Bryson DeChambeau wins first tournament, despite constant criticism

Bryson DeChambeau feels vindicated. His brilliant back-nine 30 at the John Deere Classic to lock up the first win of his professional career is a real clap back at his many detractors.

The so-called “golf scientist” ruffled a few feathers with his super-confident remarks, pledge to change game, and proclamations that he’d dominate the professional circuit…and all of this was before he even turned pro.

This isn’t to mention the physics major’s singular, science-based approach to the game, which has seen him try side-saddle putting. Obviously, his single-plane swing and single-length clubs are well documented.

“There has been a lot of talk,” DeChambeau said. “I had somebody say, Go back and get your old clubs or whatever. This week out here there was somebody that said that…Happens every week. I just throw it to the side and say, Don’t even worry about it. You’re going down the road you’ve chosen and you’re comfortable with it, and you know it’s going to in the end be the right thing.”

What else can a player do? You’ve got to be confident when you’re blazing your own trail. And consider this reply to the question “why do you do what you do?”

“I try and make a very complex variablistic game and try to understand it, to understand every single variable in this whole game of golf. It’s very, very difficult. But as time goes on, the more you can understand the variables the more consistent you can become just by understanding them. That’s what we’ve tried to accomplish.”

Isn’t that the point of the game? Do you think Ben Hogan or Moe Norman, the two greatest technicians of the golf swing would have a problem with DeChambeau’s approach? Are people more critical because he was a physics major? Is it because he uses big words? It doesn’t make sense. The dude is just trying to find the best way to play this maddeningly complex and difficult game.

But even if DeChambeau rubs you the wrong way, you have to admire his reply to the question “what do you want to do in this sport?”

“I want to make it easier for the amateurs.”

Let’s stop right there. First of all, Bryson’s quest isn’t just for his own glory, it’s for the good of the game. He’s trying to find an easier, better way forward. Lord knows the present state of instruction and swing theory isn’t making most people better. And further, while many pros care about the game and “growing” it, how many are trying to do something that will be concretely valuable for amateur golfers?

DeChambeau continues, “I think there is an easier way out there and people just haven’t figured it out. I hope I’m on the right track. I really believe I am. I think there are some cool things that I do that can help amateurs out there. People may think my golf swing really weird and funky, but I think it’s one of the most consistent swings out here. So that is one of my bigger goals, is to hopefully help out the game itself and bring more people in through these new ways of playing.”

So, before you criticize Bryson DeChambeau, try to understand what he’s doing and why he’s doing it. Not only could you come away admiring him, but you’ll have new tools to try to improve your own game.

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