2020 PGA Tour

ezemerson

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Wolff could've easily had 6 birdies in a row on the back.....and yes CBS we get it Bryson hits the ball far
 

FL4WL3SS

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I'm both hugely impressed and utterly repulsed by everything DeChambeau is doing to the game. This really has to be the last straw that makes the USGA and R&A finally do something about technology.
What technology? Weight lifting?

He's a one-off and it's not sustainable. He won't continue to work out this hard while grinding on tour, it's way too hard on your body. It'll be impossible for him to keep the weight on without getting absolutely burnt out.

There's literally nobody else on tour trying to do the same thing.
 
What technology? Weight lifting?
Golf ball and club technology. I get your point that Bryson has taken the driving distance thing to a limit that might not be sustainable, but Wolff wasn't *that* far behind him today, and the rest of the Tour isn't that far behind the likes of Wolff. The novelty of watching 350-yard drives has disappeared for me into frustration at the thought of how many more classic golf courses are being made out of date by the rank and file on the Tour, and how unsustainable golf as a sport is if every potential venue for a pro tournament feels it needs to keep buying up more land and building more tee boxes and bunkers in new landing areas, etc. I mean, do you *like* watching the kind of bomb-and-gouge golf we've seen on television this last month? Because we're only going to see more and more of it as long as the template DeChambeau has set keeps working...and to your last point, if nobody else on the Tour is currently trying to do what Bryson is doing, you'd better believe that other guys are going to try and copy him if he keeps this up.

I believe hitting the ball a long way should give you an advantage in golf. But length is increasingly the single dominant advantage you can get, and that you need - it's like what happened at Wimbledon with powerful serving for a few years, before the ball and courts were slowed down to bring each element of grass-court tennis back into greater harmony with one another. Bryson dismembered the course this week - even when he was missing the fairway on long par 5s, he was hitting 200-yard 8-irons out of the rough and over trees onto the green! That's the stuff of EA Sports video game golf, not what I want to see week in and week out.
 

Marciano490

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What technology? Weight lifting?

He's a one-off and it's not sustainable. He won't continue to work out this hard while grinding on tour, it's way too hard on your body. It'll be impossible for him to keep the weight on without getting absolutely burnt out.

There's literally nobody else on tour trying to do the same thing.
They’re professional athletes. They can’t lift weights 3 days a week?
 

BaseballJones

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It’s not difficult. Lower distance balls or wood woods. Just like pro baseball. As an amateur, by all means use whatever you want. But if you are going to play in a pro event, this is what we use. Nicklaus with wood drivers hit 300 off the tee. He’s dwarfed by these guys but not because they’re necessarily better. And this way they don’t have to redo all the courses. So Bryson can play the same exact course Nicklaus did.

It’s not difficult. It’s not gonna hurt club sales because amateurs will always use the high tech stuff if they’re able.

It just takes simple willpower as an organization (PGA). Any pro tournament uses wood woods or lower distance balls. Period. You don’t like it, play something else. It wouldn’t change how much fans love it one little bit.
 

cshea

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They’re professional athletes. They can’t lift weights 3 days a week?
Can he keep the additional weight on? That’s what separates him from everyone else. Tour players have basically been gym rats since Tiger came along. They all chase distance. Bryson just took it to the extreme int adding 40lbs of mass to maximize swing speed and thus distance. Can he keep that on for a full season, multiple seasons, etc.?
 

Marciano490

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Can rich people consume excess calories if it can affect their earnings by millions of dollars? I’d assume so.
 

Marciano490

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It’s all calories in and out. I mean, it’s not pleasant, but if it’s that much of an advantage people will figure it out.

I think the real holdup for most players will be whether their frames can support that kind of muscle gain without affecting the club path or swing or whatever it’s called.
 

TFP

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That’s what most amazing to me. He’s completely changed his physique, his swing speed, and is still hitting it straight. Plenty of guys have chased distance but there was always the accuracy trade off. So far for him it’s actually working.

I agree that it’s likely not sustainable. But I also could see him dialing back his tourneys played to keep up with training regimen.
 

