‘Best experience of my career’: Bryson on the Ryder Cup and a surreal Long Drive week
Ed. note: In this column, GOLF’s playing editor explains his love of team events, a cool new business venture for his former caddie, and why you should “firm up” your grip.
The joy of team play — and hitting bombs
The 2021 Ryder Cup was the best experience of my career. I can’t even put into words how much it meant to hear the fans chanting my name. All week, the team’s unity was unbelievable — Brooks Koepka and I even shared a hug! But, in all seriousness, the team came together and did something amazing at Whistling Straits, and I really believe it signals the start of an epic Team USA Ryder Cup run. Expect some incredible things in Rome in 2023 and beyond.
I couldn’t enjoy the celebrations afterward maybe as much as I wanted to, because the next day I had to fly to Nevada for the PLDA World Championships — The U.S Open of long-driving. To make it to the round of 16 was something I was really proud of and surpassed my expectations. Before I set my sights on the 2022 PGA Tour season, I wanted to do another big speed push. My current Tour average is about 190 mph ball speed. My goal is to get to 200 mph. Training for and competing in the PLDA was an important step. It’ll make me a better golfer — and help grow the game too.
A cool opportunity for my former caddie
Tim Tucker isn’t caddying for me anymore, but he’s still plenty busy.
Tim’s new company, LOOP Golf Transportation, provides first-class transportation to and from all three airports that service Bandon Dunes (three courses in GOLF’s new Top 100 in the World), allowing golfers a stress-free journey to utopia. No more hassling with rental cars. Simply hop on the bus and get the party started.
According to Tim, “We want your trip to start when you land, not when you land, drive a few hours on the road and then finally get there.” The LOOP bus fleet gives golfers a dream-like start and finish to their trip with accommodations including live TV, bathrooms and a full bar. Plus, there’s no need to worry about not reaching the destination safely since each driver in the fleet has over 10 years of experience.
With knowledge of the high-end clientele that makes the pilgrimage to the Oregon coast, Tucker and his partner knew there was a market for this type of travel.
Best of all? It won’t break your wallet. While the sticker price might be daunting (between $1,000 and $4,000, depending on the airport), when split between the eight people a bus can accommodate, that price comes down quickly. And, considering the amenities included, that price comes as a bargain.
“It’s as nice as any private jet I’ve ever been on,” Tim says. “It’s like getting a first-class ticket somewhere — but better.”
Check it out for yourself here!
Why you need to firm up your grip
Fact: You can move your body faster than you think you can. What’s stopping you, likely, is your brain telling your body to slow down because it’s afraid of getting hurt and losing control of the club. A huge part of my speed training focuses on breaking these neurological barriers so my brain knows it’s safe to move at higher speeds.
One way I do this — and you can too — is to simply grip the handle firmer. When I’m trying to up my speed, I’m literally gripping the club as hard as I can — and I have the blisters to prove it! This may run against what you’ve been told in the past, but gripping strength correlates to overall strength, and gripping firmer sends signals to your brain that your club isn’t going anywhere, which means it’ll allow you to swing it faster.