He is known as a mad scientist, which is great. Bryson uses data to rapidly improve his golf swing, we can too.

Listen to the full episode here: https://anchor.fm/dataaxisgolf/episodes/What-Can-We-Learn-From-Bryson-DeChambeau-e2hj3a


Welcome to Data Axis Golf, your home for rapid golf improvement. And now from the thin air of the Rocky Mountains, next on the number one tee, your host Aaron Stewart.

Welcome to another episode of Data Axis Golf. Appreciate you being here. I wanted to jump on and have a little discussion about Bryson DeChambeau and his victory down in Vegas at the Shriners Hospital for Children. Wow, amazing performance. He was able to, again, take a 54 hole 8 and convert it, which is actually, you know, pretty hard to do. Statistics show us that’s pretty tough to do. So super impressive and kind of goes to why he is able to do this. He’s, he’s young, he’s known as a mad scientist. And really at a data-driven guy, which is, as many of you know, is very close to my heart. So I kind of wanted to jump into that.

I remember hearing about him when he was at SMU and he had won the NCAAs. And was playing really well and they were talking about is kind of one length clubs. And then he was sort of a mad scientist and a physicist and all this stuff. And so it became very interesting. I, myself, was kind of starting to use a lot of feedback and data to organize and try to get my swing better. That’s where I started having my epiphany with the bike riding and trying to figure that all out. So I was very interested in learning more about him. I didn’t have to look far, right? I mean, based on how the media is nowadays they’re always looking for some new story or whatever because they have to put out a lot of content to get a lot of eyeballs and make a lot of money so I get it but it was very easy to get information on Bryson DeChambeau. He was a pretty interesting character and the media made sure that we knew about him. And so, sort of followed him along as they went to Cobra and got the one length clubs. He made it Cobra and I actually tried one length irons for a year and tried to work my way into them. I found them sort of difficult to adjust to after playing with varying length clubs. For all my life to go to all one length with very strange, you know, you’ve got the mind was set up so everything was set up like a seven iron so you know you’ve got a six hour and you couldn’t really tell that much difference. But 5, 4, 3 irons definitely felt strange. At seven iron length, and boy, a 60-degree wedge or even a pitching wedge at a seven iron length is weird, super, super weird. They’re all banked bent to the same lie angle and it was an interesting experience and I had a lot of fun sort of messing with it. But it didn’t really work for me. And I’m concerned with our bodies were down and especially as we get older they were down and so that that major wrist injury that I had, I kind of sort of attribute it to those one length clubs. I mean, I literally was hitting every single club at the exact same lying on putting a great deal of stress on your body. When time and time again, you’re taking divots and if your wrist to set the same exact position every single time, I think that you’re looking for trouble, right? That repetitive motion so I started feeling my back. I mean you’re always your stance you always bent over at sort of the same angle. Your wrist is kind of coming through at the same angle and I just started to feel myself sort of were down where you know with the multiple angles in the multiple links and a standard iron set I think probably lens to more variability in your golf swing. And while that I don’t always like that as far as we’re trying to simplify the golf swing, and I think that’s why I was super attracted to the whole concept of the one length. But when it comes right down to it without your health, you’ve got nothing. So at that particular point, I had to say, you know what a little variability is, okay. Plus, I’ve been playing this way for so long that I went back to the variable length clubs and ended up still tearing out my wrist. I think I injured it probably before with the one lengths. So, anybody who’s thinking about using the one length, I think if you’re younger, you probably get away with it. And I think that Bryson’s going to be able to get away with it for a long time and we’ll see how his body holds up. But when you are hitting every single shot from the exact same position, I’ve got to think that eventually, you’re going to feel that. That you’re going to wear out. You’re putting too much strain and pressure on certain parts of your body and the exact same place every single time, that’s gotta hurt eventually. So I am concerned about that. Hopefully, he’ll deal with that and he’ll avoid injury. He’s sure fun to watch play.

I just don’t get the whole idea that somehow or another if you pump your fist that somehow other Tigers move. I mean, Tiger didn’t come up with the fist pump, did he? I mean, it seems like we’ve seen it my whole life different people have done the fist pump so why in the world it’s now considered Tigers patented move and nobody else can do it without somebody saying that it looks Tiger-esk. I don’t know but I have stopped fist pumping so I don’t have to be called Tiger-esk for whatever that’s worth. So anyway back to Bryson, When he first came out, it was fascinating, interesting. He didn’t really have the best of starts. He kind of started slow and I thought about this a lot, why was that? He was so successful in the NCAA and we see that a lot. I think the media and the spotlight. It’s got to be difficult puts a lot of pressure on them. To perform, he obviously is a very performance driven person. And I think all that pressure on not living up to it was probably pretty difficult for him. But also, I think that he would just suffer from data overload. And that’s possible. When you start using data in your golf swing, there’s an opportunity to gather so much data that you can’t make sense out of any of it. And it gets a little frustrating there to start until somebody starts to make sense and kind of settle in. And then once you start understanding the data and can kind of compartmentalize what’s helpful and what isn’t, then data becomes very incredibly helpful. And I think it just took him a while to figure out what pieces of equipment were helpful to him and what was not. And they showed some video somewhere on DeChambeau back at Carnoustie where he’s struggling with this swing a little bit. And they kind of show in his emotional outbursts and stuff and I wasn’t very interested in that part of it. We all get frustrated but just the amount of equipment that had surrounded him, all the feedback he was getting. I mean, if he was using new feedback devices and trying to figure things out, I can see that to be a very frustrating thing. But it seems, and I’m super happy for him, it seems that he’s figured out what data is important for him and what data is not.

