Two weeks ago, Bryson DeChambeau underwent surgery on his left hand, and now he’s back on the golf course. But even “The Hulk” has not made a miraculous recovery after this short time, but uses an unusual technique to hit a few balls despite his handicap. On the video platform TikTok, he presents his attempts at a one-armed golf swing – with success, mind you. As unusual as it may seem at first, the exercise makes perfect sense.
“DeChambeau out-hits our group one-handed”
First, DeChambeau posted a video from the driving range on Monday. You can see (of course) a drive of the longhitter, including the spin of the club after the shot.
But that was not the end of the story for DeChambeau. Together with former NFL kicker Josh Scobee, they went out for a round of golf and there, too, DeChambeau showed that you can also make up a few yards with just your right hand. His teammate’s comment: “No big deal, just Bryson DeChambeau hitting the ball one-handed past our group.”
Playing with one hand as a useful training method
Regardless of whether it is forced or voluntary, it makes sense to play one-handed strokes from time to time. Due to the lack of support from the second hand, the muscle groups are used more during the stroke and the swing movement occurs more consciously. In addition, the stability in the core of the body is strengthened and due to the higher strain on the muscles, the strength training for more length is also included. To train on the range with this technique you don’t need any special equipment, just a golf club and a few balls. To start, it should be a short iron. With this iron, you first make a few practice swings with the right hand and focus especially on the movement of the shoulders, hips and back. A little tip: For more control over the club, you can grip a little lower than usual. Then follow up with a few strokes with the ball, keeping the unused hand on the hip or back. Repeat with the left hand before hitting a few balls with both hands and the normal golf grip.
When it comes to golf balls, opinions differ. While some golfers simply play the balls they find in the rough, others rely exclusively on brand new balls out of the box. The pros exemplify the latter, because completely new balls deliver the consistency and quality that are crucial in the game of millimetres.
New balls are the optimum
This much in advance: New golf balls fresh out of the box are the best in terms of quality, consistency and performance. Whether the high price justifies these characteristics for one’s own golf game is something everyone has to decide for themselves. However, if you only look at the performance, this is where you will find the best golf balls. It would be ideal if you always played the same ball model from one manufacturer. That’s what all the professionals in the world do. Coincidence? Hardly!
Lakeballs – the solution to the problem?
The main problem with lake balls is the uncertainty of how good the ball really is. It borders on a lottery whether you get good balls or they are of inferior quality. Depending on how long a golf ball has been in the water, it takes more or less damage. Here it also depends on the temperature, the substrate and the water – all factors that are impossible to determine when the balls are fished out of a pond.
After a certain amount of time, the water penetrates the golf balls, causing damage to the cover layers and/or cores. How extensive this is is anyone’s guess. Usually, lake balls are classified into different categories that are supposed to reflect the quality. However, optical parameters such as markings, shine and abrasion are emphasised here. Sometimes a distinction is also made as to whether there are cuts in the shell. What the inside of the golf ball looks like, however, is not taken into account.
When it comes to lakeballs, you can get lucky and get your hands on a high-quality or flawless ball at an unbeatable price. However, this can backfire just as badly – you simply don’t know. For those who see the price factor as the decisive criterion, this alternative is ideal if you are prepared to accept compromises in quality.
Refinished with new lacquer
Some lakeballs receive a refinish before they are sold. In the refinishing process, the ball is repainted and a new logo is applied. However, since the balls were originally intended by the manufacturers with a different paint finish, which then influences the dimple depth, refinished golf balls cannot be compared with the original golf balls. Often, the new coating is not even enough because it is applied to golf balls that have already been used.
Without wanting to offend the manufacturers of the refinished golf balls – but there are indeed some black sheep here. A name of an expensive golf ball is simply printed on cheap golf balls to suggest higher quality. For example, you buy a Pro V1x Refinished and underneath is a cheap two-piece ball. Therefore, you should always keep your eyes open or your fingers off Refinished golf balls.
Practice and X-Out balls
There are also Practice and X-Out balls. These have either small defects in the colour, the markings or the ink, so that they do not quite meet the quality standards of the ball manufacturer 100%. Sometimes there are also minor physical deviations, so that the performance is reduced, even if only very slightly. This is why they are labelled Practice or X-Out, while some manufacturers simply destroy these balls and they do not even enter circulation.
Due to the minor defects, the sales price naturally drops, which is why money can be saved here. But watch out! Not every practice or X-Out ball is officially approved and complies with the rules. For tournaments, it is therefore better to play it safe and use the “normal” golf balls. However, for practice and fun rounds as well as for training on the pitching green, these balls offer a quality alternative at lower prices.
With Practice and X-Out balls you can save money and get new golf balls in high quality that have only minimal deviations from the standard – ideal for practice rounds. With lake balls or refinished balls, you run the risk of getting poorer quality balls that could have a negative impact on your golf game, but this is where your wallet will be the happiest. If you want to invest more money, brand new golf balls are the best choice.
Slow play is a daily topic of discussion in golf. A considerable number of top stars and amateurs criticize this playing behavior. For instance, Bryson DeChambeau makes the difference on and off the course for different reasons: his physicist mind, the power on his driver shots, and last but not least his slow playing. Kevin Na used to also be part of the slow players team for a while. Although Na managed to speed up his routine, the American golfer is back on the spotlight again.
Every person has their pet peeves, and slow playing is definitely one of the most popular ones among golfers, which also shows in their opponents attitude. In fact, it results irritating and harder to focus for the other players in the group. The sport of golf is very mental, and the long waits play against that. Therefore, one slow player has the capacity to influence the performance of the opponents.
Study by Arccos: Slow play has a negative impact on the game result
Furthermore, slow play can have even worse consequences. For instance, there exists a study, the tracking platform Arccos Golf, which claims that slow play can even have a negative impact on scores, reports Golf Monthly magazine. The following chart shows the average scores measured by Arccos broken down by handicap strength and round time.
Analyzing the data to conclude: Slow play has more downs than ups.
The data in the graph shows that the number of strokes increases as the golf match lasts longer. If the players needed 78.7 strokes for 3-3.5 hours of play, this number increased to 80.0 strokes for a golf match of 4.5-5 hours. These figures refer to the results of golfers with a handicap between 0 – 4.9. Also, the higher the handicap more strokes the players needed. For example, amateurs with a handicap between 15 – 19.9 had an average of 1.7 strokes more than their flight partners, who were two hours faster.
The data suggest that a more time-intensive game leads to a worse score. However, the reasons for this cannot be deduced from the statistics. Golf Monthly speculates that the main reason could be loss of concentration over that long time. If you think back to the reactions of Brooks Koepka to the slow play of Bryson DeChambeau, this explanation actually makes sense.
How meaningful is the study really?
The size of the dataset from which Arccos extracts these results, the time period over which they were collected or the gender and age distribution are unkown. The data probably comes from the rounds that Arccos recorded with their tracking tools. It would also be interesting to find out how this data differs, for example, when they differentiate between slow-play causers and slow-play sufferers. One thing is certain, however: the data is exciting for golf and it shows that speeding up your game surely pays off!