Bryson DeChambeau’s incredible bulk and impressive distance gains are the talk of the PGA Tour since play resumed in June, and ratcheted up with his victory at the Rocket Mortgage Classic last month. Speaking on Barstool Sports’s Fore Play podcast, Chamblee, the outspoken Golf Channel analyst, weighed in on the evolution of DeChambeau’s swing and what it means for the future of the PGA Tour.
From a distance standpoint, Chamblee says it’s not unprecedented for the longest hitter to be nearly 30 yards longer than the Tour average. The difference is DeChambeau has been able to do it while hitting more than 60 percent of fairways rather than past bombers who found only 40-50 percent of fairways.
“Long and straight is the Giza pyramid. You look at that and say, how the hell can a guy do that?” Chamblee said.
While DeChambeau’s weight gain has garnered the most attention, Chamblee says the drastic changes DeChambeau made to his swing deserve the majority of the credit for his accuracy.
“It’s like Moneyball. Distance has become strategy. It’s not just some freakish accomplishment that people have and is mysterious. John Daly was a freak. Dustin Johnson is a freak. Bubba Watson is a freak. That’s how people always dismissed distance,” Chamblee said. “Here comes Bryson DeChambeau and there’s a before and after. Wait a minute, it’s not a freakish talent. He was the same guy last year and now he’s this much longer. There’s an actual strategy here and I love that he went and figured it out.”
“I’ll tell you another thing that is impressive,” Chamblee continued. “Imagine having a job that paid you $2 million a year…and you risked all of that by changing everything you were doing that allowed you to have that job. He was having fantastic success but he risked all of that – millions of dollars, being his own boss, an incredible way of life – that’s amazing. I just don’t know many Tour players who would do that. That’s an incredible risk, and he pulled it off.”
The question remains: How long can DeChambeau keep up his rigorous training schedule and will others be willing to adopt it?
“At some point, your priorities changes…life takes over. Do I have 16 hours a day to devote to a physical pursuit at the expense of every other connection I have with people? Not many people are going to do that. You laud him for it,” Chamblee said.
When asked how concerned he is that DeChambeau may end up getting hurt, Chamblee said, “I don’t worry about him injuring himself with his golf swing, but from a fitness standpoint, from a rest standpoint, and that’s well outside my area of expertise, but my friends who are experts in that area have looked at his form and question it. I’m less inclined to think he’s going to get injured because of the metamorphosis of his body than I was with Tiger or DJ or Brooks or Jason Day or Rory for a short period of time before he changed his training.”
You can listen to the full podcast with Chamblee here.