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Bill Brightly

  • Karma: +0/-0
An open letter to Bryson DeChambeau
« on: September 22, 2020, 12:35:04 AM »
Thank you Bryson!

I really like you. You seem like a very nice guy. Congrats for figuring out how to best play professional golf. Enjoy the wealth that you have earned!

I HATE everything about how you play our golf courses. Since you are a smart guy, I trust you know why I hate the bomb and gauge approach that you employ on our courses, but I have to give you credit for figuring out that if you hit it far enough the architecture and the length of the rough does not matter. Gouge it out as best as you can and trust the math that says get it as close to the hole as possible from the tee and the numbers will work out. There is a ball and there is a hole. Hit the first shot as far as you can and then try to get it in the hole. Trust the math. Brilliant!

So thank you Bryson. Your approach proved that the USGA and the R & A failed miserably when they did not roll back the Pro V1. They did not listen to Jack Nicklaus. They did not listen to GCA.COM. Keep winning Bryson, maybe they will "listen" to you!

Bryson, I'm sorry that I used to root against you, hoping every 370 yard drive rested against a tree. The math was against me but you knew that... More times than not there will be a way to wedge it in the green. So keep on winning, Bryson. Your actions speak louder than our words.

Keep winning Bryson. Force the USGA to act. Create enough chaos so the USGA finally rolls back the ball and  club leaders can stop altering our golf courses. Lord knows we have enough closely mown turf to maintain and we would like to stop the increase in required costs. Maybe YOU can prove what I know in my bones: the pro game should have ZERO influence on what constitutes good golf course architecture. You've trained your body and mind to ignore the architecture; that is how pros win money. The pro game should be played on PGA-owned golf courses, if not golf simulators.

Go win a grand slam. Maybe then the powers that be will finally roll back the ball and require a ball that spins more and can't be controlled like yours. Maybe then we can stop letting our rough grow high and looking for empty spaces to build new black tees.

Good on ya, Bryson!

Peter Pallotta

Re: An open letter to Bryson DeChambeau
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2020, 01:03:07 AM »
Dear Bryson -
a short follow-up to Bill's excellent letter.
You are young and strong; Bill and I, along with most others here on gca.com, are old and increasingly feeble. And in our frail dotage we like to warm our bones by an old wood-stove and the dying embers of a game we once loved and mumble out words like architecture and strategy and fairway width -- our tired eyes and gaunt faces lit aglow with long-ago memories of the 88s and 84s and 92s we shot at so many of the Golden Age's Top 100 classic courses.
In other words: as with the aged in all times and all places, we long for the glories of the past and have respect for the power of traditions.
But, as the epitome of the next generation, you yourself have no such longing, nor cling to any such respect. And, let me say, I now realize that's just the way it should be!
Yes, along with Bill, I don't like it at all, not one bit -- but I do like you. So, in short: just keep doing what you're doing; and, in the words of a once-famous singer song writer who's now at least as old as Bill, 'don't trust anyone over 30'!
Best
Peter
« Last Edit: September 22, 2020, 02:05:59 AM by Peter Pallotta »

cary lichtenstein

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: An open letter to Bryson DeChambeau
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2020, 01:04:46 AM »
My open letter to Bryson


Congratulations on winning the US Open and bring the excitement level and interest in the game of golf to new heights. I was glued to the tv for 4 straight days. Golf needs a superstar and you are mine.


When I was a kid I read DC Comics and loved Superman. My heros in the past were Sam Sneed, Gary Player, Arnie, Jack, Greg, and Tiger. i have a new superstar to follow and root for.   
         
« Last Edit: September 22, 2020, 08:05:58 AM by cary lichtenstein »
Live Jupiter, Fl, was  4 handicap, played top 100 US, top 75 World. Great memories, no longer play, 4 back surgeries. I don't miss a lot of things about golf, life is simpler with out it. I miss my 60 degree wedge shots, don't miss nasty weather, icing, back spasms. Last course I played was Augusta

Mark Kiely

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: An open letter to Bryson DeChambeau
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2020, 02:26:53 AM »
Four new GCA threads including an "open lettter" for a guy who's won twice on Tour in the last year? Yes he's hot, and yes he's playing a different game right now than we're accustomed to seeing. But can we wait and see if he can sustain it before we all panic and deem every course obsolete and/or anoint him golf's new superhero?


