The 17th hole at Harbour Town Golf Links measured between 192 and 161 yards last week depending on the pin placement. Bryson DeChambeau hit either an 8- or a 9-iron. He was 1-under on the hole through four rounds of the RBC Heritage.
Last year, 17 played 172 yards for DeChambeau’s two rounds. (He missed the cut.) DeChambeau hit either a 6- or 7-iron. He played the hole 1-over.
63Much has been made about DeChambeau’s driver during his mission to gain muscle to gain distance. And rightfully so. He’s pounding it. At last week’s Charles Schwab Challenge, 13 drives were hit 354 yards or longer, and DeChambeau hit seven of them, according to the PGA Tour’s website. In the process, he’s making the long holes more manageable.
The shorter ones, too. He’s also crushing 3-wood through loft wedge.
“I’m extremely excited to showcase what I’m able to do this week with this added length because now I’m hitting – instead of hitting – for example, 17, I hit 9-iron, 9-iron and 8-iron into that green, whereas before, I was at 7-iron and 6-iron last year and the year before,” DeChambeau said after Friday’s second round. “So it’s just a complete quantum shift for me that just allows me to go at things that I usually are not able to go at.
“Just for example, I hit 3-wood, 4-iron on 5 (a 542-yard par-5), another one. That’s a perfect example. That’s definitely different for me. I never thought I’d be doing that in my lifetime.”
DeChambeau broke down his yardages to GolfTV. They are:
Driver: 325 yards
3-wood: 295 yards
4-hybrid: 275 yards
4-iron: 255 yards
5-iron: 235 yards
6-iron: 220 yards
7-iron: 205 yards
8-iron: 190 yards
9-iron: 175 yards
Pitching wedge: 160 yards
47 degree wedge: 145 yards
53 degree wedge: 127 yards
58 degree wedge: 110 yards
The added distance on all clubs has also made DeChambeau comfortable on tighter courses, such as Colonial Country Club two weeks ago and Harbour Town last week. The driver will add yards, but it typically adds unpredictability. DeChambeau’s other clubs now will still put the ball out there, without putting it out of play.
After the first round of the RBC, he joked that he “couldn’t unleash the Kraken,” a nod to his driver. He said he hit just five or six drivers.
“There’s no way I could unleash it,” DeChambeau said. “It was just too tight out there. The wind was swirling all day, and I couldn’t feel comfortable to give it a good whack, but I was still able to manage keeping it mostly in the fairway.”
During Friday’s second round, he didn’t hit it all. Thursday, he shot a 4-under 67, Friday, a 7-under 64. He finished the tournament at 17-under and tied for eighth.
“I didn’t let the Kraken out today,” DeChambeau said after his Friday round. “I can’t. It’s just this golf course, it’s so difficult to try to fit into these tight areas where, if you miss it offline, like I did last week a couple times on a couple holes, there I’ll be, where last week, they were just in the rough and I was still able to get to the green.
“So for me, I was a little more comfortable out there hitting 3-wood, changed shafts in it and helped me draw a little bit more. So I was fine with that.”