Walker Cup: 3 things you need to know about US Amateur Champion, Bryson DeChambeau

Bryson DeChambeau

 

It’s less than two weeks to go until the Walker Cup, where the best amateur golfers in the USA, Great Britain and Ireland will compete on the Royal Lytham & St Annes links course – and you can already feel the buzz.

The GB and Ireland team will be looking to win back the trophy they lost when the match was last played two years ago. Don’t pay much attention to the overall record (the USA leads the series 35 to 8, with one halved match) because fans from both sides will agree it’s been much closer in recent years, with a lot of them coming down to one point!

So who will answer the call when the teams meet just south of the Blackpool coast? Well, for the first time in history, five Irishmen have made the cut, breaking a longstanding record held by such famous names as Joe Carr, Jimmy Bruen, Cecil Ewing or Max McCready.

Not since 1951 have those teammates graced the Cup squad together, but there’s fresh meat ripping up the record books. Paul Dunne, Jack Hume, Gary Hurley, Gavin Moynihan and Cormac Sharvin got the green light this week, and will be joining the British contingent on 12 September.

Across the pond, the roster has been finalised too – with Scott Harvey and Mike McCoy grabbing a spot, and Denny McCarthy, Robby Shelton and Jordan Niebrugge all joining the lineup. Niebrugge’s an interesting case, since he’s the only player who saw action in the 2013 match, but the man making the biggest waves is someone whose place was already secure heading into this week.

 

American Bryson DeChambeau is the man to watch

 

Already the reigning NCAA champion, at the weekend he became only the fifth player ever to pair that title with the US Amateur championship. DeChambeau beat Virginia’s Derek Bard in the 36-hole final at Olympia Fields, and displayed great green-finding skill in the process.

But it’s not just for his golfing prowess that he’s making waves.

Let’s just say Bryson DeChambeau isn’t your everyday, by-the-book golfer. A physics student at Southern Methodist University in Texas, he’s mixing science and sport in some pretty interesting ways.

 

Here are three things that make Bryson DeChambeau unique

 

1. His golf clubs are all the same size

His irons and wedges are precisely 37.5 inches in length. All the better to get your swing on, apparently. And it might not be as crazy as it sounds: way back in 1982, Homer Kelley wrote about the theory in his book, The Golfing Machine.

The idea is that, with every club the same length, your swing will feel the same. You don’t have to change your approach, allowing you to spend less time worrying about how you’re going to hit the ball and more time focussing on avoiding all those pesky bunkers.

Check out DeChambeau’s reasoning for the clubs below, and if he wins you over, you can buy the shafts he uses on Amazon.

 

2. He uses Vector Putting

What is Vector Putting? Well, quite simply—

Sorry, there’s nothing simple about it, which is what makes it especially impressive.

It involves measuring the green in carefully taken steps, weighing up the slope percentage, determining where you are on the putting face clock, and precisely calculating how hard to putt the ball for the optimum shot – all while shouldering the pressure of the big match.

Brain frazzled? Good, so is mine!

 

Vector

 

 

3. He likes to tip his hat to the old school

Not everything about Bryson DeChambeau is out of a science fiction novel. On the style front, at least, his game is nothing but vintage. He frequently wears a Ben Hogan-style hat, and he carries his clubs around in a push cart.

He’s nothing if not unique, and brings an interesting dynamic to the Walker Cup. Will he be enough to push USA over the edge? We’ll have to wait and see. Check back next week, when I’ll have a another update closer to the tee time…

 

Bryson DeChambeau hat

 

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