Brendon Todd and Webb Simpson must feel left out for not getting their own threads when they were hot and chalked up a couple wins in close proximity.
My golf course photo albums on Flickr: https://goo.gl/dWPF9z

Colin Macqueen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: An open letter to Bryson DeChambeau
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2020, 04:11:23 AM »
Mark,
The problem for me in the way that BDC is playing the game is that there seems to be no finesse, no imagination, no inner connection with the game itself. I don't care one whit that he can hit the ball out of sight or muscle the ball out of outrageous rough. When a lot of  the ground between tee and green becomes obsolete the golf itself becomes excessively boring and tedious. I can't quite express it properly but I just feel that the game under those conditions has lost its soul and the grounds it is played over cannot exert influence on the outcome. As a displaced Scot it just makes me despondent!
Cheers Colin
"Golf, thou art a gentle sprite, I owe thee much"
The Hielander

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: An open letter to Bryson DeChambeau
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2020, 05:30:47 AM »
I recognise the way DeChambeu is using science to help his cause in a way perhaps no one else has done, however is his basic strategy not just the same as Palmer, Nicklaus, Woods et al which is to smash it as far as possible and close to the hole and go from there ? What's the difference other than he looks more ungainly doing it ?

If I was writing an open letter to DeChambeu I'd congratulate him on his victory and commend him on his play but I'd ask that he be a good bit quicker doing it.

Niall

A.G._Crockett

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Re: An open letter to Bryson DeChambeau
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2020, 08:05:41 AM »
It is perhaps worth noting that DeChambeau did not lead the field in driving distance in any of the four rounds, and was 7th overall, less than a yard ahead of Paul Casey.  He does lead the Tour in driving distance for the year, but it seems, at least to me, a bit simplistic to attribute his win at Winged Foot to distance alone.

It is also worth noting that the win at the Open gave him a trifecta shared only with Nicklaus and Woods; the US Am, the NCAA individual, and now this.  In other words, he has been winning at the highest level available to him before this, and to think that he only won at Winged Foot because of what he has done to his body and his swing speed in the last year seems, again, simplistic.

Unlike others that have posted so far, I don't like DeChambeau at all.  I DO, however, find him, as well as his approach, fascinating; not just the added bulk and distance, but the equipment as well.  I suspect that he is the first Tour pro EVER to have more loft on his putter than on his driver, and the single length irons have almost gotten lost in the shuffle.

But I'm not sure that what he is doing translates to other golfers very well, or that he can physically sustain this for an extended period.  I am perfectly willing to be wrong, but I have trouble imagining his approach to his body being the wave of the future.  We already know that, all other things equal, stronger is better, and I think the number of Tour pros who do NOT work out diligently has been in decline for years now.  But doing what DeChambeau does?  I just can't see it.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2020, 08:32:57 AM by A.G._Crockett »
"Golf...is usually played with the outward appearance of great dignity.  It is, nevertheless, a game of considerable passion, either of the explosive type, or that which burns inwardly and sears the soul."      Bobby Jones

William_G

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: An open letter to Bryson DeChambeau
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2020, 08:08:45 AM »
I recognise the way DeChambeu is using science to help his cause in a way perhaps no one else has done, however is his basic strategy not just the same as Palmer, Nicklaus, Woods et al which is to smash it as far as possible and close to the hole and go from there ? What's the difference other than he looks more ungainly doing it ?

If I was writing an open letter to DeChambeu I'd congratulate him on his victory and commend him on his play but I'd ask that he be a good bit quicker doing it.

Niall
yes
It's all about the golf!

