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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, 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.
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 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 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 studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.