It's all about the angles - DeChambeau

2016-04-05 20:02
Golf ball (Gallo Images)

Augusta - Bryson DeChambeau is one of a kind and he believes, as he makes his Masters debut at Augusta National this week, that his radical approach to club length could "change the game" for good.

The 22-year-old Californian amateur is unique at the top level in that he uses a set of irons and wedges that are all the same (7-iron) length and weight.

That was the outcome of his musings -- befitting a young man who majored in physics -- that golf could be made easier by adopting a "one-plane swing", whereby a player maintains the same angle to the ground throughout the swing.

"I knew that F equals MA, mass and acceleration," he told the New York Times, using a "F" to represent force.

"Those two can be exchanged in relatively equal terms when swung at a relatively low velocity, like compared to other things in this world."

Asked at Augusta National on Tuesday to elaborate on his "game-changer" technology, and whether golf was a science or an art, DeChambeau replied: "It's a mesh of the two.

"If you can beautifully mesh the art and science of it to enhance your game, there's no downside to it.

It's all a question of what club you feel most comfortable with and sticking with that, he explained, and also it's good for your back.

"If I play well next year, guarantee you a lot of people would want to try it, want to do it," he said.

"One of the main reasons is for people with bad backs, they have back problems. The issue comes about because you're changing positions every single time you go to a different club, barely, but enough to make a difference.

"And when that happens, you start moving your muscles in a different way, fractionally, but your muscles have acquired or have, I guess, molded to be comfortable with a certain position.

"That's why people have favorite clubs, like my 7-iron is my favorite club. That's why I perform really well with it. That's why I built my whole set around that."

The new approach certainly seems to have worked for DeChambeau, an avid student of golf history who idolizes Masters founder Bobby Jones and wears a Ben Hogan-style flat-cap when he plays.

Last year, he became just the fifth player -- after Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Ryan Moore -- to win the NCAA college individual title and the US amateur crown in the same year.

That opened the doors to him to play in a run of professional tournaments at the start of this year in Australia, the Gulf and at home and he says that proved to himself that he can compete with the best.

"I've gained a lot of experience. There's no doubt about that," he said.

"Getting comfortable with playing different people. Playing with Rory (McIlroy) over in Abu Dhabi and then playing with him at Bay Hill, 12-shot swing for me, 78 to 66, so I was happy with that. Made me feel a little more comfortable.

"That part of it was the biggest concern that I've had, being able to perform with these people, these professionals out here, these great players of the game.

"I think I've kind of got that out the back side. So I'm ready to go and looking forward to these next few weeks and start my professional career. I think I'm ready."

DeChambeau will certainly get another feel for the big-time on Thursday when he tees off in his first Masters in the company of defending champion Jordan Spieth, just two months his senior.

Read more on:    pga tour  |  masters  |  golf


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