AUGUSTA, Ga. — What Bryson DeChambeau has done inside the ropes within the last year has been nothing short of wizardry: Five wins, a jump of 100 spots in the world rankings, his debut on the Ryder Cup team. But to think DeChambeau's artistry is merely confined to his play is a failure to recognize full genius. From his endeavor to control the wind to computing air density, DeChambeau is clearly a different cat.
A sentiment on full display during his Monday press conference at the Masters. Here were our seven favorite moments of DeChambeau...well, being DeChambeau:
Bryson, the politician
DeChambeau opened his presser by saying, "First of all, it's an honor to be here, and thank you for having me in here, everyone, thank you." In three instances, his first response to a question was, "That's a great question." On two separate occasions, he asked if he had properly answered the question raised. DeChambeau is either a) trying to be on his best behavior this week or b) DeChambeau is throwing his name into the 2020 election. Granted, he's 10 years younger than the minimum age requisite, but we're sure he has an equation to prove that stipulation's falsity.
Monday's practice round was cut short due to severe weather, and the forecasts for Tuesday and the weekend are also ominous. DeChambeau was asked how wet conditions would affect his game, a query DeChambeau already knows how to quantify.
"That affects moisture level and that's going to affect the way the ball reacts on the face," DeChambeau said. "You know, there's a percentage to that, and we have to account for that. If you don't, you're going to hit it to 30, 40 feet, instead of 10 feet."
DeChambeau also posited that the "firmness value" of the greens also plays into his calculations.
"It's not difficult for us to measure our own firmness," he stated. "We know relative to other golf courses how it lands in the green and how much it rolls for that, and we hit the same iron into a green when we're practicing and see how much it rolls; and there's a relative percentage to that, we know how to do it from there."
Not that we should be surprised; this is a man who notoriously spritzes his driving range balls.
He's made an equipment breakthrough
At least, he teased us with one. When asked what inspired his one-length club usage, the 25-year-old went into the science and concepts behind the design before hitting us with this nugget:
"Now recently, this past week, won't give too much away, but we are now starting to understand how shafts truly work, what they do based on the mass of the club and the design of the shaft and how it creates a certain launch condition, which has been super beneficial for us in the one‑length wedges because that's always been something I struggled with," DeChambeau said.
True, the golf industry has thousands of people and entities looking into this very subject; that DeChambeau has cracked the code seems remote. Conversely, we're talking about a cat who made the USGA change its rule on compass usage, so we aren't putting it past him, either.
Kevin Na shout-out
There are a select few players that are brought up in other players' pressers. Tiger Woods, obviously. Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth. The Asian press usually works in a Hideki Matsuyama question. And if another player isn't brought up, the interviewee will usually speak inward.
Which made this shout-out unexpected, and a delight. Continuing to speak on his equipment tuning pursuit, DeChambeau said, "I've done really well with it but I've struggled in being able to control it as well as a guy like Kevin Na or someone out here that's an incredible wedger."
A Na plug, at Augusta! And better yet, apropos: Na is 12th in approaches from 50 to 125 yards. Anyone who can flawlessly work a Kevin Na reference into an answer is a winner in our book.
He's got jokes
Bryson is a proponent of the new rule that allows players to keep the flagstick in while putting. When asked if he had watched the highlight of Arnold Palmer's long birdie at No. 16 during the 1960 Masters (which hit the stick and bounced out), DeChambeau retorted, "The flagstick may have had a different firmness value back then, I don't know."
If you're reading this Netflix, get this man a spot on the next "Stand Ups" series.
He is not a cult leader
The full question-and-answer is needed on this one:
Q. You talked about casual golfers using one‑length irons. Curious as to how close do you think we are to seeing fellow tour pros, whether on Web.com or PGA Tour following in your footsteps becoming almost DeChambeau disciples, so to speak.
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: One‑length disciples, not DeChambeau. I would say it's going to take a generational shift. So the kids that are playing with them now are not going to need to necessarily go to variable length. It will be like, well, they perform just as good as, the one‑lengths perform just as good as variable‑length, so why would I need to go to a different lengths club, this is going to make me feel a little weird. I think that's what it's going to take is a whole generation of kids starting to use it, utilize it and become great players with it.
Rats. "DeChambeau disciples" really has a ring to it.
He's figured out an equation for air density
Mentioned above, microphones picked up DeChambeau's conversation with his caddie during the Dubai Desert Classic this winter discussing how "air density" was factoring into the yardage. Whatever aspirations you may cast on that strategy—and some fellow pros took a shot at the back-n-forth—it's one that worked, as DeChambeau won the tournament for his fifth win in eight months.
Alas, it's an equation he's keeping close to the vest.
"Well, that's secrets, partner," DeChambeau said when asked about the subject. "Not going to let that one go."
Which makes sense. All great artists leave their fans wanting more.