The Evolution Of Bryson DeChambeau Explained

In 2020, Crushers GC team captain Bryson DeChambeau set tongues wagging when he made a decree that Augusta National was a par-67 course, at least for him. It was a comment that has haunted his career since, which he has no remorse over. "Because of that statement, [people] think I don't have respect for the course. Are you kidding me?" DeChambeau remarked ahead of the 2023 Masters, per ESPN."This is one of the greatest golf courses in the entire world, and if anybody thinks I don't have respect for the course, they'd better go check out who I actually am, because it's not accurate one bit."

It's no news that DeChambeau's shot at Masters glory has had its fair share of setbacks, including a 2023 miss. Not one to cower in the face of a tough course, his mindset is best summed up in his own words: "I don't come here to finish second, but I will say that I've got a lot of work to do before I can get there."

As for who he is, the 2020 U.S. Open champion represents every golf fan-turned-player who has paid his dues. At 29, DeChambeau hasn't written himself off, and neither have his fans. Here's the story of his impressive growth.

He played a variety of games in his childhood

As a child, Bryson DeChambeau was a jack of all trades. Before setting his sights on golf as a sport, he did it all, thanks to the fighting spirit his father instilled in him. "Whenever tough times came about and I wanted to quit, he [DeChambeau's father] would always sit down with me and say 'Bryson, you gotta push through this,'" he revealed in a sit-down with Golf Channel. "It was pretty cool that he was able to do that for me at a young age, whether it was..shoot... basketball, baseball, volleyball, soccer, whatever it was."

In addition to sports, DeChambeau was also fascinated by problem-solving at a young age. Playing Lego allowed him to tap into his architectural interest. Similarly, he did well with numbers at school, but it came at the expense of other subjects that he wasn't as engrossed in. DeChambeau was more inclined toward factual books as opposed to fiction. The need to lean on science and analysis became a foundation that aided his understanding of golf.

He was introduced to golf when he was three years old

Bryson DeChambeu's affiliation with the golf course began through the lens of his father. "I remember at three years old, riding in the basket of a golf cart [and] watching him play," he shared with Trump Golf. "I am grateful to him for introducing me to the game I love today." Jon DeChambeau fed Bryson's curiosity with a kiddie plastic club and a life-long love affair began, he revealed to Five Clubs. By the time he was nearing his 10th birthday, he'd already entered a number of contests. He was exceptional at first, but the competition proved to be too stiff.

As adolescence kicked in, Bryson became a bit hard-headed. His working arrangement with his father hit a rough patch. Thereafter, he sought the coaching service of Mike Schy, with whom he's had a long-term professional relationship. "He's been a second dad to me my whole entire life," Bryson said of Schy on his YouTube channel.

Sadly, In 2022, Bryson's biological father, Jon died after a years-long diabetic illness, which had led to a kidney transplant, per Golf Channel. Bryson announced his death through a tweet that read in part, "Now you get to be with me and watch me at every event I play. Thank you for being an amazing Dad and I'll see you in the next life."

He looked up to Ben Hogan and Moe Norman

Growing up, Bryson DeChambeau was inspired by 64-time PGA Tour winner Ben Hogan and Canadian Golf Hall of Famer Moe Norman. In Hogan, DeChambeau picked up a unique sense of style, including his signature golf cap that evoked mixed reactions from fans. Norman, on the other hand, stood out for his striking prowess.

 "I asked my coach 'Who's the best ball striker ever?'" DeChambeau revealed in a chat with Score Golf. "He said 'Moe Norman.' I said, 'Who's that?' I didn't know at the time...Moe didn't hit it too far, he was more of a short striker." DeChambeau expressed his desire to get his swinging skills at par (pun intended) with the 1971 World Cup titleholder.

As far as strategy is concerned, DeChambeau told reporters that he borrowed a leaf from renowned physicist Albert Einstein. Einstein's ability to make a name for himself by pursuing what he was passionate about gave him the nudge to carve a similar path.

Bryson DeChambeau juggled golf and school

As a physics major at Southern Methodist University (SMU), Bryson DeChambeau had to find a balance between school and his beloved sport. "My freshman year was 50/50 in regards to golf and school," he said in a conversation with Five Clubs. "By my sophomore year, it was 75% golf and 25% [school]." Although he managed a couple of Bs and Cs, DeChambeau thrived more at golf.

