While the distance issue in golf has been a major topic of discussion for years now, the new-look Bryson DeChambeau virtually changing the game has put even more of an emphasis on the topic.
DeChambeau has put on over 40 pounds in search of more ball and swing speed resulting in more distance off the tee. The experiment has worked as he’s obliterating the golf ball and leading the PGA Tour in average driving distance, but some golf pundits aren’t necessarily thrilled about DeChambeau’s hard work and new-found distance.
First, it was Colin Montgomerie complaining about DeChambeau overpowering the course during the PGA Tour’s first event back since the restart. While Montgomerie suggested a ‘tournament ball for professionals’ to level the playing field, that was nothing compared to others, including Brooks Koepka, questioning whether or not DeChambeau found this new distance off the tee via steroids.
Now, R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers has weighed in on the DeChambeau/distance issue.
Slumbers recently spoke with the Daily Mail and reflected on the fact that what DeChambeau has been able to pull off has never been done in golf.
‘I’m not sure I can remember another sportsman, in any sport, so fundamentally changing their physical shape,” said Slumbers. “I can’t think of anyone. I’m thinking of some boxers because I love boxing. But what is extraordinary is that Bryson isn’t the first one to put on muscle in golf.
“How he’s able to control the ball, with that extra power, is extraordinary. All credit to him, he’s a true athlete.
While those comments are all fine and well, Slumbers didn’t leave it at that. He went on to explain that golf is a game of skill and when it comes to making possible changes from a technology standpoint, it will involve not only the ball but the club as well.
“But I still come back to the belief that golf is a game of skill. And we believe we need to get this balance of skill and technology right.”
“It is too simple just to say change the ball. Way too simple. You can do things with the ball.
“But it’s the relationship between ball and club which is most important to me.”
At this point, it seems inevitable that some sort of change will take place when it comes to professional golf. While players are continuing to hit it longer, most courses simply can not add any length therefore can’t keep up.
Having said that, DeChambeau is using the same ball and the same equipment as everyone else at the moment. He decided to eat and lift everything in sight and is now hitting it 30 yards further than most players on Tour. DeChambeau simply set out a goal, accomplished it, and changed the game in many ways, which has nothing to do with golf being a ‘game of skill’ as Slumbers stated.
Of course golf is a game of skill and a heavier set DeChambeau is simply showing off his skill by blowing by his competitors.