Bryson DeChambeau’s list of equipment quirks is long. We’re talking Santa Claus’ Christmas list long. Jumbo grips. A paltry 5.5 degrees of driver loft. Frankensteined 2-woods. Single-length irons. Telephone-pole-stiff multi-material shafts in all 14 clubs. And the list goes on and on.
The setup certainly works for DeChambeau, that much we know for sure.
But of all the things that separate DeChambeau from his peers, from an equipment standpoint, the most jarring is something that didn’t become apparent until after his U.S. Open win, when it was revealed DeChambeau changed Cobra King SpeedZone drivers prior to the final round.
Most players wouldn’t dare sideline their gamer driver while in contention on the weekend — unless there was a defect — but as Cobra Tour rep Ben Schomin discussed on the latest Fully Equipped podcast, DeChambeau doesn’t sweat driver changes. In fact, he embraces them, regularly rotating between upwards of 4 to 5 drivers with similar specs.
“Of all the things [Bryson] may do that may appear to be different or not the norm amongst his peers, I honestly find that to be the most unusual thing,” Schomin said. “He sometimes has three, four or even five drivers on deck. And it’s more of a rotation than it is having an absolute gamer, having the perfect backup and maybe one more backup in there.
“To have one brand and one loft and the same shaft — and then to continually rotate them. That’s completely unheard of. Most guys have their gamer they’re comfortable with, and hopefully one backup they’re comfortable with. That’s status quo amongst players on the PGA Tour. So to literally play Thursday and Friday with one driver, and then maybe put another one in on Saturday and maybe another different one on Sunday, that’s not very common on Tour.”
The modern driver offers a multitude of adjustable options, from movable weights that alter shot shape, spin and launch to loft sleeves for flight and face angle purposes. Instead of simply altering the launch and spin characteristics for a course layout or changing weather conditions, DeChambeau has found it easier to carry a handful of heads with similar lofts — ranging from 5.25 to 5.75 degrees with similar overall head weights — and throw a new one in the bag, along with the same shaft, when the current “gamer” (if you can really call it that) runs cold.
Schomin likens it to a baseball player who goes with the hot bat.
“It’s more of an appearance,” said Schomin. “With a baseball bat, it’s which one feels hot and really good on that day or week.”
With DeChambeau preparing to test 48-inch drivers in the coming days, Cobra may want to start working on building a bunch of prototype heads if the club gets the green light. Simply having a couple on hand won’t do for DeChambeau.
Check out the audio link below to hear the entire interview with Cobra’s Ben Schomin, along with the Fully Equipped crew’s thoughts on DeChambeau’s win (and gear).