Every once in a while a character emerges from a sport who is just different. He marches to a different tune. In the NBA that person was, of course, Dennis Rodman, the man of orange and red hairdos and a white wedding dress.
In pro baseball that was Mark Fidrych, the Birdman pitcher for the Detroit Tigers who talked to his baseball while on the mound.
In professional golf, this charismatic cat is Bryson DeChambeau. While the rest of us sat on our couches in our houses during the pandemic, DeChambeau decided to bulk up so he could swat a golf ball 300-to-400 yards to give him an easier path to victories.
This winner of four PGA tournaments gained 25 pounds while golf action stopped by pumping iron and guzzling five protein milkshakes a day. All of this he did on purpose. It was a strategic move by a man who loves to think and plan on a different level.
Penn State middle linebacker
In this weekend’s Charles Schwab golf tournament, he looked more like a middle linebacker for Penn State U. than a golfer.
His biceps are Popeye-esque. His shoulders are much broader and thicker. Since we last saw him play golf before the pandemic, Bryson has undergone a startling physical transformation.
This guy is so off-center, and so not boring, it wouldn’t be surprising if he ate spinach, like the Popeye the Sailor Man, right out of a tin can before a tee-shot.
This is the guy you would expect to do this
What makes this body bulking more intriguing – and a big departure from the sleek bodies of most golfers – is that DeChambeau is exactly the guy you would have expected to do something odd like this.
This dude thinks about the game of golf in different and more detailed ways than the others. Absorbed by the physics and mathematics of shots, he keeps a detailed notebook that he refers to often during his rounds. One wonders about all the detailed minutiae that’s in there. Surely a mind-twisting and intellectually non-starting read.
He has fine-tuned his abnormal swing in a way that he believes gives him the best chance of striking the ball best. It doesn’t look conventional – kind of mechanical and awkward — but it’s how he believes, based on his diligent research, a golf swing is most productive. My guess is he read a few hundred books about this to arrive at this decision.
“Big shoulders and Popeye biceps are a big differentiator for me on the golf course and I believe will help me win a few Majors this year,” he said. “And even this weight gain gambit doesn’t work, I’m so big now I could go play linebacker in the NFL. What’ more, along this journey I get to enjoy gulping down five protein milkshakes a day.
Strategy will work no matter what
“The way I see it, this beefing up strategy is going to work out for me no matter what,” he said. “It gives me several career options and gets suckers like Sammy Sportface to blog about me. Bulking up bolsters my personal brand.”
Many golfers are fastidious about their swings and check distances to the green down to the feet and inches. But I don’t believe any of them dives deeper into the nitty-gritty than this guy.
Golf pundits believe he works through algebraic equations right there on the course to figure out the slope of hills and undulations so he can execute his shots most effectively.
He has used Avogradro’s Number to calculate the trajectory of shots to give him the optimal chance of landing close to the pin. No golfer besides him knows what this arcane mathematical precept is, which gives him a decided psychological advantage in every round he plays.
No one else reading this knows what Avogadro’s Number is either because no mathematicians have signed up for the Sammy Sportface Baby Boomer Brotherhood.
Uses FOIL method
But that’s not all. Before putting DeChambeau has employed the algebraic FOIL method whereby he tackles an equation by multiplying the numbers and variables in this order: first (F), outside (O), inside (I), and last (L). The process goes something like this a(b + 3x)(4y -3) so that a x b + a x 3x + a x 4y + a x -3.
“I’m not sure if the FOIL method helps me make more putts,” he said. “But it’s intellectually fascinating to use the method before putting to see if I can squeeze out any advantage possible. This gets the other players wondering if the FOIL methods help them play golf better. It’s good to distract them with such bewildering thoughts so they can’t fully concentrate on their shots.”
In addition to algebraic tricks, Popeye has used trigonometry to figure out how to hit bunker shots.
“The sine over the cosine is a key mathematical construct so I like to crunch a few of those numbers before a bunker shot,” he said. “It may not get me to hit the shot correctly, but I find it relaxing to work a trig problem on the course especially when I’m in the sand trap. It reduces my stress level.
“It’s especially cool to multiply the sine over the cosine by the cosine over the sine and get 1 as the answer,” he pointed out. “That’s some cool symmetry like the size of my bulbous right and left biceps.”
Trig yields no answers
This quirky golfer concedes that trigonometry has never spit out an answer for him on how to hit a shot.
“But it’s got my competitors thinking about it and that’s an advantage for me. I have to keep them thinking because I am always thinking. It gets them off their games and playing my intellectually sophisticated games.”
DeChambeau had to end this exclusive interview after making this statement. He said he had to get home and pump some more weights so he can put on another 25 pounds before his next tournament.
Sammy Sportface, a sports blogger, galvanizes, inspires, and amuses The Baby Boomer Brotherhood. And you can learn about his vision and join this group's Facebook page here:
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