Could Bryson DeChambeau Be The Unlikely Saviour Of Men’s Professional Golf?

Bryson DeChambau has been a divisive figure since the start of his professional golf career, but he offers blockbuster entertainment

bryson dechambeau celebrating pga championship
Bryson DeChambeau celebrates after making a birdie putt on the 72nd hole at Valhalla
(Image credit: Getty Images)

In an age where robotic, identikit golfers are omnipresent and adorning the mantlepiece of men’s professional golf like never before, Bryson DeChambeau is a walking, talking and swinging contradiction. 

He zigs where others zag, he sticks his head above the parapet while others are content to exist in the shadows and he wears his heart on his sleeve in an era where showing emotion has gone confusingly out of fashion. He provides box-office entertainment – something men’s professional golf is crying out for. 

He’s been a divisive figure during the course of his professional career. There have been some ill-advised comments that have rightly attracted some derision, but others have simply chosen to scoff at the antics of someone who dares to think and act differently.  

At the PGA Championship, I found him absolutely captivating. His pumped-up, passionate approach contrasts so vividly with the likes of Scottie Scheffle and Xander Schauffle, who don’t give anything away on the course. This isn’t a criticism of those two – they are both fine players and they’ve found a process that works for them. But I know what I’d rather watch.

Bryson has been responsible for my two favourite moments of 2024 and he’s acutely aware he’s in the entertainment business. How many other professional golfers can we say that about?

At The Masters, he holed out for birdie on the 18th hole in round three and practically cart-wheeled up to the green to retrieve his ball. It was pure theatre and the patrons loved it. 

At Valhalla, you got the sense public opinion is turning towards Bryson. The charged-up galleries were chanting his name and he fed off that emotion. Instead of staying in his cocoon and blocking out distraction, he acknowledged the gallery and conducted them like he was centre stage at Carnegie Hall.

Despite acknowledging the brilliance of Schauffele and Viktor Hovland – who I should probably have been rooting for given his European heritage – there was only one man I wanted to win. I was up off my seat when his birdie putt on the par-5 18th tip-toed into the cup. I was all in.

bryson dechambeau masters 18th

Bryson after holing out on 18 at The Masters

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A true maverick

Hats off to Xander for an incredible performance – he deserves a Major Championship – but I came away from the US PGA longing for more Bryson. As someone who has absolutely no interest in LIV Golf, it’s such a shame I’ll only get to watch him two more times this year. 

Bryson has also worked hard on his image of late. He has his own YouTube Channel and he admits it’s been a useful tool in helping him connect with fellow golfers and show his personality. It’s entertaining, enlightening and innovative – a word that sums him up rather well.

He’s famous for his use of One-Length irons – no other pro I’m aware of does this – and during lockdown he embarked on a journey to rapidly increase his swing speed and become the longest hitter on tour. He identified an area where he felt he could improve and threw everything into it. He’s not content standing still and he thinks about the game on a deeper level than most.

He’s also a man who won’t back down from a challenge. Remember his feud with Brooks Koepka a couple of years ago? That certainly generated additional excitement, as did his tee shot on the 6th hole at Bay Hill in 2021, when he carried the green of the par 5. In the pre-event press conference, he said he’d take it on if the conditions were right. He duly delivered. 

He’s also passionate about growing interest in golf among the younger generation. At Valhalla, a video emerged of him shouting at a man who intercepted a ball he’d thrown to one of the children in the crowd. How many other players would have done that?

bryson dechambeau bay hill

In 2021, DeChambeau drove the 6th green at Bay Hill

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A penny for Jay's thoughts

I’m sure Jay Monahan was watching DeChambeau at the US PGA and lamenting the fact he’s no longer on his tour. I think his performance might have accelerated the PGA Tour’s desire to come to an agreement with Saudi Arabia’s PIF. He’s that important.

You could list on one hand the number of true mavericks that exist in the men’s professional realm, and the current fragmentation has only served to highlight the lack of characters in the game today. LIV Golf continues to struggle with viewership and the ‘exhibition’ tag and the PGA Tour has been far less compelling since the arrival of the Saudi-backed circuit.

Neither side is thriving and it’s clear to everyone what needs to happen. Seeing Bryson and Koepka going head-to-head with the PGA Tour’s best four times a year simply isn’t enough. The Majors are bittersweet, because the joy in the moment is offset by the reality of the wider situation. When talent is stretched, you need characters. When you don’t have many of those, fans start losing interest. 

Bryson is as marketable a personality as there is in the game today. The PGA Tour should be doing everything in its power to get him on television screens as often as possible, even if that means ceding some control to the Saudis. 

Nick Bonfield
Features Editor

Nick Bonfield joined Golf Monthly in 2012 after graduating from Exeter University and earning an NCTJ-accredited journalism diploma from News Associates in Wimbledon. He is responsible for managing production of the magazine, sub-editing, writing, commissioning and coordinating all features across print and online. Most of his online work is opinion-based and typically centres around the Majors and significant events in the global golfing calendar. Nick has been an avid golf fan since the age of ten and became obsessed with the professional game after watching Mike Weir and Shaun Micheel win The Masters and PGA Championship respectively in 2003. In his time with Golf Monthly, he's interviewed the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Jose Maria Olazabal, Henrik Stenson, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Billy Horschel and has ghost-written columns for Westwood, Wayne Riley, Matthew Southgate, Chris Wood and Eddie Pepperell. Nick is a 12-handicap golfer and his favourite courses include Old Head, Sunningdale New, Penha Longha, Valderrama and Bearwood Lakes. If you have a feature pitch for Nick, please email with 'Pitch' in the subject line. Nick is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade M1 Fairway wood: TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 Hybrid: Ping Crossover Irons (4-9): Nike Vapor Speed Wedges: Cleveland CBX Full Face, 56˚, Titleist Vokey SM4, 60˚ Putter: testing in progress! Ball: TaylorMade TP5x