Saudi International Venue Builds Fence To Bryson-Proof Driving Range
After peppering the 12th tee from the driving range in 2021, tournament organisers have had to 'Bryson-proof' the range for 2022.
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It's no secret that Bryson DeChambeau is one of the world's longest hitters. Finishing eighth in the World Long Drive Championships (opens in new tab), the American has gone on to top the PGA Tour's driving distance charts for the last two years, with 322.1 and 323.7 yard averages making him comfortably the longest off the tee.
However, with the new found distance comes a few problems. When we say problems, we don't mean for DeChambeau, we mean for some event organisers. This happened to be the case for the tournament organisers at the Saudi International, which gets underway on the 3rd - 6th February with a star-studded line-up. (opens in new tab)
DeChambeau, who will be attending the event for a third time, rained practice balls onto the course from Royal Greens’ 300-yard range in 2021, with his drives flying the whole boundary of the range and landing on the course's 12th tee box.
With DeChambeau announcing that he will be hitting the ball further than ever (opens in new tab) in 2022, the tournament organisers obviously had to make some changes so that the 12th and surrounding areas will be safe for players and spectators. Their solution, well that is to erect a fence at the rear of the range to stop said drives from flying and wiping out those in the area.
Event director, Mike Oliver, spoke about DeChamebau's impact on the event, stating "what Bryson has brought to the game of golf is incredible – none more so than his length off the tee, which brings huge fan interest and excitement whenever he steps up to the ball.
“Despite being at an uphill angle and around 300-yards long, our driving range at Royal Greens proved just a little short for Bryson last year, with a number of his drives peppering the tee box for the 12th hole behind the practice area. To counter that this year, we’ve installed a boundary fence, which will keep all players and fans safe as Bryson warms-up!”
According to reports, DeChambeau is currently waiting on a delivery of a new lofted driver, with the former US Open champion stating “It's coming here this week or next – you'll be seeing a lot longer drives. Last week [playing in Hawaii] I couldn't really do that just because [the club] wasn’t on the conforming list yet.
"We were supposed to have something earlier, but all the shipping delays caused it to be moved back. But I still went out and tried to bomb it. I hit a couple of wayward drives, but hopefully that will be corrected when I come to Royal Greens.”
Despite finishing in 18th place last year, DeChambeau (opens in new tab) is adamant that the course is perfect for his game "one of the most interesting things about that golf course for me is, I think, it fits a bomber pretty well. I feel like, for whatever reason, it just suits my eye. If I get hot and rolling, which I haven’t any of the times I've been there, hopefully I can claim victory.”
Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.
Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.
Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?
Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°
Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°
Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°
Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW
Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°
Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
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