Padraig Harrington says Bryson DeChambeau’s successful power game is going to shape the future of golf.
The beefy American – who put on 15kg of muscle during the pandemic enforced PGA Tour break – obliterated his way around Winged Foot this past weekend to pick up his maiden major title at the 120th US Open.
Harrington shared a story of DeChambeau on the range at the 2019 Open Championship, where he was blown away by his ball speed.
“At The Open last year we were on the range, three of us,” recollected the Irishman.
“There was a young lad from Austria, a skinny lad, ‘tonking’ out there with a 192mph ball speed and he told DeChambeau to have a go. And Dechambeau, straight out of it, 189mph ball speed in three goes, so he’s always had the speed.
“It’s very impressive because the bulk has probably helped him to stabilise it. With Bryson, it’s very impressive to go full tilt on the golf course.”
Harrington added that it was a young Tiger Woods that seemingly started the trend that further is better, a trend that Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson soon followed. But now, all those names are far behind DeChambeua on the PGA Tour’s average driving distance. DeChambeau was sitting pretty on top with a 322.1 yard average for the last season and now he has a major to show for it.
“When it comes down to it, it’s going to be dime a dozen in five years time, ten years time,” continued Harrington.
“I was brought up in an era that if you hit it a long way, if you had speed, it was considered a fault that needed to be coached out of you. Every time a long-hitter missed a fairway it was because he hit driver, it was wrong.
“The writing was on the wall with Tiger and certainly Rory when he came out and DJ… you know, long-hitting was a huge part of the game.
“But Bryson has stolen the glory and thunder with that and it will be coached into players and certainly not coached out going forward.”
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