Dan_Callahan

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: An open letter to Bryson DeChambeau
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2020, 09:40:25 AM »
I'm not a big Bryson fan either, but I have a ton of respect for risk-takers (probably because I am not one). The things he has done ... the single-length irons, the unorthodox swing, the rigid putting stroke, the massive weight gain ... had the potential to make him look like an idiot. But he stuck to his convictions, ignored the doubters, and it paid off. So, good for him. He absolutely earned that win.

jeffwarne

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: An open letter to Bryson DeChambeau
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2020, 09:59:30 AM »
I'm not a big Bryson fan either, but I have a ton of respect for risk-takers (probably because I am not one). The things he has done ... the single-length irons, the unorthodox swing, the rigid putting stroke, the massive weight gain ... had the potential to make him look like an idiot. But he stuck to his convictions, ignored the doubters, and it paid off. So, good for him. He absolutely earned that win.


+1
and as others have mentioned, he's just playing the game so many others already play.
he didn't invent it, but he only recently transformed himself into someone who could join the DJ, Bubba, JT,Rory,Tiger (formerly), Daly game.
I used to say Daly had the perfect approach 25 years ago.
Go all out, either contend with a chance to win..
or weekends off...


In a way, it's nice that the blue coats are noticing, but it's been apparent for many, many years how out of scale the game has gotten, but golf influencers, enthusiasts and policy makers all had a dirty little secret that they themselves were benefitting from the equipment as they aged(and didn't notice or didn't care), and buried their heads deeper into the sand every year as the data continued to creep up especially for elite players who were also evolving their bodies and techniques to further utilize the effects of modern tech.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2020, 03:09:21 PM by jeffwarne »
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

Jim Hoak

  • Karma: +1/-0
Re: An open letter to Bryson DeChambeau
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2020, 10:30:53 AM »
I agree with most all of these sentiments, but once again the blame for the golf ball length is cast in these comments on the USGA/R&A.  While these groups determine the equipment that most of us play with/by, that isn't true for the Tour pros.  The PGA Tour has pretty clearly said that they think that the long-ball is a positive thing that attracts spectators and viewers to their sport.  And they say that any reduction in the length of the ball flight would lead them to abandon the USGA as the arbiter of equipment.
So, let's get the blame in the right place.  Maybe the USGA should have acted a long time ago--but at the present time, the blame is on the Tours.

David Ober

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: An open letter to Bryson DeChambeau
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2020, 10:53:01 AM »
Seems to me that the fairway bunkers are in the wrong place for Bryson and Wolff, et al....

Carl Rogers

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: An open letter to Bryson DeChambeau
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2020, 10:58:30 AM »
Are many of you just rationalizing nostalgia?
When it comes to other areas such as politics, economics & other social issues, were the "good old days" all that good?

I decline to accept the end of man. ... William Faulkner

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +0/-1
Re: An open letter to Bryson DeChambeau
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2020, 12:26:04 PM »
Seems to me that the fairway bunkers are in the wrong place for Bryson and Wolff, et al....


Fairway bunkers are obsolete now.  If you put one at 350, they just lay back and still have 9-iron left, if they even care.  (Inside 150 yards, most fairway bunkers are less of a hazard than US Open rough.)  Are you going to build fairway bunkers from 270-370 on every hole?  That'll look great!


A quick conversation on this topic with Brooks Koepka was what led me to build 19 bunkers at Memorial Park.  We'll see how it works in November.  But we weren't trying to protect par - we were aiming for excitement.

archie_struthers

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Re: An open letter to Bryson DeChambeau
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2020, 12:33:24 PM »
 ;D 8) :P




Ha< Mr Doak just reminded me that they need to take out that left fairway bunker on the 14th at Philadelphia CC

Craig Sweet

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: An open letter to Bryson DeChambeau
« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2020, 01:14:58 PM »
Boring golf...
He's nuttier than a squirrel turd.

Mark Kiely

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: An open letter to Bryson DeChambeau
« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2020, 01:18:02 PM »
Seems to me that the fairway bunkers are in the wrong place for Bryson and Wolff, et al....


