Bryson DeChambeau rarely practices on the course. But when he does, it’s from these tees

Bryson DeChambeau has had a blast — and made a statement — at the year's first two majors.

Bryson DeChambeau has had a blast — and made a statement — at the year's first two majors.

Getty Images

It’s a given that the 2020 U.S. Open champ and tee-ball punisher thinks differently about golf. But does that really include playing from the reds?


The Scene: At the Biltmore Hotel in Miami, on the driving range for an episode of’s “Warming Up.”

Dylan Dethier: [Peeking into DeChambeau’s bag] You’ve got a bunch of clubs in here, and only some of them have numbers. But I’m hoping you can walk us through your warm-up, like it’s Sunday of a major championship. First, what have you done before you get to the driving range?

Bryson DeChambeau: I woke up. I really don’t do much before a round. I work out after I play, like 6 or 7 p.m. Before a round, I just do active motion, so essentially I’m warming up my body as I go. I’ll start with little chip shots.

DD: Are you thinking about anything at this point?

BD: [Hitting half-wedge shots] No. Well, I am thinking about controlling my radius. Controlling the low point. So I’m really focused on ball, divot. Making sure it’s a good strike. I’m focused on my hands feeling the ground, meaning I’m barely tapping the ground, just to get a sense of where the ground is on a stock 9-to-3 swing.

DD: And 9 means, like, the hand of a clock?

BD: Yeah, 9 o’clock means my hand and arm being almost parallel to the ground. But I don’t try to be tense. I try to be loose. Four or five balls like that and then I’ll start going farther back. Take it to 10, 10:30, then full.

DD: Emotionally, where are you?

BD: If I’m hitting it bad, I’ll be nervous. If I’m hitting it good, I’m super-focused.

DD: When you’re not hitting it well, what do you do?

BD: I go back to the basics. Super simple. Ball, divot. Then I’ll look at ball placement. If I’m hitting it thin, I’ll usually move it up in my stance a little bit. If I’m chunking it, I’ll move it back a little bit. Simple, nothing crazy. I don’t try to overcomplicate things, which is unlike me.

DD: How much do you vary ballflight?

BD: I try not to. I want to be a master of one. There’s so much field, so much grass out there that I can pretty much hit the same shot over and over and just be consistent with that. It’s like Tiger back in the day: If things are really hitting the fan, he’s got that stinger he could rely on, that shot you’re really comfortable with.

DD: And for you that’s hitting a little draw. How big is the curve?

BD: It goes up based on distance. Wedge, it’s probably four to five yards; 7- or 8-iron, like 10 to 12 yards; driver, like 20 yards.

Most people are like, Oh, I’m focused on hitting the golf ball. But I don’t even see the ball when I hit the shot.”

DD: Okay, what’s the next club?

BD: Nine-iron.

DD: How far does it fly?

BD: 190.

DD: What gets you stressed? Like, if you hit a couple chunks, you hit a couple thin.

BD: What gets me stressed is an improper curvature. Thinning or chunking I’m okay with. If it starts curving too much one way, that’s when I get really stressed. That’s where you’ll see me hit golf balls for quite a while and then go back to basics.

DD: How often do you hit balls on a grass range?

BD: Pretty much every day. I don’t like hitting off Astroturf. It’s not good for angle of attack and stuff like that.

DD: How often do you practice on a course?

BD: Never.

DD: Never?

BD: Very rare. I’ll play three holes every once in a while to make sure that nothing has gone crazy awry. But I focus on being able to repeat motion. To see if I can do it again and again and again at the same shot shape. That’s literally all that matters to me.

DeChambeau says the joy of golf is the pursuit of perfection.
DeChambeau says the joy of golf is the pursuit of perfection. Getty Images

DD: Do you think that would work if you hadn’t played so much golf in your past? In other words, do you think it’s important to play rounds of golf to be good at playing rounds of golf?

BD: [Hitting a mid-iron] You need to play enough rounds of golf where you can go to any tee position and shoot damn well under par. Blues consistently under par. Reds close to 60 every time. And if you do that, you know how to strategize on the course in any situation that occurs. Red tees give you driver on super-tight holes, wedges into par 3s, playing par 5s like par 4s. Blue tees give you long par 3s, difficult par 4s. That’s my formula for success — and I like it. It’s fun.

DD: What’s everything you’re thinking as you step up to hit driver? Start to finish.

BD: I feel the pressure in my hands and how I’m aligning the face [closes eyes, rehearses top of backswing]. And then I swing hard.

DD: How do you manage your nerves, your adrenaline, your blood sugar — all these situational variables?

BD: I’m so focused on the task at hand that I don’t even worry about the golf course. As cliché as this is, I take it one shot at a time and I execute every shot to the best of my ability. That’s it. I don’t even think I’m playing a golf course, so it doesn’t really matter where I am. It’s just about executing the next best shot.

DD: So you try to avoid situational anything.

BD: Here’s the funny thing. Most people are like, Oh, I’m looking at the golf ball and I’m focused on hitting the golf ball. But I don’t even see the ball when I hit the shot. I’m literally feeling what my body is doing and just repeating that feeling every time. Peripherally, I still see it, but I don’t focus on it. Growing up I’d hit golf balls with my eyes closed for quite a while, just trying to ingrain motion. Repeating motion, motion, motion. That’s all I focused on. And it paid huge divi- dends because I was able to go inside whenever I got nervous and focus on executing the motion and not worry about the situation.

DD: What’s your favorite part of golf?

BD: I would say waking up every day and it’s a new journey, it’s a new opportunity, it’s a new day to try and get better. There’s never any point — unless you’re Tiger in 2000 — where you’re like, I got it. It’s always, What can I do to be better? That’s why I love golf. The pursuit of perfection. “Knowing we can’t achieve perfection will achieve excellence along the way.” That’s Vince Lombardi.

DD: Vince Lombardi and Bryson DeChambeau, thanks for warming up with us.

Dylan Dethier

Dylan Dethier Editor

Dylan Dethier is a senior writer for GOLF Magazine/ The Williamstown, Mass. native joined GOLF in 2017 after two years scuffling on the mini-tours. Dethier is a graduate of Williams College, where he majored in English, and he’s the author of 18 in America, which details the year he spent as an 18-year-old living from his car and playing a round of golf in every state.