On the practice tee in the dark, under the spotlights, with just a coach with him, Bryson DeChambeau kept working on his tee-shot swing.
To him it wasn’t feeling right. It had to be fixed to his liking and he wasn’t leaving until it was.
The next day he would be playing for the US Open Championship, his first Major Title.
All the other guys had gone home. Not this guy. No watching himself on the TV news highlights for his splendid round on Saturday. No putting his feet up and relaxing.
Working on his craft, his golf swing, his life.
Again and again he lined up, took his backswing, and ripped the ball. Think of it like a painter would. The painter would try to get the color just right, the strokes going a certain way, not just any way, somewhere precise. If the color shade was off just a touch, it was not acceptable.
This was not just an unusual night for his unusual guy when he decided to practice his swing late into the night. On many occasions – probably more than we could ever even imagine – he’s been out there on the golf course by himself trying to get his golf swing just a smidgeon better, a bit smoother, a tad bit more accurate.
Give this guy credit. We all should admire those who strive to be great at what they do. How much more attractive that is than people who are born with a bundle of natural talent but never practices or only half-asses their way through life.
I’ll take the determined person every time. Give me the grinders.
Ferocity – there’s no other word to describe how this guy approaches golf. In the last six months he gained 40 pounds to hit the ball farther. He had a theory: If he hits the ball father than anyone on tour, he’ll become a global golf champion.
Right on he was. During the US Open he hit drives father than anyone else, some 340 to 360 yards. It worked. He’s the US Open Champion.
But it’s not just his work ethic that’s uncommonly appealing. That alone would be enough for me. It’s his weird belief in taking chances with his career by breaking with all conventional wisdom that says you can’t become a great golfer just by bulking up and pounding drives. Risk takers – I love them.
Turns out he was right. More importantly than that, he took a risk that he would be right and took the steps needed to prove he was right.
When others said he shouldn’t to it and that it made no sense, he went the other way and did it.
It’s like when people said we could never go to the Moon. Many doubted it. But some didn’t and they’re the ones he led us to the Moon. We’re grateful to them. They’re worthy of a salute. Naysayers, those negative Neds, never inspire.
Get inside your head and think about this guy Bryson DeChambeau. Instead of going the typical pro golfing route, he made a clear-minded decision to try something different that had never been done before. It could have backfired. His swing could have been permanently damaged and his pro career over.
Money foregone. A career that could have been that wasn’t. All that was on the table.
And he bet on himself. A life lived the right way.
We should all bet on ourselves. You’re likely to be right. If somebody tells you can’t accomplish something, who are they to say and how could they know? Inside of you are motivations no one could ever understand.
Model your work ethic and original attitude to the tune Bryson DeChambeau. Late at night when everyone else is chilling out, don’t chill out. Think hard about how you can get better. Maybe it’s writing a blog that needs a more powerful analogy. Stick around and ponder what analogy should be until you concoct one that fits your narrative.
Don’t go home and give up and say you’ll work on it tomorrow.
Stay at the practice tee. Keep the lights on. Don’t go anywhere until you’ve mastered your craft.
You’ll be a champion too. In my mind and yours.
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:
Sammy Sportface Has a Vision -- Check It Out
Sammy Sportface -- The Baby Boomer Brotherhood Blog -- Facebook Page