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Bryson DeChambeau still wants to get faster. That’s why he spent day after day since the Masters in his instructor Chris Como’s living room in Dallas, smashing ball after ball into a net, even sharing a launch monitor with a World Long Drive champion. All this while many of his peers, including world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, took some time off to recharge the batteries.
“I haven’t given up the pursuit of trying to get faster,” DeChambeau told Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis on Tuesday at Kapalua, where after a year hiatus he will open his season at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
How fast? DeChambeau said that once he reaches between 207 and 210 mph average ball speed with his driver (he currently leads the PGA Tour at 192.80 mph and has yet to break the 200-mph mark in competition), he will finally be satisfied with his distance quest.
“At that point, I’ll probably be like, ‘OK, that’s good enough,’” DeChambeau said.
DeChambeau’s speed goals are partly inspired by Kyle Berkshire, the top-ranked World Long Drive competitor in the world, who set the world record for ball speed (228 mph) on his way to winning the WLD final in 2019. Berkshire spent time with DeChambeau last month in Dallas, each superstar trying to help the other get better. (Berkshire is attempting to revive his playing career after deciding to focus on long drive during his college career at North Texas.)
“I have a couple pounds on him, but he is way faster than me,” DeChambeau said. “It’s interesting to have somebody to look up to in that regard to try and keep getting faster, rather than oh, you know, I’m already the fastest on Tour and I’m good with that. I want to be kind of where Kyle’s at.”
Kapalua should give DeChambeau a good canvas to see where he’s at. On Monday, DeChambeau said that after hitting 211 mph ball speed on the range, he reached 201 mph on the final hole of his practice round. He also said he hit an 8-iron 205 yards.
“It just feels easier to move the club faster,” he said.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 6, 2021
On a course known for yielding 400-plus-yard drives, DeChambeau seems to be licking his chops at the potential for a record-long poke. The longest official drive ever hit on the Plantation Course went 476 yards off the driver of Davis Love III at the 18th hole in 2004.
“I hope so,” DeChambeau said of setting a new record this week. “Let’s be honest, that would be a lot of fun.”