U.S. Open: Get to know ‘Jackie,’ ‘King,’ ‘Mr. Ward’ and the rest of Bryson DeChambeau’s golf bag

Bryson DeChambeau has some interesting names for his clubs. (Peacock)

Bryson DeChambeau has some interesting names for his clubs. (Peacock)

PINEHURST, N.C. — Bryson DeChambeau reigns as golf’s Mad Scientist, a constant, deliberate and diligent tinkerer with every technical element of his game. While it’s easy to goof on his wide-eyed sincerity when he talks about 3D-printing his own irons — “ever since I got the equipment change last year, my whole life dramatically changed,” he said earlier this week — it’s impossible to deny that he’s on to something.

DeChambeau shot the lowest score ever recorded in a PGA Championship last month at Valhalla — then could only watch as Xander Schauffele went on to beat him by a stroke. This week at Pinehurst, he’s hung around the top 10 over the first two days of the tournament, and is in prime position to challenge for his second major.

During Friday’s round, fans got a look at DeChambeau’s names for his clubs. As with everything DeChambeau, it’s a little weird, a little performative, and a little endearing.

He calls his 3 iron “Gamma,” because that’s the third letter in the Greek alphabet. The 5 iron is “Azalea,” since that’s the name of his favorite Par 5 at Augusta National. “Juniper” is the name of the 6th at Augusta, “Tin Cup” references Kevin Costner’s call for a 7-iron, and “8-Ball” is a game DeChambeau enjoys playing.

And then it gets good. His 9 iron is called “Jackie” because it has 42 degrees of loft (42 = Jackie Robinson’s number, get it?) His 46-degree pitching wedge is “Herman Keiser,” after the 1946 Masters champion, and his 50-degree gap wedge is “Jimmy Demaret,” after the 1950 Masters champion. You’d assume that his 55-degree sand wedge would be “Cary Middlecoff,” after the 1955 Masters champ, but no — it’s “Mr. Ward,” after Harvie Ward, the low amateur at the 1955 U.S. Open. (Ward was 29 at the time of that win, so it’s unclear why the 30-year-old DeChambeau would call him “Mr.”, but whatever.) Finally, his lob wedge is named “King,” in honor of Arnold Palmer.

“The equipment that I have is good enough to win in major championships,” DeChambeau said earlier in the week. “I feel a lot more comfortable under the gun in major championships being able to get the job done.”

Sure, DeChambeau is an odd duck. But golf needs more of him. And if he ends up winning the U.S. Open with his brand of deliberate strangeness, maybe he’ll give the green flag to other golfers to be as off-beat as they like. It can pay off, after all, as DeChambeau and Jackie can testify.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top