Some comments from a GOLF.COM article after Bryson's win:
John Wood, PGA Tour caddie for Matt Kuchar (@Johnwould😞 Bryson seems to have broken the code for Bryson. And I think he has transferred what has been done at the long driving competitions for a while now to highly competitive golf. I couldn’t be more impressed. I was watching today and thought how economical this type of game is to practice. You practice drivers, wedges, chips and putting. He won’t often have to hit mid-irons, ever. Maybe a couple a day to par-5s. But for the most part, playing the game like he is playing it, and how courses are allowing him to play it through setup, why would you spend the time on fairway woods and hybrids and long/mid-irons when they will be used so seldom.
Sean Zak, senior editor (@Sean_Zak😞 I like what John said. Bryson found Bryson’s template — bomb it a mile, hit easier clubs into greens and if you putt well you’ll win. The difference between his template and other players’ is that his template works better at 80 percent of courses on Tour. That’s the bottom line. It makes it hard to imagine him missing the cut at a cookie-cutter Tour course. Does it work in Scotland? It’s hard to say right now, but across parkland America, he’s going to be dominating if he putts well.
Here is an interesting graphic (from Geoff Shackelford blog post); illustrates the difference between Bryson and the rest of the field at Detroit Golf Club and hole #1
Also from a Geoff Shackleford blog post:
A few stats of note:
First player in the 16 years of ShotLink and “Strokes Gained” to lead a field in both driving and putting.
Averaged 350.6 on the eight measuring holes, compared to a field average of 301.5.
He averaged 329.8 on all drives at tree-lined Detroit Golf Club, compared to the field’s 297.6 average.
DeChambeau reached 23-under-par to win by three strokes over Matthew Wolff, who started the day three ahead. Wolff hit five more fairways for the week, if that means anything (38/56 to Bryson’s 33/56).
According to CBS’s Jim Nantz, DeChambeau’s drives Sunday ended up 423 yards longer than playing partner Troy Merritt’s. And 143 yards longer than Wolff’s tee shots on the non-par-3s.
There are, of course, issues that come with all of this madness. In no particular order:
I get more questions asking if there is drug testing instead of equipment or COVID-19 testing.
Half of most social media posts regarding DeChambeau descend into unfair character assassination about the naturalness of the weight and strength gain without any evidence this is something other than just hard work and an excessive diet.
There are undoubtedly kids and parents watching and sending junior to the gym instead of our to play or practice golf. This has always been a risk of allowing golf to become a long drive contest, and now we have an extreme example to inspire a movement.
Even with CBS having their best production yet, highlighted by some excellent storytelling around the DeChambeau dominance, the sight of driver-wedge golf and 8-irons into par-5s lacks any significant give-and-take between player and course. I’m not saying it’s boring, but there is less satisfaction in watching a course unable to call on a variety of skills.
The obvious question of such a dominant and shocking performance: where do we go from here on the distance debate?