After arriving on the scene following his US Amateur and NCAA titles in 2015, Bryson DeChambeau quickly became established as of the game’s most interesting characters thanks in part to his methodical efforts to perfect his performances.
Nicknamed The Scientist, one of the areas DeChambeau sought to improve after turning professional was his muscle mass. So, in late 2019 he embarked on a rigorous training regime to dramatically bulk up and improve his swing speed and driving distances. He also began using specially designed irons with thicker grips, and the results were remarkable.
Following a break in the schedule because of the Covid-19 pandemic, it didn't take long for DeChambeau's efforts to pay off. After finishing tied for 62nd on the PGA Tour's Longest Drives list in 2019, he rose to sixth the following year with a longest drive of 428 yards at The Travelers Championship - 42 yards further than his best effort the previous year.
In 2021, he finished one place higher, albeit with a top drive 14 yards shorter than the previous year. Then, an injury-hit 2022 left him with a longest drive of “only” 403-yards in the same tournament, the Sentry Tour of Champions, before he signed for LIV Golf. For the record, the longest drive on the PGA Tour in those years belonged to Scott Stallings, who hit a 460-yard monster on the 15th hole at TPC Scottsdale during the 2022 WM Phoenix Open.
Despite DeChambeau's improvement in driving distances on the PGA Tour, the longest of his career to date came elsewhere, while he was competing in the The Match exhibition tournament in 2021. After joining forces with Aaron Rodgers, the pair beat Tom Brady and Phil Mickelson. Along the way, DeChambeau hit an incredible 480-yard drive on the par-5 777-yard eighth hole at The Reserve at Moonlight Basin in Montana.
Bryson DeChambeau crushes this ball 480 yards 🤯 pic.twitter.com/Gds4kbWMKfJuly 7, 2021
Incredibly, DeChambeau wasn’t pleased with his effort considering the favourable elevation he had. Afterwards, he told CBSSports.com (opens in new tab): “That was disappointing for me. I thought I had it, dude. That was super close to being 550 pretty easily.”
While DeChambeau has yet to better that effort, his big-hitting exploits are still creating headlines, most notably when he finished runner-up to Martin Borgmeier at the 2022 World Long Drive Championship in Nevada. Considering Borgmeier hits drives for a living, that was a considerable achievement on DeChambeau’s part, especially as it came only a few months after he had undergone wrist surgery.
However, despite DeChambeau’s undoubted driving ability, he still has a way to go to beat the Guinness World Record for the longest drive in a competition. That was achieved by Mike Austin way back in 1974 when he hit a scarcely believable 515-yard drive at a US Senior National Open Qualifier. Amazingly, Austin was 64 at the time.
Whether DeChambeau ever gets close to that distance is open to debate, but with his dedication to analysing and perfecting his game, plus his continuing ambition to prove himself as one of the biggest hitters in the world, it would probably be advisable not to put it past him.
Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories.
He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game.
Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course.
Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.
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