Pete Cowen has compared watching Bryson DeChambeau’s power hitting to “going to the circus”, although admits he has been impressed with the American’s added distance.
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DeChambeau has been the talk of the PGA Tour since golf resumed last month, having gained over three stone in weight – most of it in muscle – to gain make significant improvements with both driving distance and results.
The 26-year-old registered a sixth PGA Tour title at the Rocket Mortgage Classic earlier this month, his seventh consecutive worldwide top-10 and fourth in as many weeks, with DeChambeau’s new-found distance generating mixed opinions within the golfing world.
“A lot of people are really enjoying watching DeChambeau at the moment, because it’s a little bit like going to the circus and seeing the freak show!” Cowen told the Sky Sports Golf podcast. “They’re just enjoying him it hitting it as hard as he is.
“It’s a bit like watching Daly 30 years ago, very impressive. People are saying ‘is that the way it’s going’, but I hope not because it puts an awful lot of people out of the game and there’s an awful lot of enjoyment that can be had without hitting it 350 yards.
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“Bryson’s not bothered about the consequences at the moment, so he just hits it and then deals with the consequences afterwards. He does hit it fairly straight, as 65 per cent of fairways at certain times is a lot of fairways for the distance that he’s hitting it. It’s impressive.”
The R&A and USGA have previously raised concerns over continued increases in the average hitting distances in the sport, which they described in their Distances Insights Report as “detrimental to golf’s long-term future”, although Cowen believes it has been going on in the sport for some time.
“There are always players that have been able to overcome and overpower a golf course,” Cowen added. “Dustin [Johnson] and Brooks [Koepka] did it [added distance] for four or five years, so Bryson’s seen that happening and decided to join them but gone a little bit further. Those guys can get up to those speeds that Bryson’s doing.
“[Jack] Nicklaus in his era was very long and you’ve got to remember that the 18th green at St Andrews is over 350 yards long and 50 years ago, Nicklaus drove it four times and drove it through in the play-off.
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