And in our sort of winters, you know, training program, winter boot camp, whatever, we’re going to call it launching December 1, we’re going to get into that what data is important and what data isn’t. But in a nutshell, I’ll say this. You want to use data where you don’t have a quicker way to get feedback, right? You want the quickest, most accurate and instant feedback you can get. So in a lot of the devices that we use, and I’m still sort of trying to negotiate with the equipment manufacturers and some of the devices and so I haven’t really sort of revealed which ones I use right now. But when you’re looking at the data, you need to understand and sort of and I’ll help everybody through this you need to kind of take can throw out the data that you can get more accurately at the course and not worry about that. So we get some data far as, you know, the club faces open, closed or square and you get sort of descending blow. There’s a lot of data that is superfluous that we don’t need in the devices that we’re going to us and we’ll show you which ones are work and which ones don’t. We really want to focus on the data that we can’t get anywhere else. The best possible data. I can go to a golf course, I can go to a driving range and tell you pretty quickly whether my face is square or open or closed, right? It’s the direction the ball goes after I hit it. And that’s more immediate feedback without me looking at a computer screen, without an iPhone screen. So that’s not the best way to use data. We want to use data when we’re talking about swing plane, we’re talking about where our club is. Those types of things where we have really no other way for accurate data. That’s where we want to hang out. That’s where we want to spend our time using devices and using data where we can’t get it anywhere else. And it’s by far the best way to get accurate instant data to us. That’s where we’ll hang out. So part of the program will be using it this way, don’t use it this way, because there are better ways to get that data elsewhere. And I think that DeChambeau has figured that out.

When you use data to reveal what you’re actually doing, and you begin to trust it, you develop an insane amount of confidence in your golf swing. Confidence that I’ve ever had previously because I wasn’t ever really sure what I was doing. But when I have data, show me what I’m doing and first of all convinced me that I wasn’t doing what I thought I was doing. But it gets me to a place where I know that this is what I’m doing. It doesn’t matter what it feels like. This is what actually is going on. And you begin to trust that and you begin to trust the process. You get to a point where your golf swing becomes something you have great confidence in. And I think DeChambeau knows how he has embraced data and this feedback has given him the ability to be very confident in his golf swing.

So when he has a 54 hole lead, and he goes to the driving range, and he warms up, he has all the data telling them, your golf swings in good shape. And it goes to the number one team knows, look, if I just implement my golf swing, I know that it’s in good shape. I saw the data and feedback. I don’t have to trust my “feel”. I saw it and I trust this equipment enough to know that it’s accurate, and you go out with a great deal of confidence. He played with a great deal of confidence. And maybe he didn’t have that when he wasn’t getting the appropriate data, the data that he needed, but he has it now and it’s kind of fun to watch. So I was super excited to see him when it’s definitely and I think for us who are convinced the data is a great way to better our golf swings rapidly. He’s sort of the poster child. He really is doing an amazing job with it. So I’m excited to get in and get going with you. December 1, we’ll get to work if you’re looking to sign up please just go to our website dataaxisgolf.com and give us an email address. We’ll send out all the details when we’re closer to going. We’ve got everything sorts of built out and maybe I’ll review kind of the course at least how it’s set out. And we’re getting the videos done and getting them all set up ready for us to go.

I’m excited about doing it myself. We’ll have a lot of fun going back and forth on our private Facebook group. I think it’s going to be a good time and we’ll learn a ton of stuff. Sort of the last thing that I want to kind of touched on is want to touch on is it again, going back to Bryson, he uses all this data, he gets all this stuff. But when you go to the course, you have to play, and he is a very interesting guy because he will talk to his caddy. I think they showed it on the 16th hole. When he hit his approach up there. He knew they’d hit it well. And then he made that Eagle putt. The discussion that he had with his caddy was very detail oriented and he took in a lot of data and that’s fine. But when it gets right down to it in golf, we can use our devices to practice and do all kinds of things but eventually have to get to a point you have to perform. And performance improves when we trust them. What we’re doing when we trust in the process, and we know based on data that we’ve got everything in place in order to execute a shot. And he’s able to trust that, calm his mind, choose a target and let it go and just hit it. And that’s a phrase Fred Shoemaker uses a lot. You just let it go. And it was so fun to watch a guy that is so big on data, get to the course process at all settle in and let it go and execute the shot again, so much more possible for him to do that because he trusts his golf swing, and he trusts his golf swing because of data.

So that’s it for today. Thanks for listening. I sure appreciate the comments. It’s growing more people are listening. It’s exciting. I never thought I’d be here and be doing this kind of a thing, but I’m enjoying it and I appreciate your interaction. It sure made this a lot easier to kind of get into and get going. So until next time, please remember: better data means better golf we’ll see you next time. Thanks!