The reigning US Amatuer champ is a guy with a Hogan-style cap and a degree in engineering from SMU. He’s also a certified golfing weird-o, which is absolutely 100% a compliment.
Bryson Dechambeau is like the new Mac O’Grady, a guy who is either going to be the most interesting man in the world on tour, or a footnote flameout. All the experts say, count on the former, not the latter.
His hook is that he has every iron in his bag, cut to the same length. This allows him to swing with one-plane, all the time, all the way through the bag.
And to make things nuttier, he has “named” all of his clubs too!
For instance, his 60-degree wedge he calls King, a reference to the Masters champ from 1960, Arnold Palmer.
And his 55-degree wedge is known to him and his caddie as Mr. Ward, low amateur at the 1955 Masters and a former U.S. Amateur champ.
But that’s just he start. His 50-degree wedge is Jimmy, after 1950 Masters winner Jimmy Demaret and his 46-degree pitching wedge is Herman, after 1946 winner Herman Kaiser.
His 6-iron he calls Juniper, the flower that the par-3 sixth hole at Augusta is named after, and his 5-iron is Azaela because that’s the name of his favorite par 5 at Augusta (No. 13).
OK, so not all his clubs pay homage to the Masters. His 34-degree iron he calls Tin Cup. Why? Well, three plus four is seven, and a 7-iron was Roy (Tin Cup) McAvoy’s favorite club. And his 3-iron he calls Gamma, because that’s the third letter in the Greek alphabet.
Luckily for his caddy, he’s had those names “stamped” onto the clubs. Otherwise, I can see his name dropping the bag in frustration trying to remember what year exactly Jimmy Demaret won the Masters.
He’s also a devoted student of the legendary Homer Kelly book “The Golf Machine” – which is either a holy bible of mechanical instruction, or the most insane golf instruction manual ever.
Fellow technique nerd Phil Mickelson played with Dechambeau and noted “non-thinker” Dustin Johnson during practice this week. DJ came away saying if he listened to those guys for one more minute, he thinks he wouldn’t know how to hit a golf ball ever again.
Which goes to show, the game of golf takes all kinds. From mindless mashers, to short game artists, to analytical strategists.