You’ve probably seen a lot more of Bryson DeChambeau in ads and features than you have on the leaderboard since he turned pro, and the prevailing sentiment has been that his problems have to do with putting.
I disagree, and just want to throw some names and numbers up to illustrate why I do – his putting is terrible, yes, but likely stems from his other problems.
First off, if Bryson’s putting woes are solely to blame (he’s currently 191st in ranking for Strokes Gained Putting), then how do you explain Sergio Garcia having just won the Masters while ranked exactly one spot higher than Bryson (Sergio is currently 190th in the same category)?
You know who else is actually worse in this category than DeChambeau?
How about Webb Simpson, Bubba Watson, Patrick Rodgers?
And then you have players are just marginally better in the stats, between 170th and 190th in the stats – Tony Finau, Charlie Hoffman, Hideki Matsuyama, along with the aforementioned Garcia.
Of the above players, only Patrick Rodgers doesn’t have at least one Tour win, and he still is comfortable in the FedEx Cup point standings at 82.
Meanwhile, DeChambeau’s only top 10 this season has been in an opposite field event, and he’s missed more cuts than he’s made without even cracking the top 25 in any cuts made, other than the 2nd place in the Puerto Rico Open.
So, is it that B.D. is that bad a putter, or is it perhaps something else?
It’s a head-scratcher, considering he’s actually 67th in Birdies Made, which means he’s making more birdie putts than over 2/3 of all the ranked players in this stat.
Apparently, he can roll the rock.
Where is it all coming apart?
Well, you could start with the fact that he’s currently 122nd in Driving Accuracy, 124th in Strokes Gained Approaching the Green, 126th in G.I.R., and 110th in Proximity To The Hole.
Think about it – if he’s only hitting 59% fairways, he’s now gotta worry about getting to the green in regulation.
And, missing that many fairways, you can of course link that and some iffy mechanics from the rough and fairways to his horrible G.I.R. stats and Proximity To Hole stats – you’re not hitting a lot of greens, and the ones you hit, you’re not getting the ball close to the hole.
Add in his terrible Sand Save percentage (182nd at 43.5%), he’s now missing par putts more than half the time he misses the green in the bunkers, and that could very well have more to do with his distance to the hole after said bunker shots than the putting.
My point – his ball-striking stats are horrific, and the worse they are, the more pressure they will put on this flat stick, and the key to confident putting is not to be found in struggling to make par putts when you’ve missed greens.
You could be an great putter and struggle to make money with those ball-striking stats, but if you’re not a great putter, or even worse, average or a little less than average, your life is going to be very difficult now.
But how can he be such a terrible putter if one of his best stats is Birdie Putts Made (he is ranked 21st in SG Off The Tee, likely related to the Birdie stat, and 59th in SG Tee To Green, but individually, his Driving Distance stat at 63rd is the only standard stat better than his Birdies made)?
Look at his ball-striking numbers which are really, really sub-par, and you’ll start to get a clear picture.
Blaming the putter misses that he’s missing that many par putts, not birdie putts, which means it’s what he’s doing before he putts for par that is the problem.
He’s missing tons of par putts because even the best putter’s percentage drops drastically the further you get from the hole.
That his best stat is Birdies Made and that he’s making more of them than 2/3 of the field would indicate that he’s not missing par putts because of his lag or birdie putting… it’s all of those missed greens and missed sand saves, all of which have to do with the swing and not the putter.
That’s just my take, after reading yet another Bryson DeChambeau article on what he wore this week to miss his 7th weekend (6 missed cuts, 1 WD) out of the 13 events he’s played this season, and of course the latest Golf Digest article touting playing with same length iron shafts because, of course, that’s what Bryson does…
I happen to like the idea of same-length irons, which would allow the same ball placement and shaft lean for every club and, I’d imagine, very consistent shot making and distance control.
I am even thinking of checking this out for myself to see how it works.
Of course, I’m still waiting for the one person known for this style to actually do something of note with them.
He gets those going, and his putter won’t be such a problem.
And I keep looking for him, because he was supposed to be the “Mad Scientist” who had figured out the swing:
When he won the NCAAs in June, his college coach, Jason Enloe, didn’t hesitate to call him the best ball-striker in the college game. “Possibly top 20 in the world,” Enloe added.
Other than that, I wouldn’t care what he’s doing, but the continuting hype…
Want to learn more about the MCS Golf Swing Theory? Try one of DJ’s “Secrets of the MCS” video shorts available via download.
“Dropping The Hammer!”