Bryson DeChambeau wins the 2020 US Open with a scientific approach
The 27-year-old US Open Champion gained almost 20kg of muscle and uses irons all the same length.
American golfer Bryson DeChambeau has won the 2020 US Open at Winged Foot in New York, employing big hits on the notoriously difficult course to take the first major title of his career. DeChambeau’s win is all the more impressive given that he only made the transition from amateur to professional golfer just over four years ago. This meteoric rise could be attributed to the scientific approach that he and his coach take to the game.
DeChambeau majored in physics at University, which goes some way to explaining his approach. Many of the philosophies and principles that he applies to his golfing swing can be attributed to Homer Kelly’s instructional book The Golfing Machine, which relies a lot on physics. Since 2011, DeChambeau has used irons and wedges that are all exactly the same length of 95.3cm. They’re custom-made using light-weight carbon graphite and all the metal heads weigh exactly the same amount. This is unconventional because a typical set of clubs (even if they’re custom fitted to the player’s height) will have varying shaft lengths and different head weights. This can be challenging for both professional and weekend golfers alike, because they need to position themselves differently in relation to the ball and adjust their swing depending on which club they’re using.
The principle behind DeChambeau’s single-length clubs is to allow a consistent swing action and ball position, regardless of which club he’s using. He tends to follow a straight line from the start to finish of the swing, which avoids a lot of unnecessary rotation of the spine and allows him to put all of his power into achieving huge distances. Another interesting aspect of DeChambeau’s swing is that he doesn’t rotate his wrists, which gives him greater control and accuracy over where he wants the ball to go. This has given DeChambeau the confidence to hit long and hard with a surprising degree of accuracy.
At the beginning of 2019, DeChambeau embarked on a deliberate strategy to gain muscle mass in order to increase the speed of his swing and have the strength to hit the ball even further than he was capable of doing before. He gained over 9kg of muscle before the pandemic forced the PGA tour to suspend all tournaments. During lockdown DeChambeau ramped up his workouts and doubled his gains, reaching a goal weight of 108kg of mostly muscle. DeChambeau's nutritional strategy is really simple, although he’s tried many kinds of dietary trends in the past. He consumes up to 3,500 calories a day and makes sure that this calorific intake adheres to a 2:1 ratio of carbs to protein. He drinks a lot of protein shakes to ensure that he packs in at least 400g of protein a day. This strategy has led to an increase in power that's certainly evident when you watch his swing.
Many weekend golfers might be inspired to also adopt DeChambeau’s approach and invest in a set of single-length clubs. Working towards a more consistent swing may very well improve your game and help to avoid injury in the long run, but it’s also important in the short term to work on building the strength needed for any change to your swing mechanics. This thoracic spine mobility drill can help, as can this exercise. Theraband exercises can strengthen the shoulder and help to avoid rotator cuff injuries, which are very common in golfers.
We can tailor a strength and conditioning programme to suit your specific needs through one of our Biokinetic packages.
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