Golf geek’s ‘huge’ body transformation
YOU may have noticed something different with Bryson DeChambeau while watching him shoot his 5-under-par 65 in the first round of the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club.
He looks more like an NFL linebacker than a golfer.
DeChambeau has spent the better part of the past year bulking up in an effort to be better on the golf course.
"I've upped about 20 pounds (9kg)," DeChambeau said on Friday. "It doesn't mean I'm going to hit it farther (even though he does), but I've done a lot of speed training to attain these new ball speeds.
"When I was out here I was attaining ball speeds of 193 (miles per hour, or 310km/h), 195 on certain holes, and quite honestly I can't use it out here. There's only a couple holes I can use it, No. 11 and No. 1 and No. 2 really."
Justin Rose, who was playing in DeChambeau's group, noticed immediately. And not just by the gun show on display underneath DeChambeau's shirt sleeves - but by the results off the clubs.
"I saw a massive difference - one in his physique for sure," Rose said. "I mean, he's huge. I played with Dustin Johnson and I'm not small. But at 6-3 (190cm) and 190 pounds (86kg), I kind of felt pretty small out on the golf course."
"I hit a good drive down No. 1," Rose added. "I'm probably like low 170s ball speed. When I hit it well, I've got good spin and good launch and I carry it 300m. I probably got it out there 320m down No. 1 and I was 40m behind Bryson.
"It's a pretty significant difference for sure. DJ was kind of in between me and Bryson really. (DeChambeau) is definitely different. You can tell the practice swings are very intentional. He's looking for speed. He's obviously trained speed.
"But the other elements of his game still look in control. So it looks like he's definitely added a couple of weapons for sure."
DeChambeau made Johnson look short off the tee at times, and Johnson is one of the PGA Tour's longest hitters.
In his first nine holes, DeChambeau launched drives of 354m, 333m, 337m, 322m, and 317m. On No. 10, his tee shot travelled of 353m.
DeChambeau, who's known in golf circles as a technical "geek" and who has been referred to in the media as the sport's "nerdiest" player because of his scientific approach to the game with his set of irons that are the same length, has been working with Muscle Activation Technique (MAT), which describes itself as a non-invasive system used to restore symmetry and balance to the body's muscular system by improving range of motion.
From the look of Thursday, mission accomplished.
DeChambeau called his round "awesome", adding: "I'm excited to be back, and shooting 5-under is nice. I really didn't know what to expect to be honest, and (am) very excited to get out with a 5-under off the bat."