Marciano490

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Robert Duvall doesn't seem like the type to bulk up and pretty sure he's never played on tour.
Sorry. Maybe if he hadn’t flamed out I’d remember there was only one l in his name. I recall the glasses though.
 

jercra

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Is it really working all that well for him even? He won today against a pretty weak field and on a course that didn't punish big misses much. Wolff and Champ both hit it nearly as far and had Wolff not played a horrific round today he's right there or even ahead at the end. Let's see how it works in a full field and on a course with a few defenses before we crown his ass. After all, it was tiger's putting that made him the best, not the fact that he hit past everyone. Bryson's putting was on today and he won. I don't think it had much to do with hitting it 20 yards past Wolff.
 

Average Reds

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That’s what most amazing to me. He’s completely changed his physique, his swing speed, and is still hitting it straight. Plenty of guys have chased distance but there was always the accuracy trade off. So far for him it’s actually working.

I agree that it’s likely not sustainable. But I also could see him dialing back his tourneys played to keep up with training regimen.
This is the most unique part of what DeChambeau is doing. And honestly, I'd be fascinated to watch this play out if not for the fact that the person who appears to be most impressed with DeChambeau is DeChambeau.

Maybe the arrogance is a necessary part of what he's doing, but I've already had enough of Bryson DeChambeau talking about how special/important/revolutionary his approach to the game is.
 
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He's still hitting it straight, but he's not always hitting straight with distance control - e.g., he probably would have won at Colonial had he not airmailed the green by 10 yards on the 71st hole, and that's hardly a unique miss for him from what I've seen over the past month. I also don't really trust his putting stroke or his short game (especially chipping game) yet...but if he can keep those few weaknesses in check, he really ought to be the favorite every week, and very much odds on to be in the top 10 in every tournament he plays.
 

johnmd20

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Is it really working all that well for him even? He won today against a pretty weak field and on a course that didn't punish big misses much. Wolff and Champ both hit it nearly as far and had Wolff not played a horrific round today he's right there or even ahead at the end. Let's see how it works in a full field and on a course with a few defenses before we crown his ass. After all, it was tiger's putting that made him the best, not the fact that he hit past everyone. Bryson's putting was on today and he won. I don't think it had much to do with hitting it 20 yards past Wolff.
Thus far, DeChamblis has completely dominated the field over the past few weeks. So, yeah, it's working quite well. Can he sustain it? That is the question. But right now, it's had a huge impact in a good way for him. And it is incredible how straight he is hitting it despite swinging like he's in a long drive contest.
 

cshea

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His calendar 2020 starts..

MC (Abu Dhabj)
T8 (Dubai)
T52 (Phoenix)
T5 (Genesis)
2 (WGC Mexico)
4 (API)
T3 (Conial)
T8 (RBC Herigage)
T6 (Travelers)
1 (Rocket Mortgage)

He’s had 8 top 10’s, 5 top 5’s and a win. Varied fields and courses in there. I think it’s hard to say anything other than it is working. His only real weakness right now (and historically) is chipping. He's been a loose with some wedges on approach shots too but it hasn't mattered a ton because he's been lights out with the putter too.
 

cshea

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There isn't a ton of trouble off the tee at Augusta so it'd be bombs away. His only weaknesses right now are wedge play and chipping, which could be a killer there obviously, but what is the longest iron he's going to have into a green there 6-iron on 8? Everything else is going to be 9-irons and wedges. Maybe I'm misremembering, but I think the fairway bunkers on 5 aren't in play for him.
 

jercra

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His calendar 2020 starts..

MC (Abu Dhabj)
T8 (Dubai)
T52 (Phoenix)
T5 (Genesis)
2 (WGC Mexico)
4 (API)
T3 (Conial)
T8 (RBC Herigage)
T6 (Travelers)
1 (Rocket Mortgage)

He’s had 8 top 10’s, 5 top 5’s and a win. Varied fields and courses in there. I think it’s hard to say anything other than it is working. His only real weakness right now (and historically) is chipping. He's been a loose with some wedges on approach shots too but it hasn't mattered a ton because he's been lights out with the putter too.
This is kind of proving my point. 6 or the 10 results above are from before he bulked up. I don't think his being good has much to do with hitting it 350 instead of 330. His putting has been good. When it's really good, he's in the top 10. When it's not, he's not. He also seems to only win when the field is weak, but it's hard to hold that against him since winning on tour is so hard that it's impossible to say if that's a cause or coincidence.
 

cshea

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This is kind of proving my point. 6 or the 10 results above are from before he bulked up. I don't think his being good has much to do with hitting it 350 instead of 330. His putting has been good. When it's really good, he's in the top 10. When it's not, he's not. He also seems to only win when the field is weak, but it's hard to hold that against him since winning on tour is so hard that it's impossible to say if that's a cause or coincidence.
He started bulking up in December, which is why I included the results from the beginning of 2020 in that sample. He put 20 lbs during his break between the Presidents Cup and then the Middle East swing, then added another 20 lbs during the shutdown. No clue if he would've added the 2nd 20 if the shutdown hadn't happened.

