Why Bryson DeChambeau is modeling his game off a long-drive champion
Two weeks ago, Bryson DeChambeau finally made it known the key number he is looking for in his quest for speed: 210. As in, 210 mph of ball speed.
If that number sounds staggeringly high, it’s because, well, it is. That’s a number reserved for competitors on long drive tours, not the PGA Tour. Even cracking the 200-mph barrier (which DeChambeau has accomplished in the last few months) is a jaw-dropping achievement; 210 is just absurd.
DeChambeau’s need for speed has been well documented. At first, it seemed like a stunt — a ploy for attention in his rivalry with Brooks Koepka. But as each week passed and his neck got wider and wider, it was apparent he was for real. A win in Detroit proved he could overpower a course, and his dismantling of Winged Foot showed that bomb and gauge can win majors.
Now, it’s all about fine-tuning and getting those numbers to the upper limits. But how exactly did he come up with this 210-mph figure? Hanging with World Long Drive champion Kyle Berkshire.
“Watching him play golf, playing golf with him, there’s not much more you can really gain,” DeChambeau said on a recent call ahead of the Saudi International. “He’s hitting driver on par 5s that are 540 yard and having a gap wedge in. He’s not going to gain an extra 140 yards, and even if he did, he would be hitting 3-wood on par-4s. It just doesn’t rationally make sense, unfortunately.”
Berkshire and DeChambeau have taken to all-out power sessions as of late, even pushing each other to the brink of “blacking out.” And it appears DeChambeau is modeling his game off the tee after the long drive champ’s own game. With power all the rage, why not do it to the max?
“It is something that is definitely achievable and intriguing to me,” he said. “I feel like once you get to that point, it’s kind of the end of the road to me, there’s not really much more, nor is it a reason to gain because you’re driving par 4s at that point.”
While 210 is within reach, replicating that speed on the course is another story. While long drivers can swing for the fences without fear of hazards or OB, Tour players have to navigate the challenges the course presents.
DeChambeau revealed that he reached 210 ball speed on the range when in Kapalua last week, but he wasn’t able to take that to the course. Hitting balls on the range is one thing, taking it to competitions is another story. Just minutes after watching the magic number flash on the range, DeChambeau could only muster 194 mph on the course.
“That just shows you how the brain reigns you in going, ‘No, I need to hit it straight because I’m a professional golfer and I still need to keep it in play every hole,'” he said. “You kind of lose that ability to just free yourself up and let it go. As of right now, I’m trying to learn how to bring that lower end up to where it’s around 200 today because I can get it over 200 no problem. It’s just about how can I get that on a golf course now.”
It’s long been a mystery where the top of the mountain is for DeChambeau in this journey for speed. Now we have our answer. Whether or not he achieves that number is another discussion. But if the last year is any indication, it would be unwise to bet against him.
Want to max out your driving distance in 2021? Get a custom driver fitting from the expert fitters at our sister company, True Spec Golf.