Bryson DeChambeau has had his best season since turning pro in 2016. His unorthodox approach to the golf game has finally landed him four wins in just over 13 months.
This past season, DeChambeau has made his name at the top by winning the first two FedEx Cup Playoff events. The 25-year-old stood a chance of winning the season-long FedEx Cup prize of $10 million if Justin Rose, and Tiger Woods who won the final event Playoff, had failed to secure the most lucrative prize on the PGA Tour. However, DeChambeau, who turned pro in 2016, will need to manage his talent if he’s to reach his maximum potential.
After earning his PGA Tour card at the end of the 2016 season, DeChambeau started his journey with bad results. Having begun his 2017 campaign at 130th in the world rankings, the player, whose full name is Bryson James Aldrich DeChambeau, missed the cut three times and withdrew once in his first four appearances. However, he turned things around and closed the 2018 season in the seventh position on the rankings.
We’re taking a look at the backstory of the player nicknamed the “mad scientist”:
What was DeChambeau’s amateur story before turning pro?
DeChambeau won the California State Junior Championship at age 16. In Southern Methodist University (SMU), Texas, DeChambeau became the first SMU Mustang to win the NCAA individual championship, doing so in June 2015. In the following August, he claimed the US Amateur title. He became the fifth player to win both titles in the same year, joining Jack Nicklaus (1961), Phil Mickelson (1990), Tiger Woods (1996), and Ryan Moore (2004).
DeChambeau has earned the nickname “mad scientist” on the PGA Tour. Why is that?
DeChambeau is often described as sport's mad scientist because he brings a unique approach to playing golf with a lab-built swing, single-length clubs, and an analytic work ethic.
Speaking about single-length clubs, what does that mean?
He has "single-length" irons and wedges. Each club measures 37.5 inches and is built with a 7-iron shaft, unlike traditional sets of irons which decrease in length from a 2-iron down to a wedge.
DeChambeau also gives special treatment to his clubs. What does he do?
He names all of his clubs. His 60-degree lob wedge is named “The King” after Arnold Palmer and “Jimmy” is his 50-degree wedge in honor of 1950 Masters winner Jimmy Demaret, and “Gamma” is DeChambeau’s 3-iron because gamma is the third letter in the Greek alphabet. Not only that, all his irons have 280 grams of head weight. DeChambeau also uses oversized grips on each of his clubs.
Despite his academic approach to the game, DeChambeau wasn’t the best student. How come?
He wasn't great at reading and writing. “I'll never forget, the first time I got a B in high school, I was mortified because I had worked so hard, and I just wasn't good enough in writing,” said DeChambeau, as quoted by Golf Channel. Notably, his strength is arithmetic.
The Most Unusual Things About DeChambeau
- Bryson DeChambeau developed his first set of single-length irons at 17. Along with his long-time coach, Mike Schy, he modified a bunch of shaft flexes and clubs to build his first set of irons. I
- In 2017, Cobra, who endorse DeChambeau, released a consumer product, Cobra King One-Length irons, along with Bryson's input.
- DeChambeau has worn the Hogan cap since he was at 13. He saw the cap in a pro shop and decided to pick one up, and it has become his signature look ever since.
- Although he's right-handed, Bryson can sign his autograph backward with his left hand. "I can be good at anything if I love it and dedicate myself," said DeChambeau, as quoted by Golf Digest.
- 5. In high school, he rewrote his physics textbook. Borrowing the textbook from the library, DeChambeau wrote down everything from the 180-page book into a three-ring binder.
- At age six, DeChambeau was a master of mental math and even had an understanding of algebra.
- His swing today is a DeChambeau modification based on a book titled The Golfing Machine by Homer Kelley that he read at 15. With guidance from Mike, he came up with a single-plane swing from the book that's called a “zero shifting motion” more technically.
- He uses a system of putting called vector putting, to compute the break and read the green.
- He has mastered an art technique called stippling. "I've gotten into stippling drawing, which is done with many dots making figures."