You're more knowledgeable about golf than I am, but I would think that being consistently being 20 yards ahead of the field off the tee is a significant advantage, no? And when he wants to get after it, he can get it out there 375. He's kinda been crap with his wedges since the restart, but t it hasn't mattered. He's always been a good putter (over the last 3 years his lowest finish in SG putting is 38th) so if/when he gets his wedges and distances dialed in, I think it's game over.

His highest finish in a major is T15, so he does have a lot to prove in that area, but he's won 2 playoff events and the Memorial so he does have some success against elevated fields.
 

jercra

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He started bulking up in December, which is why I included the results from the beginning of 2020 in that sample. He put 20 lbs during his break between the Presidents Cup and then the Middle East swing, then added another 20 lbs during the shutdown. No clue if he would've added the 2nd 20 if the shutdown hadn't happened.

You're more knowledgeable about golf than I am, but I would think that being consistently being 20 yards ahead of the field off the tee is a significant advantage, no? And when he wants to get after it, he can get it out there 375. He's kinda been crap with his wedges since the restart, but t it hasn't mattered. He's always been a good putter (over the last 3 years his lowest finish in SG putting is 38th) so if/when he gets his wedges and distances dialed in, I think it's game over.

His highest finish in a major is T15, so he does have a lot to prove in that area, but he's won 2 playoff events and the Memorial so he does have some success against elevated fields.
Ah, I didn't follow him enough to realize he started before the shutdown. All of the coverage has been about how he came out of shutdown as a different human. For sure, distance is helpful but, again, he's not hitting it that much further than Wolff (ball speed of 183 yesterday) or Champ and he's doing it with a 5 degree driver. The difference between 350 and 370 on a par 4 is the distance between one touch 60 and a different touch 60. On the par 5s, it's the difference between a 9-iron or a P-wedge. But it also can bring things into play that were intended to be in play on approach shots like lakes, trees, rough and such. It also minimizes the the margin of error. In the end I think the biggest advantage is in the non-obvious places. He's hitting 8-iron recovery shots when he misses the fairway from 200 out. That removes a lot of trees from play that you'd normally have to punch out of. He's hitting short irons into par 3s that let him hit the green more easily than others. But, all of this just gets him to the green. If he's putting well, he does great. If not then he's still in the top 10, but not a winner because he's still on the green in regulation or under regulation. Either way, it's a lot more fun than watching Speith find new ways to mess up good rounds.
 

Phragle

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There isn't a ton of trouble off the tee at Augusta so it'd be bombs away. His only weaknesses right now are wedge play and chipping, which could be a killer there obviously, but what is the longest iron he's going to have into a green there 6-iron on 8? Everything else is going to be 9-irons and wedges. Maybe I'm misremembering, but I think the fairway bunkers on 5 aren't in play for him.
Yeah with the way Augusta is designed he has the ability to really take the teeth out of some of the holes. I'm not sure hell try it but he has the carry to get past the bunkers on 5. At minimum that would give him a 50 yard advantage over the field average and on the hardest hole too
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Ah, I didn't follow him enough to realize he started before the shutdown. All of the coverage has been about how he came out of shutdown as a different human. For sure, distance is helpful but, again, he's not hitting it that much further than Wolff (ball speed of 183 yesterday) or Champ and he's doing it with a 5 degree driver. The difference between 350 and 370 on a par 4 is the distance between one touch 60 and a different touch 60. On the par 5s, it's the difference between a 9-iron or a P-wedge. But it also can bring things into play that were intended to be in play on approach shots like lakes, trees, rough and such. It also minimizes the the margin of error. In the end I think the biggest advantage is in the non-obvious places. He's hitting 8-iron recovery shots when he misses the fairway from 200 out. That removes a lot of trees from play that you'd normally have to punch out of. He's hitting short irons into par 3s that let him hit the green more easily than others. But, all of this just gets him to the green. If he's putting well, he does great. If not then he's still in the top 10, but not a winner because he's still on the green in regulation or under regulation. Either way, it's a lot more fun than watching Speith find new ways to mess up good rounds.
Wait...wuuut? He's hitting a 5* driver? Holy shit.
 

