Despite the massive yardage gains off the tee, has Bryson DeChambeau taken his bodybuilding regimen too far?
Bryson DeChambeau reportedly added 20 pounds of muscle and 45 pounds of weight during the PGA Tour' s pandemic break, and the result has been a massive yardage gain off the tee. Has he gone overboard, though?
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I’m not sure the key question is whether or not Bryson DeChambeau has gone "too far" or not.
Let’s look at his progress over years and not weeks. It’s fascinating for us to have someone as intelligent and thoughtful as he is, and how wonderful for those who love golf to follow what he is doing. Sports teach us there are many paths to greatness, not one for all, in spite of certain commonalities, whether they be long-term deep practice or simply delivering a clubhead through the ball in an efficient position.
Enjoy the show and do not be quick to judge.
I'm not a doctor, but putting on 45 pounds of weight and 20 pounds of muscle would still equate to 25 pounds of extra weight. It looks like the extra 25 pounds would be more detrimental than the 20 pounds of added muscle. I would think he would be more fatigued by the end of the round, especially with the hot summer months he will be playing. Maybe he should compare the last nine holes of his round with the first nine holes over the course of 10 tournaments and see if there is a drastic difference.
Who should decide that? In the early Tiger Woods days, Tiger's workouts and dedication to his training led to an eclipse of the field and forced his competitors to step up and come to him. I say it’s his choice and he’s working to get the job, as he sees it done.
Granite Falls, N.C.
The answer for Bryson seems to be long term or short term.
Short term, he might win some tournaments, even a major. Over the next few months of this condensed schedule, his Sunday play is going to be telling as he hauls the increased bulk around for weeks on end. I fancy Gary Woodland's chances better.
If he falls in love with hitting the Kraken, my guess is he will turn into another version of Phil Mickelson hitting bombs. The guy can't make a cut. And I am a big Michelson fan. Problem is, with all that talent, and all his wins, Phil still doesn't know how to play golf. Yup, I said that. I say that full well believing that if any reasonably sound player with total control could caddy for him in the next Open, Phil would win going away. Well, maybe.
However, that digresses from Bryson. Long term, we need to look to history. What player, including Tiger Woods, lasts long term by lifting heavy and bulking up? Can you really keep both sides equally strong so the joints aren't stressed? Could Tiger not have lifted so heavy and still won what he has won? I think most would say yes and more, because he would still be playing a full schedule. I think Rory McIlroy will outlast all the great players of this era because it seems he is mostly riding a bike. No stress, great workout.
This is even more complicated by the way Bryson approaches the game. The last analytical player that I can remember was Bobby Clampett. A nice guy, for sure, but how long did he last? Single length irons are never going to result in a consistently great short game. If he is going to hit the ball 350 yards, he better bring a good wedge game. Not seeing that ever with 6-iron length lob wedges — unless and until he analyzes the short game to death and realizes he might need a different length for his short irons. The wedges can all be the same length, just shorter than the rest of the irons. I mean, it's not like the driver is a 6-iron length.
Additionally, the distance gap for his present club set has to be increasing. The other problem with extreme ball speed all the time could mean distance gaps of 20 or more yards between clubs. This doesn't seem to me to be a recipe for consistency when one is trying to hit an iron close to a pin, especially given the tight pin placements on the tour. I wish someone would ask him what his present distance gaps are.
So for now, he is young and can probably do just about anything that makes sense to him. But the long term ramifications are not promising. When he is 45, I think that if he keeps this up, he is not going to like playing a reduced schedule to accommodate his back and other joint issues. He will still be plagued by a so-so short game and an inability to manage the distance gaps between clubs.
I would be happy for him if he can prove this analysis wrong. Golf is clearly not stagnating at the present time with new swing theories and technology, he may yet prove to be the new guru. I wish him the best.
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