BEDMINSTER, N.J. — While hosting a clinic for Hope Through Education on the driving range of Trump National Bedminster ahead of this week’s LIV Golf event, Bryson DeChambeau quipped during a Q-and-A session that he doesn’t need to practice as much thanks to his new driver.
You know, the same one he took the wrapping off last Wednesday on the range and used to shoot a 58 four days later and win LIV Golf Greenbrier. DeChambeau was coy when asked about it before the event in West Virginia, where he shot 61-58 on the weekend, but did note how it’s won a bunch of World Long Drive championships and if you “hit on the toe, hit on the heel, everything comes back down the middle of the fairway.”
DeChambeau was then asked if there’s an argument that clubs are becoming too forgiving – teammate Anirban Lahiri joked “We could be here for a half hour now” – and the bulked-up bomber went on to explain how he didn’t have the right equipment for five years.
“I think we’re in a place now in time where (equipment) contracts aren’t necessarily as important as the purse you’re playing for,” said DeChambeau. “I really think the best equipment is going to start showing itself over the course of time because of that.”
“So in regards to the forgiveness, you can say that,” he continued, “but it’s just if you get the right physics going, you can get some special stuff happening in clubs.”
The science of golf and over-analyzing the mechanics of the golf swing has taken up quite a bit of valuable real estate inside DeChambeau’s head, but the 29-year-old feels like his mental game is better now more than ever, thanks to equipment.
“I feel like I’m just a brute. I just, boom, right down the fairway, wedge it on the green,” he said, comparing his current approach to the game to his 2015 U.S. Amateur victory at Olympia Fields where he won the 36-hole final, 7 and 6. “It’s just more of a determined, focused mentality that I have with this new equipment. It’s really the equipment, to be honest.”
“Everyone says it’s in between the ears, and sometimes you find a club that just makes you feel like, ‘Oh, man, I’m king of the jungle, I can do whatever I want,’” Lahiri said in agreement. “It’s very similar with Bryson. He talked about how his mental game is the best it’s been, because he trusts himself more, because he knows his equipment supports him.”
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But will the new stick make it to Italy for the Ryder Cup? The former two-time member of Team USA with a 2-3-1 record (1-1-0 in Sunday singles) certainly has a case as a captain’s pick for the American side looking to win on foreign soil for the first time since 1993.
The struggle was all too real for DeChambeau early this season, with finishes of T-23, T-44, T-16 and T-26 in LIV’s 48-player events. Over his last five starts on the Greg Norman-led and Saudi Arabia-funded circuit, DeChambeau has finished T-5, T-9, 2, T-11 and first, on top of his T-4 at the PGA Championship and T-20 at the U.S. Open.
“Look, I played in a couple Ryder Cups, and I would love to represent my country. There’s no doubt about that. I feel like I’m in a good place to be able to do that,” he said. “I feel like I’m a top 10 player for sure right now with the game that I’m playing, and if I do get picked, fantastic. If I don’t, I’ll still be watching on TV and rooting for Team USA because I respect and appreciate those players that are on the team representing our country more than a PGA Tour or LIV thing.”
With fellow LIV colleague Brooks Koepka seemingly assured a spot in the top-six automatic qualifiers, imagine the two former foes competing together after burying the hatchet in 2021.