Years prior, he'd lost confidence in his ability to play when he was floored by his peers after a short-lived winning streak. The memories of his time as a junior golfer weren't the best, given the uneasiness he felt at the time. DeChambeau was so perturbed, he barely had anything to eat before his first tee. It wasn't until he was done with school that courage kicked in. 

Entering the professional arena brought with it an assurance, which saw him find his voice. As he interacted with people more, his levels of anxiety on the golf course took a back seat.

He made history in 2015

When he was still in college, Bryson DeChambeau got himself into golf history books as the first SMU Mustang to win a U.S. Amateur and NCAA Individual Championship title in the same year (2015). DeChambeau's outstanding showcase has, as of this writing, been displayed by four other golfers; five-time Masters champion Tiger Woods, World Golf Hall of Famer Phil Mickelson, Memorial Tournament founder Jack Nicklaus, and five-time PGA Tour winner Ryan Moore.

That was the stamp he needed to validate his place in the sport. "It was a whirlwind," DeChambeau expressed in his dialogue with Five Clubs. "You go from 'Yeah, I'm a dang good college golfer' to 'Okay, I've won the two biggest events in Amateur Golf.'"

Ironically, DeChambeau had no other wins that year. He'd however had a continuous victory run the previous year that included a Palmer Cup team membership (that saw him play for the United States at the Walton Heath Golf Club in England), and a running to clinch the coveted Ben Hogan Award as an outstanding collegiate golfer.

Bryson DeChambeau bulked up in 2019

Once sporting a leaner frame, Bryson DeChambeau hit the ground running in 2019 in a quest to gain more muscle. His method of choice was the Muscle Activation Technique, whose founder Greg Roskopf exhibited on his YouTube channel. He further incorporated strength training into his fitness regimen. In October 2019, DeChambeau shared via Instagram that he was inching closer to his target weight of 230 pounds, having had a start at 195 pounds.

"I had to train, do farmer walks, 70 pounds in each hand and move them like that when I walk to get my grip strength up," he chronicled, per Golfweek. "Did a lot of pull ups with just the fingers, holding on with the palm, just doing a couple other things, inflexion, flexion stuff, internal, external rotation of the wrist."

By the time the year was coming to an end, he was evidently bulky and his fans noticed. So buffed up was he according to his then-teammate Xander Schauffele, such that his Presidents Cup attire had to be personalized.

He is an eight-time PGA Tour winner

Bryson DeChambeau first appeared on the PGA Tour at the FedEx St. Jude Classic in June 2015. According to his interview with Five Clubs, it was a distressing experience. "That was another moment where I was super nervous," he said. "One of the most nervous moments of my entire life."

During the course of his membership, DeChambeau, a "Young Mad Scientist," played at 141 events, recording a total of eight wins and thirty-six top-ten finishes. He impressively earned $26,519,235 in prize money. Five triumphs in, DeChambeau cited the 2017 John Deere Classic and the 2018 Memorial Tournament as his all-time favorite conquests while chatting with Trump Golf. Of course, the 2020 U.S. Open Championship was right around the corner.

The win, he said, was otherworldly at best. "It's one of those things that doesn't really hit you. It's not gonna hit me until tonight," DeChambeau voiced at a post-game press conference. He dedicated the victory to his parents, who had made a ton of sacrifices to feed his passion for golf, and his crew, all of whom worked tirelessly to make sure he showed up to the tournament prepared.

His secret to a good swing lies in comfort

Bryson DeChambeau's obsession with Moe Norman's striking ability would eventually come full circle, as he developed one of the most praised swings ever. A long driver of the golf ball, who only came second to Martin Borgmeier at the Professional Long Drivers Association World Championship in October 2022, DeChambeau's top tip for a great swing lies in how relaxed a player is. "The most important thing you can do when gripping a golf club is feeling comfortable," he revealed on YouTube. "Whatever grip style it is, doesn't matter what it is, it will influence how you swing the golf club, how you apply force to it, how you move the golf club in a manner that's repeatable."

In setting up, DeChambeau combines an internally rotated upper left arm with an anti-clockwise hand movement to bring steadiness while firming his grip. Backed by a right arm maneuver, he creates a triangular lock that allows flawless repetition throughout a game.

This wasn't always his technique, as he shared with Five Clubs. "I'd always kept my left arm dead straight, but as I started gaining speed...my left arm started to buckle," he said, revealing further that his original tactic had led to more misses than he could count.

