Whether it’s his bulky physique or massive drives, Bryson DeChambeau is taking a different approach to golf than any other pro. He also has an incredibly detailed way of analyzing himself on the course in the hopes of improving performance.
Golf fans would be shocked to learn how much DeChambeau puts into his game to get a competitive advantage. Here’s the story of how the 27-year-old analyzes just about everything on the golf course, including his “chew rate.”
Bryson DeChambeau bulked up in 2020, and we all noticed
Many golfers are in great shape and some are even muscular, but it’s hard to say anyone else in the history of the PGA Tour ever got in the same shape DeChambeau is in. In 2020, DeChambeau bulked up considerably, packing on the pounds.
While weight gain in sports is typically viewed as a bad thing, this wasn’t the case for DeChambeau. Under his trainer’s supervision, DeChambeau adopted a new fitness regimen. This was after a back injury that set him back on the course. DeChambeau and his team didn’t make the decision to train more on the fly.
They did it after developing a precise plan to change his body. The result was undeniable: He started hitting longer, more powerful drives and even broke Tiger Woods’ driving record for the longest drive in a PGA Tour victory.
DeChambeau’s new approach to his game has paid off
DeChambeau’s move to bulk up wasn’t easy. It involved more than just his training. According to Insider, during the pandemic, DeChambeau adjusted his diet to help him build mass. DeChambeau emerged with a new figure, looking quite impressive on tour.
The numbers don’t lie: His drives have been insanely powerful. FiveThirtyEight reported that in 2020, DeChambeau added 20.5 yards per swing to his drives. Last year, his impressive 323 yards per drive was already enough to lead the Tour.
An analyst at heart, DeChambeau takes time to calculate and measure between shots. This has been known to provoke other players on Tour; DeChambeau often takes longer than normal on the course. His rate of play is quite slow. It bothered fellow tour mate Brooks Koepka, who finds his analysis excessive, reports Insider:
It really drives me nuts, especially when it’s a long hitter, because you know you’ve got two other guys, or at least one guy, that’s hitting before you, so you can do all your calculations. You should have your numbers.Brooks Koepka on Bryson DeChambeau
There’s one other area of his game DeChambeau analyzes that’s hard to believe.
Bryson DeChambeau measures how well he chews his food
If you think DeChambeau isn’t looking for more ways to analyze his game, think again. After one golf reporter tweeted a picture of DeChambeau at the Players’ Championship saying he looked like he’d lost 20 pounds, Golf.com’s Sean Zak chimed in to discuss DeChambeau’s latest analysis:
In late January, DeChambeau told me he was working with a new dietician to measure his Chew Rate (the efficiency by which he was breaking down food). Was taking photos of everything he ate. (He said this after I offered him a donut. He ate it. It was a standard glazed, FYI.)
There’s an oft-quoted saying in business: “What can be measured can be managed.” DeChambeau’s taking that thought to the extreme. We live in an era in which data and analytics have the power to impact any decision. These analytics have made it to the sports world as well, where coaches and GMs endlessly pour over spreadsheets to gauge a player’s effectiveness. DeChambeau is using numbers to his advantage.
DeChambeau working to figure out his own “chew rate” may seem excessive, but no one can deny the jacked golfer’s recent success as well as his commitment to winning.