jercra

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Over Guapo Grande

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There isn't a ton of trouble off the tee at Augusta so it'd be bombs away. His only weaknesses right now are wedge play and chipping, which could be a killer there obviously, but what is the longest iron he's going to have into a green there 6-iron on 8? Everything else is going to be 9-irons and wedges. Maybe I'm misremembering, but I think the fairway bunkers on 5 aren't in play for him.
I read (I think from golf digest or something ) an article on my phone the other day during a constitutional, which opined that the single-club length is the struggle for his wedge woes. If I remember correctly, it was posited that he was coming in shallower because of the club length. I will try to find the article/editorial once the coffee hits.
 

BaseballJones

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I read (I think from golf digest or something ) an article on my phone the other day during a constitutional, which opined that the single-club length is the struggle for his wedge woes. If I remember correctly, it was posited that he was coming in shallower because of the club length. I will try to find the article/editorial once the coffee hits.
I'm super fascinated by the club length idea. Obviously, like basically everyone else that plays, my clubs are different lengths - wedges and such are shorter than 3-and-4 irons, etc. I assume that's because it's easier to control the shorter-length clubs. But there is something to his idea that having the same length club takes a huge variable out of the equation - he can now swing the exact same way with each club. Different length clubs does mean changing - even if slightly - one's mechanics with each club. He has stated that he's trying to eliminate every variable he can control and this obviously is one of them.
 

Over Guapo Grande

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Here is the article.
@BaseballJones - it does take a lot of variables out of play. Even down to setup.. If I start with wedge in the middle of my stance, and go up a half inch from there (going with one school of thought), how consistent is that going to be? Single length clubs would take that question mark out.
 

BaseballJones

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Here is the article.
@BaseballJones - it does take a lot of variables out of play. Even down to setup.. If I start with wedge in the middle of my stance, and go up a half inch from there (going with one school of thought), how consistent is that going to be? Single length clubs would take that question mark out.
Super interesting. I think what he's doing is this. He's so far outhitting everyone else that he figures that even if he's less accurate with his wedges compared to other guys hitting their wedges, he's hitting driver-wedge while other guys are hitting driver-8 iron or something like that. And so he only has to hit his wedges better than they hit their 8-iron.

For example, from these two sites as sources...



DeChambeau's PW is a 160 yard club. The average PGA pro (and this surprised me because I hit this club this distance...actually a little further) hits an 8-iron 160 yards.

DeChambeau's 8-iron is a 190 yard club. The average PGA pro hits a 6-iron 183 yards (carry) and a 5-iron 194 yards (carry). So while the field is hitting 8-iron, he's hitting wedge. While they're hitting 6 or 5-iron, he's hitting 8-iron.

But it's actually worse than that. Because that assumes they're approaching the green from the same distance. So let's look at average distances from the tee to the green. Call it a 500-yard par four (that alone shows us that the technology is wayyyy too much and needs to be dialed back at the pro level, but whatever).

Field:
- Driver: 275 yard carry...call it 300 yards total distance, leaving them with 200 left to the pin
- 4-or-5-iron to get that last 200

DeChambeau:
- Driver: 325 yards, leaving him with 175 left to the pin
- 9-iron to get that last 175

So the field is hitting 5-iron and he's hitting 9-iron. He doesn't have to be as good with wedges as the other guys because it's not a wedge v. wedge contest. He's so far ahead of them, plus his length with his irons means he is hitting 3-5 clubs lower (higher? I never know whether a 9-iron is a "higher" club or a "lower" club than a 3-iron...I need a ruling on this) than the other guys on his approach shots.

It's CRAZY.
 

jercra

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Super interesting. I think what he's doing is this. He's so far outhitting everyone else that he figures that even if he's less accurate with his wedges compared to other guys hitting their wedges, he's hitting driver-wedge while other guys are hitting driver-8 iron or something like that. And so he only has to hit his wedges better than they hit their 8-iron.

For example, from these two sites as sources...



