind golf to make his game better by reducing the variables in his golf swing.
It looks like his plan is working. After just two-and-a-half years on the PGA Tour, he’s won five times, four of the victories coming since June of this year.
“I thought I had it in me, but I didn’t know I could do it,” DeChambeau said to media after winning the Shriners Hospital event. “Last year I saw some signs of something great, and I didn’t know what it meant. Didn’t know where it would lead me. It certainly led me I think in the right direction, I think, so far.”
With so many recent victories, including three against very strong fields, DeChambeau may be the player to beat this year. He might be the Next Big Thing in golf, even if he doesn’t want to discuss his achievements in that light.
“I will not talk about am I the hottest or who’s the hottest right now. Every week is so different,” he insisted. “You can be the hottest player and miss the cut. There is more to it than just playing good golf. You’ve got to understand the conditions at hand.”
He cited his own experience in 2017 of winning at the John Deere and missing the cut at the British Open immediately afterward.
While his success may seem sudden, we should have seen it coming. DeChambeau is one of a handful of golfers who have won both the U.S. Amateur and the NCAA individual Championship. Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods are three who have also done that.
However, despite his amateur record, Bryson DeChambeau did not begin his PGA Tour golf career in brilliant style. After making his first cut at the 2016 RBC Heritage, he missed four straight cuts while trying to win enough money with sponsor exemptions to earn a PGA Tour card for the 2016 and 2017 season. His last PGA Tour event that year was The Travelers in June.
The next season, after 14 missed cuts and a second in Puerto Rico, he broke through at the John Deere Classic with his first victory.
“I learned the hard way my first year and a half on tour, missing 14 cuts in a row, and I realized I had to change my game if I wanted to compete out here,” DeChambeau explained about his career progression. (The missed cuts were not actually in a row, although to him, it may have seemed like it.)
Regardless, that was then, and this is now. Today he is focused on bio-mechanics, the movement of the body under different conditions.
“I have tolerances, and I allow for error because that’s just — you innately have, there’s human error,” he said about his theory.
More from Pro Golf Now
He says he can imagine his body making a golf swing.
“It’s like I have this black space, and it’s just of my hands and arms and body, and I see it, and I just take it ( the club) back and have this neurological sensation or input that I have for applying force to the club,” he attempted to explain.
“There is a track to it. I see it and in that vision. Some people look and envision shots, do all that, but I just create it in my brain.”
DeChambeau will not give away what he believes are his special tools. When asked to elaborate he said, “That’s a long conversation, and it’s a secret, you know, that I have, that I’ve built in my own golf swing. But what I can say is that it’s biomechanics.”
And then, according to Bryson DeChambeau, mother nature usually throws something unwelcome into the equation, because as he pointed out after his victory at the Northern Trust, no one can control the conditions of the course or the wind.
“The wind is always going to be the final — you know, the Holy Grail. We’ll never be able to figure that out,” he added. “For me, I think I’m playing great golf right now. Certainly, playing the best I’ve ever played in my life, and hopefully it continues upward.”
Bryson DeChambeau’s fifth victory came in his 68th start as a pro on the PGA Tour.