So Big Bry managed to bring Winged Foot to heel, mainly by blasting his drives as far as humanly possible, and then wedging and putting his way to an easy victory in the 2020 U.S. Open.
They said it couldn’t be done, but he did it. Hmmm: the ‘experts’ are wrong, again.
I’ve never understood why DeChambeau is looked at askance by all the so-called golfing experts. He’s not the first big bopper to turn heads in this game. He’s not the first buffed up bopper to play this game at a high level. Does anyone remember Frank Stranahan? A power lifting champion in the 1950s, he played in and contended for several major championships. Kind of a nut, if I recall, but a helluva golfer nonetheless.
Bryson is certainly unique and different from all the rest. He plays clubs all cut to the same length (six-iron size) with clubheads all the same weight. My friend Steve Pike mentioned that the last two U.S. Open champions crowned at Winged Foot played with clubs made by Cobra (Bryson and Greg Ogilvy).
But there are other cool things about Big Bry. You might not know that:
- He’s right-handed, but he taught himself to sign autographs backward, with his left hand. No, I don’t know why, but he says it was a challenge and he therefore did it.
- In high school, he borrowed a physics textbook from the library and copied it down, word for word, in his notebooks. Odd, yes, but he says he learned physics that way. He is kind of a math savant, by the way.
- He read Home Kelly’s book The Golfing Machine at age 15. Yeah, that kinda figures: you can tell he’s a super-duper mechanical-swing kinda guy.
- When it became legal to leave the flagstick in the hole while you putt, he studied the coefficient of restitution differences between metal and fiberglass flagsticks. I believe he leaves them in if fiberglass because the numbers say he should.
- He used to putt sidesaddle (shades of Sam Snead) but now uses something called ‘vector putting.’ Don’t know what that is, but it apparently involves lots of math. And I became a golf writer because they promised there would be no math.
So, yes, Bryson DeChambeau is something of an odd duck. But he can play the game, from tee to green, and I believe the numbers indicate he may have more than a few more majors coming his way.
This post on the U.S. Open is brought to you by An Open Case of Death, the Hacker Golf Mystery set at the Open at Pebble Beach.