Feeling tired, Bryson DeChambeau makes some equipment changes to reenergize his game

bryson dechambeau Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports

Feeling tired, Bryson DeChambeau makes some equipment changes to reenergize his game

PGA Tour

Feeling tired, Bryson DeChambeau makes some equipment changes to reenergize his game

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JERSEY CITY, N.J. – Bryson DeChambeau, the defending champion this week at the Northern Trust, said he needed a break before coming to Liberty National Golf Club. Last year he played in 26 events, and while this tournament will be just his 19th of this season, the condensed schedule has taken a toll on the 25-year-old.

“I’m tired,” he said in the media center after a morning practice session. “It’s part of the job, I guess. I’m very blessed to be able to play every single week for what we play for, but again, it’s just about managing time now.”

It’s a common theme this week as the FedEx Cup playoffs begin. Many players competed in the British Open and the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Classic, then took last week off before the three-week FedEx Cup playoffs begin. But with big events coming every four to five weeks this season, extended breaks have been hard to come by.

DeChambeau has been in a rut and grinding on the range has not paid off. He decided the best use of his time was to skip last week’s Wyndham Championship and go to Carlsbad, Calif., to work with the designers and clubmakers at Cobra Golf.

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“When you see that out of your game, it’s like, ‘OK, let’s go and see how we can make some clubs that can be more beneficial to me.’ So that’s what we did last week,” he explained. “We found some very interesting results that will be of future help to amateur golfers across the world.”

DeChambeau would not say exactly what he worked on with Cobra’s R&D team — Tom Olsavsky, Tim Beno and Mike Yagley — but he confirmed that he plans to use a Cobra King F9 driver this week with less loft, a 7.5-degree model that has been adjusted to 6 degrees of loft. He also moved more weight to the back of the head and switched the shafts in his irons from True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 to True Temper X7 shafts. DeChambeau said that the dispersion with the new shafts is tighter.

He’ll need his mis-hits to be better because in the nine events he has played since the Masters, DeChambeau has missed four cuts and had only two top-10 finishes. Statistically, he’s putting better this year, but his driving and ballstriking have been off, and he ranks 124th in strokes gained around the green, so his short game has not been able to save him.

He will also be competing this week on a course that he has never played. Last year DeChambeau won this event at Ridgewood Country Club, which is 30 miles north of Liberty National. The thick rough and large greens here put a premium on driving and solid iron play. Players also need to be good lag putters because the greens are massive.

No one is talking about DeChambeau winning this week. They weren’t talking about him winning this event last year either, when he was ranked 21st on the Official World Golf Ranking, but he did.

Today, DeChambeau is ranked eighth. He’s a proven winner who may have reenergized his season and his mindset. He knows that his season will be over, for better or worse, in three weeks and he has four to six weeks to rest and recover when it’s done. Now is not the time to rest.

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