QBE Shootout: Bryson DeChambeau not letting "Mad Scientist" moniker bother him

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

QBE Shootout: Bryson DeChambeau not letting "Mad Scientist" moniker bother him

PGA Tour

QBE Shootout: Bryson DeChambeau not letting "Mad Scientist" moniker bother him

NAPLES, Fla. – Just because Bryson DeChambeau is playing in a low-key, unofficial season-ending PGA Tour event does not mean it’s a time to slack off on his meticulous work habits.

No, the player called the “Mad Scientist” by many in golf for doing unusual things headed straight to Tiburón Golf Club to hit balls after he played his first two rounds.

No chilling out at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort. And guess what? The emerging PGA Tour star, a four-time winner in the last 11 months, is turning a deaf ear to those who want to question how he analyzes his golf game and training habits.

“I no longer pay attention to everything little thing said about me. It actually got a little out of hand and now I’m just letting the talk roll off,” DeChambeau said.

Understand, the talk about the California native preceded him on the PGA Tour with several famous outbursts on the European Tour driving range and a range of disagreements with the United States Golf Association.

In the last year, DeChambeau has discussed gravity, predictive analysis that predicts future outcomes, statistical theory, side-saddle putting and, of course, the parasympathetic and sympathetic states of breathing.

QBE Shootout partner Kevin Na has been locked in to the DeChambeau theories for some time.

“With Bryson’s talent, combined with the brains to back it up, he doesn’t need to rely on any statistical data but he has the passion to create his own theories, and then test them and either trash them or use them to perfect his game,” Na said. “The sky is the limit on what he can develop and master and this is his key to being truly innovative for the game of golf.”

DeChambeau is developing a playing record to support his theories.

The Southern Methodist University-educated DeChambeau won the U.S. Amateur and NCAA titles in 2015, his first PGA Tour title in 2017 and then four 2018 titles including The Memorial Tournament, two back-to-back wins in the FedEx Cup playoffs, and the Shriners Hospital for Children Open in November.

The 25-year-old played on his first Ryder Cup team in France and has moved to No. 5 in the world rankings.

What makes DeChambeau so interesting and different are the various golf theories he expounds on with a convincing rhetoric.

1. He developed a single set of irons, at 17, all the same length. Each iron is 37 ½ inches long and weighs 278 grams.

“I really believe that it’s going to help the game, at least on the amateur level right now,” DeChambeau said. “Be super consistent, keep the same body posture. Ultimately I think it could change the game in general.

“Seeing Bobby Jones’ clubs in the trophy room at Augusta, they’re pretty much all the same length. A lot of people don’t know that. That’s just how the game started, and over time they just progressed a little bit because of the driver, like let’s try to make it uniform, so that’s kind of the way it went.”

2. He said he will leave the flagstick most of the time in 2019. He has already figured how beneficial it is to putting with the pin in. “It depends on the COR, the coefficient of restitution of the flagstick,” the scientist said.

3. He will continue to wear his Hogan cap, something he started when he was 13 and it has become his signature look.

4. He has the most unusual autograph on Tour. Though he’s right-handed, he signs the autograph backward with his left hand. “I’m not really smart, but I’m dedicated and I can be good at anything if I love it and dedicate myself. I love trying to be the best at anything and everything from history, science to music and of course golf.”

5. He had a complete total understanding of algebra at age 6.

6. He has physics formulas stamped on his wedges, and Cobra officials said: “Bryson is on a mission and golf is only part of it.”

7. He uses a system of putting called vector putting and refers to his yardage book to compute the break and read the green.

8. He putted side-saddle at the start of 2018 and ran into trouble with the USGA, who said one of his side-saddle putters was non-conforming. He later said the USGA “was not a good organization.”

9. He talked in November at the Shriners event in Las Vegas that he was working on his breathing, using a brain-training experimentation to find the parasympathetic states and sympathetic states cohesive to good golf. “Breathing is a monster part of resting and that in turn gets you in the proper state where you can digest food better and calm your brainwaves down,” he told USA TODAY.

10. He was given a book titled “The Golfing Machine” by Homer Kelley at age 15. “I love ‘The Golfing Machine’ it’s a good start, but today there is more to golf than the ‘Machine.’”

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