Fairway bunkers are obsolete now.  If you put one at 350, they just lay back and still have 9-iron left, if they even care.  (Inside 150 yards, most fairway bunkers are less of a hazard than US Open rough.)  Are you going to build fairway bunkers from 270-370 on every hole?  That'll look great!


Does this bring the possibility of more centerline bunkers into the equation, or are they too gimmicky to be used more than sparingly? (Or would the same result happen with them as it would fairway bunkers?)
My golf course photo albums on Flickr: https://goo.gl/dWPF9z

Jim Hoak

  • Karma: +1/-0
Re: An open letter to Bryson DeChambeau
« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2020, 01:34:14 PM »
These points are well intentioned, but they just show the difficulty--and folly--of making the Pro game the focal point of golf.  The Pros have to be less than .1% of golf, yet we spend so much time being concerned about them.  I'm sick of it--and sick of them.  Their game is wrecking ours.

Jim Sullivan

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Re: An open letter to Bryson DeChambeau
« Reply #18 on: September 22, 2020, 02:11:51 PM »
FWIW, the bunkers I saw were well in play for these guys. Their presentation made them far preferable to the rough as well.

Bill Brightly

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: An open letter to Bryson DeChambeau
« Reply #19 on: September 22, 2020, 02:20:04 PM »
Seems to me that the fairway bunkers are in the wrong place for Bryson and Wolff, et al....


Fairway bunkers are obsolete now.  If you put one at 350, they just lay back and still have 9-iron left, if they even care.  (Inside 150 yards, most fairway bunkers are less of a hazard than US Open rough.)  Are you going to build fairway bunkers from 270-370 on every hole?  That'll look great!


Does this bring the possibility of more centerline bunkers into the equation, or are they too gimmicky to be used more than sparingly? (Or would the same result happen with them as it would fairway bunkers?)


In theory, you could add centerline bunkers that would be a problem for pros. The problem is how is the rest of the membership supposed to play the course when the pros leave? These bunkers are likely to be SECOND shot hazards for many women and older players. So again, maybe the answer is just play pro golf on the courses owned by the tour. Have at it, build stuff all over the place on those courses and leave ours alone!

JohnVDB

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: An open letter to Bryson DeChambeau
« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2020, 02:44:43 PM »
While I feel there should be a rollback of the distance for other reasons such as cost of the game, I don't think it would change the strategy of the top players today.  No matter what, you want to get as close to the green as possible.

As Bryson said in his news conference after the win, when fairways are as hard to hit as they were at Winged Foot, there is no reason to hold back to hit them.  Zach Johnson was last in driving distance and he hit the same number of fairways that Bryson did.  Why would you give up the 36 yards of difference between them just to possibly hit a few more fairways and have much longer approaches into the green?  Besides, hitting fairways seems to be overrated.  Rory hit it 2.5 yards further than Bryson on average and was third in fairways hit (averaged 2 more per round).  He only lost by 12.

I don't think center line bunkers would be the answer, hell they aren't caring about the fairways so why would a bunker in the middle of one bother them, but bunkers right in front of very firm greens might make players want to hit more fairways as they couldn't run the ball up or stop it from the rough.  But why destroy the historic nature of a course like Winged Foot for one week every 12 years?

Dan_Callahan

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: An open letter to Bryson DeChambeau
« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2020, 03:01:47 PM »
When I think about the way pros play as compared to how I play (and consequently as most amateurs play), the biggest difference is the short game. I'm not saying I can fly the ball 300+, but I can hit it plenty far enough. But when I start to spray my driver and end up behind trees and have to pitch out to the fairway, the odds I'm getting up and down for par (or at worst bogey) from 150 yards is pretty slim. And that's where big numbers start to creep in. But when pros are on and confident, they seem to get up and down from everywhere. So a guy like Bryson doesn't have to worry much if he periodically parks a ball in the woods. As a result he pulls driver every time he can. He almost always recovers. In my case, on a tight, unforgiving hole, my best play is to hit 2-iron in the fairway and have 190 to the green, as opposed to bombing a driver, but then possibly needing to chip out of trouble.

