AUGUSTA: Beefy Bryson DeChambeau smashes his drives with a never-seen-before ferocity on tour but the American envisages a day when he could become obsolete, overtaken by a breed that make him look like a short-hitting weakling.
DeChambeau hits his drives an average of 320 yards and similarly generates a clubhead speed of 133 miles-per-hour, enough to make onlookers wince at the pressure he puts on his body as he winds up and violently uncoils.
His go-for-broke mentality paid off at last year's U.S. Open at Winged Foot, where he won by six strokes, though he has yet to put it all together at the Masters, without a top-20 finish in four starts.
"As time goes on, there's not much more to gain from the technology side of golf club manufacturing, building. There are little things we can do, but where the massive gains will be is in athletes," the 27-year-old said at Augusta National on Tuesday.
"Once you get somebody out here that's a seven-foot-tall (213-centimetre) human being and they are able to swing a golf club at 145 miles-an-hour effortlessly, that's when things get a little interesting. That's when I'm going to become obsolete potentially even.
"There's still a chipping aspect and there's still a putting aspect to it, but from a driving aspect, that's where the gains will be had with these athletes coming out in the future. And it won't stop. There's just no way it will stop."
That might be true, but for now DeChambeau is the big dog on tour. At last November's Masters he was on the verge of using a 48-inch driver, the longest allowed shaft length, but eventually opted for one a couple of inches shorter because of concerns about losing accuracy.
The 48-inch driver remains on the sidelines, but DeChambeau intriguingly said he would have something new in his bag this week, apparently a new driver designed to be more forgiving for hits slightly off-centre towards the toe.
"This has been a few years in the making, and I'm very excited for it," DeChambeau said.
"Whether it helps me perform at a higher level, I'm not sure, because it's golf and you never know what happens.
"Definitely what I've seen on the driving range and what I've seen the last week in practice, there's some tremendous benefits to it." – Reuters