DeChambeau's PW is a 160 yard club. The average PGA pro (and this surprised me because I hit this club this distance...actually a little further) hits an 8-iron 160 yards.

DeChambeau's 8-iron is a 190 yard club. The average PGA pro hits a 6-iron 183 yards (carry) and a 5-iron 194 yards (carry). So while the field is hitting 8-iron, he's hitting wedge. While they're hitting 6 or 5-iron, he's hitting 8-iron.

But it's actually worse than that. Because that assumes they're approaching the green from the same distance. So let's look at average distances from the tee to the green. Call it a 500-yard par four (that alone shows us that the technology is wayyyy too much and needs to be dialed back at the pro level, but whatever).

Field:
- Driver: 275 yard carry...call it 300 yards total distance, leaving them with 200 left to the pin
- 4-or-5-iron to get that last 200

DeChambeau:
- Driver: 325 yards, leaving him with 175 left to the pin
- 9-iron to get that last 175

So the field is hitting 5-iron and he's hitting 9-iron. He doesn't have to be as good with wedges as the other guys because it's not a wedge v. wedge contest. He's so far ahead of them, plus his length with his irons means he is hitting 3-5 clubs lower (higher? I never know whether a 9-iron is a "higher" club or a "lower" club than a 3-iron...I need a ruling on this) than the other guys on his approach shots.

It's CRAZY.
DeChambeau driving distance: 323
Champ driving distance: 322.6
Wolff driving distance: 312.4

He's longer than Cam Champ by .4 yards and 10.6 longer than Wolff. The advantage isn't really his distance or the other guys would be right there in every tourney too. Looking through his stats page nothing stands out as being exceptional except that he doesn't make a lot of + numbers. He's doesn't make a ton of birdies but doesn't make bogies or doubles. If he shoots a 71 on day 3, he can't win. He shoots mid 60s 4 days in a row to win or be top 10. He never really goes low and he's totally catchable if he's out front because you don't have to worry about him shooting a 61 or 62 while the field is shooting 68s. It's an interesting approach that sure seems to be working for him.

The single length club thing is goofy though. His driver and woods aren't the same lengths. Why not? Is chipping the same swing as a 5-iron? It's not in the same way putting is different than a 5-iron and yet those clubs aren't the same length. I get the theory, I just don't get what's special about 4-Lob in that theory. It's also really not hard to move the ball up or back in your stance. I can't argue with his results, but I also don't think just because Jim Furyk was very successful on tour means his swing is the "right" swing.
 

BaseballJones

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DeChambeau driving distance: 323
Champ driving distance: 322.6
Wolff driving distance: 312.4

He's longer than Cam Champ by .4 yards and 10.6 longer than Wolff. The advantage isn't really his distance or the other guys would be right there in every tourney too. Looking through his stats page nothing stands out as being exceptional except that he doesn't make a lot of + numbers. He's doesn't make a ton of birdies but doesn't make bogies or doubles. If he shoots a 71 on day 3, he can't win. He shoots mid 60s 4 days in a row to win or be top 10. He never really goes low and he's totally catchable if he's out front because you don't have to worry about him shooting a 61 or 62 while the field is shooting 68s. It's an interesting approach that sure seems to be working for him.

The single length club thing is goofy though. His driver and woods aren't the same lengths. Why not? Is chipping the same swing as a 5-iron? It's not in the same way putting is different than a 5-iron and yet those clubs aren't the same length. I get the theory, I just don't get what's special about 4-Lob in that theory. It's also really not hard to move the ball up or back in your stance. I can't argue with his results, but I also don't think just because Jim Furyk was very successful on tour means his swing is the "right" swing.
Well I was citing DeChambeau vs. average Tour player. Obviously he's not going to have much of an advantage off the tee versus Rory, for example.

As for the one-length idea....I'm no expert in any of this. I just find it fascinating.
 

jercra

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Well I was citing DeChambeau vs. average Tour player. Obviously he's not going to have much of an advantage off the tee versus Rory, for example.

As for the one-length idea....I'm no expert in any of this. I just find it fascinating.
Oh, I understood and wasn't trying to be critical of your post. I just find it interesting how much everyone is focusing in on his distance and just assuming it's what's putting him over the edge (for obvious reasons) but it just doesn't make much sense to me. If it was that much of an advantage then the longest guys on tour would always win and that's just not the case. It's an advantage for sure, but not as much as it's being made out to be I think.