Mark Smolens

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Re: An open letter to Bryson DeChambeau
« Reply #22 on: September 22, 2020, 03:12:55 PM »
When I think about the way pros play as compared to how I play (and consequently as most amateurs play), the biggest difference is the short game. I'm not saying I can fly the ball 300+, but I can hit it plenty far enough. But when I start to spray my driver and end up behind trees and have to pitch out to the fairway, the odds I'm getting up and down for par (or at worst bogey) from 150 yards is pretty slim. And that's where big numbers start to creep in. But when pros are on and confident, they seem to get up and down from everywhere. So a guy like Bryson doesn't have to worry much if he periodically parks a ball in the woods. As a result he pulls driver every time he can. He almost always recovers. In my case, on a tight, unforgiving hole, my best play is to hit 2-iron in the fairway and have 190 to the green, as opposed to bombing a driver, but then possibly needing to chip out of trouble.


All due respect, the numbers guys (like Broadie and Fawcett) can demonstrate that your assertion about what is your "best play" is incorrect. And their analysis is not limited to play at the highest levels of the game on the various tours. It applies to the chops of the world such as myself. . .

Dan_Callahan

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: An open letter to Bryson DeChambeau
« Reply #23 on: September 22, 2020, 03:15:06 PM »

All due respect, the numbers guys (like Broadie and Fawcett) can demonstrate that your assertion about what is your "best play" is incorrect. And their analysis is not limited to play at the highest levels of the game on the various tours. It applies to the chops of the world such as myself. . .


Trust me ... you've never seen how emotionally crippled I become when I throw away a good round by hitting a crap drive, followed by a chip out, followed by three shots to get out of a greenside bunker, followed by a three-putt.

A.G._Crockett

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: An open letter to Bryson DeChambeau
« Reply #24 on: September 22, 2020, 04:03:09 PM »
When I think about the way pros play as compared to how I play (and consequently as most amateurs play), the biggest difference is the short game. I'm not saying I can fly the ball 300+, but I can hit it plenty far enough. But when I start to spray my driver and end up behind trees and have to pitch out to the fairway, the odds I'm getting up and down for par (or at worst bogey) from 150 yards is pretty slim. And that's where big numbers start to creep in. But when pros are on and confident, they seem to get up and down from everywhere. So a guy like Bryson doesn't have to worry much if he periodically parks a ball in the woods. As a result he pulls driver every time he can. He almost always recovers. In my case, on a tight, unforgiving hole, my best play is to hit 2-iron in the fairway and have 190 to the green, as opposed to bombing a driver, but then possibly needing to chip out of trouble.


All due respect, the numbers guys (like Broadie and Fawcett) can demonstrate that your assertion about what is your "best play" is incorrect. And their analysis is not limited to play at the highest levels of the game on the various tours. It applies to the chops of the world such as myself. . .
Mark,
At the risk of picking the nit, I think it's important to note that Broadie is providing macro information about what separates better golfers from lesser golfers at every level of the game.  What he is NOT doing is giving individual prescriptions for how you or Dan or I should play the game.  So Dan's take on his game may be absolutely correct IF by playing that way his proximity of approach is better. 

And Broadie has sort of revised his work to include the degree of the miss off the tee; he recognizes that there is VERY large difference between 5 feet into the rough, and 20 yards into the trees.  If Dan is hitting the ball in the trees, then his proximity of approach is going to be awful, along with his score. 

In other words, Broadie would fully support DeChambeau's approach because his misses didn't limit his ability to score.  Closer is better at the macro level, and Broadie's research proves that.  But closer is better doesn't include the trees.
"Golf...is usually played with the outward appearance of great dignity.  It is, nevertheless, a game of considerable passion, either of the explosive type, or that which burns inwardly and sears the soul."      Bobby Jones

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