How Bryson DeChambeau hits his driver longer than anyone else in PGA Tour history
Bryson DeChambeau often breaks out Ben Hogan-inspired flat caps on the golf course, which make him noticeable before he picks up a club. So does the ever-increasing chisel in DeChambeau’s physique.
But where DeChambeau really stands out is in the way the golf ball flies off his club. Whether he’s hitting the longest drives on the PGA Tour or using his same-length irons to precise effect, DeChambeau might be the most exciting masher of the ball on tour. Coming off a U.S. Open victory, his first major win, DeChambeau heads to the 2020 Masters at Augusta National Golf Club with the potential to totally change the way the course is played.
No one has ever been able to hit like DeChambeau before, so there’s no telling exactly what shortcuts or wrinkles he might find at Augusta. If it turns out those new paths end in victory, DeChambeau will have a nice green jacket to go with his stylish caps.
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The “2021” season, which started in October, is a small sample size, but it’s where we’ll start with DeChambeau. So far, he’s hit his drives an average of 344.4 yards, longest on the PGA Tour and almost 13 yards longer than the next closest player. The gap between DeChambeau and second place is the same as the gap between second place and tenth place.
In the “2020” season, which is considered complete, DeChambeau led the tour with a 322.1-yard average per drive. That was just one-tenth of a yard ahead of second place Cameron Champ. For perspective, the last time a PGA Tour player averaged more than 320 yards per drive in a season was in 2003 (Hank Kuehne, 321.4), and DeChambeau’s mark was the longest average on the PGA Tour in the available data dating back to 1980.
A 428-yard drive in June at the Travlers Championship is believed to be DeChambeau’s longest recorded drive during a Tour event, according to ShotLink (his previous long was 411 yards in 2018).
The remarkable thing about DeChambeau’s driving is the improvement its seen, though. The first year DeChambeau shows up on the PGA Tour driving leaderboard is 2017, when he hit his drives 299.4 yards on average. That number was 305.7 in 2018 before dropping to 302.5 in 2019. Every year, DeChambeau has driven longer than the PGA Tour average, which hovers in the 290s, but it’s only in 2020 really that DeChambeau has turned into the consistently longest driver on tour.
DeChambeau is quite the scientist when it comes to breaking down his drives. Most recently, he’s considered using a 48-inch driver (maximum shaft length allowed) at the 2020 Masters. According to ESPN, DeChambeau said the 48-inch driver added 4-5 miles per hour in ball speed and got his swing speed up to 143-144 miles per hour.
To sum it all up, we’ll use DeChambeau’s words. To describe his driving approach, DeChambeau used an easy-to-understand baseball analogy.
“From a driving perspective, I just am trying to get up there like I’m in a batter’s box, swinging as hard as I can trying to hit a home run,” DeChambeau told ESPN. “I don’t know if there’s a better way to say it.”
In June, DeChambeau spoke to Men’s Health to discuss how he added 20 pounds of muscle.
“Eight months ago I said, you know what, I want to try and get stronger, because I know there’s an advantage to be gained,” DeChambeau told Men’s Health. “If I could be like Happy Gilmore or Kyle Berkshire, hitting over 400 yards and hitting it straight? That is a massive, massive advantage. So I set out to do that, and I’ve been healthier and stronger ever since.”
For more than two years now, DeChambeau has been working out at Muscle Activation Techniques (based in Colorado) with Greg Roskpof, according to Men’s Health. The focus there is on building strength through adding mobility, and DeChambeau has only ramped up in the eight month timeframe he referenced in June. One thing he wants for sure: symmetrical strength in his core.
DeChambeau told Men’s Health he works out every single evening, never missing a night. He plays golf in the morning, then works out at night. DeChambeau doesn’t do anything wild with his diet, telling Men’s Health he just wants to keep a 2:1 carbs to protein ratio.
“I don’t know the endgame for me,” DeChambeau told Men’s Health. “I’m going to keep working out every day and keep getting stronger, and keep speed training as long as I can tolerate it. As long as everything is growing proportionally, I really don’t know how fast I can go. So I’m going to keep pushing the boundaries.”
Beginning in 2011, DeChambeau began playing with irons that are all the same length (37.5-inch shafts). DeChambeau majored in physics, and he was worried about having a slightly different posture depending on the slightly different lengths in a usual iron set.
Each of DeChambeau’s irons also weigh the same, meaning the only real difference is the loft of the club’s facing which will impact the direction it travels at contact. DeChambeau doesn’t refer to his irons by their traditional “3-iron” style names, but rather just by what each club’s loft is.
Here’s the physicist DeChambeau again, answering how distance is affected by the same-length irons: “Loft is really the answer to this distance question. Four degrees of loft accounts for about 12 to 13 yards of distance when swung around 90 miles per hour.”
DeChambeau acknowledges just before those physics remarks that for people who have swung different-length irons their whole life, making the switch could be hard. But for DeChambeau, who made the change relatively early in his golf career before refining his career and getting stronger, it’s worked out ideally. It’s one less thing for the uber-strong DeChambeau to worry about — to some extent the same as when he drives, he can just let his swing fly and trust his mechanics and the club will do the rest.
Article Found At – Sporting News