Bryson’s inspiration? Hitting it over 400 yards and straight ‘like Happy Gilmore’

Bryson DeChambeau walks up the fairway at Colonial.

Bryson DeChambeau gained attention at Colonial for his new physique and monster drives.

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As the first major sports league to return to action, the PGA Tour had a lot of extra eyes on it last week. And so did Bryson DeChambeau.

DeChambeau’s quest to bulk up began last fall, and it’s been quite the transition. He says he’s now up to about 235 to 240 pounds, and he gained 20 pounds alone during the PGA Tour’s three-month break. It’s paid off so far, as he tied for 3rd last week and was T5, 2nd and 4th in the week’s before the Tour’s long pause.

In a story in Men’s Health published on Wednesday, DeChambeau explained what the transition has been like.

“Eight months ago I said, you know what, I want to try and get stronger, because I know there’s an advantage to be gained,” DeChambeau said. “If I could be like Happy Gilmore or [World Long Drive competitor] Kyle Berkshire, hitting over 400 yards and hitting it straight? That is a massive, massive advantage. So I set out to do that, and I’ve been healthier and stronger ever since.”

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DeChambeau works with Greg Roskopf at Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT), but his training has increased in the last eight months. He doesn’t take rest days, plays golf in the morning and works out every night.

“I’ve tried the keto diet and all these things, but what I’ve found is that as long as I’m keeping a 2:1 ratio of carbs to protein, that works for me,” he told Men’s Health. “Obviously, that’s not going to work if you want to lean down. But walking eight miles every day, I haven’t gained any fat.”

Last week, DeChambeau led the field in driving distance and Strokes Gained: Off the tee. He ranks 2nd in SG: Off the tee (1.119) for the season and first in driving distance (323.8 yards), although his accuracy is just 121st.

Rory McIlroy, one of the longest hitters on Tour, played with DeChambeau on Sunday at the Charles Schwab Challenge — and he was blown away.

“Yeah, I mean, obviously at the start of the year he came out and he was a bit bigger,” McIlroy said Wednesday, ahead of this week’s RBC Heritage. “You could see he was getting a bit of speed and stuff, and he was hitting it a long way. But he hit a couple drives on Sunday that [McIlroy’s caddie] Harry and I just looked at each other, and we’re like, ‘Holy s—, that was unbelievable.'”

DeChambeau is in the RBC Heritage field this week as well. His round first begins at 12:43 p.m. ET, grouped with Webb Simpson and Davis Love III.

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Golf.com Editor

Berhow is the managing editor at GOLF.com, the site’s primary homepage editor and the edit team’s on-site lead during major-tournament weeks. He plans the site’s daily coverage, marquee story placement and long-term content rollout for magazine pieces and special projects. He writes for both the website and magazine, edits and assigns stories. Berhow also contributes to podcasts and appears on camera for a variety of digital programming. The Minnesota native attended Minnesota State in Mankato.