He joined the Saudi-backed LIV Golf in 2022

Despite swearing his allegiance to the PGA Tour, Bryson DeChambeau defected to the opposing LIV Golf in 2022 as the captain of Crushers GC. "I'm excited about the team aspect," a delighted DeChambeau said of the moment."I've always been a team player. I love having more of a team feeling when it's the Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup or whatever." The move paid off for DeChambeau, whose financial status was already off the charts. According to Forbes, DeChambeau recorded a massive payday, cashing in $62 million out of a $125 million deal that narrowly missed placing him amongst the top ten highest-earning athletes.

Joining LIV Golf, however, came with its fair share of hitches. His PGA Tour membership was discontinued, and so was his chance at competing in any affiliated tournament. Similarly, DeChambeau's friendship with the legendary Tiger Woods, a fellow putting nerd, was affected. Woods didn't tip-toe around his thoughts about LIV Golf and its CEO Greg Norman.

DeChambeau addressed the status of his relationship with Woods, per Golfweek: "He has his viewpoints on it and thinks we're potentially hurting his record. If anything, nobody is ever going to touch his record. That's just it, that's the bottom line. There's a chance to grow the game even more and I hope one day he'll see the vision that we all have out here."

He cut ties with his caddie, Tim Tucker

Tim Tucker was Bryson DeChambeau's caddie for a long time. In July 2021, the duo's split was revealed through a tweet, ahead of the Rocket Mortgage Classic. As it turned out, the separation was permanent. Tucker expressed remorse over how things ended in a sit-down with GOLF'S Subpar. "My phone blew up of course, but, you know ... I'd say about the whole situation, you know, I made a big mistake in my timing with it...It shouldn't have happened that way," he said apologetically.

On his part, DeChambeau declined to comment on the details of his fallout with Tucker when he showed up on the Full Send podcast. However, the 2019 Omega Dubai Desert Classic champion likened the relationship with a caddie to marriage, adding that it was a pretty solid gig financially. "Depending on how you play ... if you miss the cut, you're still paying a flat rate. And if you make the cut ... you make a certain percentage," DeChambeau disclosed. A FedEx Cup victory, for instance, could get a caddie $1.5 million in earnings (10% of the grand $15 million prize).

Since parting ways, DeChambeau now works with Brian Zeigler as his right-hand man, while Tucker has transitioned to the luxury shuttle business.

His support of the Trump family

In December 2017, Bryson DeChambeau played a round of golf with former president Donald Trump at Trump International Golf Club in Palm Beach, Florida. "It was a day I will never forget! It also never hurts to come back strong on the back nine to win the match!" an elated DeChambeau partially wrote in an Instagram post. Speaking to Trump Golf, he threw his weight behind the organization, saying, "I am extremely honored to represent Trump Golf and have the relationship with the Trump Organization that I have. From Larry Glick, to Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., the entire team is always behind me 100%, and I am grateful for their support."

DeChambeau was looking forward to the 2022 PGA Championship to be held at the Trump National Golf Club, Bedminster, New Jersey, but his hopes hit a wall when the PGA of America deflected to Oklahoma's Southern Hills Country Club. Following the decision — impacted by Trump followers' invasion of the U.S. Capitol — the Trump mark was conspicuously missing from DeChambeau's staff bag. Although the masses got talking, the relationship between DeChambeau and the Trumps appeared to be intact in July 2022 when the pair teed off at the LIV Golf Bedminster pro-am event.

Bryson DeChambeau's trim has sent fans into a frenzy

In April 2023 Bryson DeChambeau stirred his fanbase with an Instagram picture of himself looking slimmer again. His bulk physique was no more, intentionally so. For more than a year prior to a significant weight loss, DeChambeau had taken to unhealthy eating habits that had a negative impact on his gut. He had to restructure his approach. "I went completely healthy, went on a Whole30 diet, and got a nutritionist," DeChambeau revealed to Five Clubs. "Did blood work ... you know, measured stuff in my gut biome. I was super inflamed."

DeChambeau also sought the services of a chef, for whom he showered praises at a 2023 Masters interview where he disclosed that he still occasionally indulged in a guilty pleasure; brownies. "My chef does a great job," he said." She makes me all these, like, you know, seed brownies and they taste really good." The result of his new routine was a 20-pound drop, which helped him curb his symptoms and be less prone to injury. DeChambeau had previously had to have sinus and wrist surgery, per ESPN.