Among golf course strategies, there is something called ‘bomb & gouge’. It is a method of sending the driver as far as possible and then putting the ball on the green with a short stay. It is a strategy derived from the calculation that hitting the second shot (based on par 4) with a short shot from the rough can bring it closer to the hole than hitting it with a long shot from the fairway.
A representative player who had fun with this style is 먹튀검증 (30, USA, photo), a ‘long hitter of superpower’. That’s why he decided to abandon the spring & gouge strategy. This is because his health deteriorated as he overworked himself to hit a long hit. Analysts say that looking down the distance, the effectiveness of long hits is not as great as the accuracy of tee shots is low. With DeChambeau absent, the ‘distance war’, which has been a hot topic in men’s professional golf for the past few years, is also coming to an end.
DeChambeau said through LIV Golf on the 2nd (Korean time), “I will no longer try to increase the distance.” This is the first time that DeChambeau has said that he has given up competing for extra-base hits. He said, “If you hit a ball at 200 miles per hour (320 km) and drop it on the fairway, it will become an ‘absolute weapon’, but that is impossible.” . It means that even if you pay less distance, you will switch to a strategy to drop it on the fairway.
The person who caused the ‘long hit war’ decided to withdraw. Even when he made his professional debut in 2016, his height was 185 cm and his weight was 80 kg, so it was close to a ‘slender physique’. By 2018, he had won five wins on the PGA Tour, and the following year, he gained more than 20kg, saying, “To improve, we need to increase the distance.” In addition, strength training and a diet reaching 7,000 kcal a day dramatically increased swing speed. Thanks to that, in 2021, he recorded an average drive shot distance of 323.7 yards and became the’long hit king’. When the ball hit hard went downhill, it easily passed 400 yards.
There weren’t many players who could ‘one-on’ on a par 4 hole or beat Dechambeau who sent it close to the green. After realizing the power of Bom & Gouge, a competition for long hits took place in the PGA. The representative player was Rory McIlroy (34, Northern Ireland). McIlroy, whose swing is so perfect that he has been called a “pro by the pros,” tried to catch up with DeChambeau by lowering his swing trajectory and increasing his body rotation. However, he fell into a sharp slump and ended up saying “I was trying to copy Dishambeau and my shot was ruined. The ball flew farther, but the swing was messed up,” he said, shaking his head.
DeChambeau, who was like that, was eventually caught up in an injury. Excessive weight gain was the cause. He said that his body and mind were broken, such as losing weight beyond his digestive system and having severe mood swings that he couldn’t handle. In April of last year, he underwent surgery to fracture his left neck, and in December, he also underwent surgery to remove a cyst above his jawbone. The world ranking, which had risen to 4th, fell to 96th. The number of victories was also 3 after ‘bulking up’, less than the previous 5 wins. DeChambeau lost more than 10 kg from when he was at his peak. “I feel healthy now,” he said. “It feels like I went back to my childhood.”
○ “The super long hitter will not come out”Few players on the PGA Tour are obsessed with distance anymore. This also comes in numbers. The average driving distance of PGA Tour players has dropped from 299.8 yards last year to 297.8 yards this year. McIlroy, who declared giving up long hits early in 2021, has since returned to the top of the world rankings with 5 wins. The same goes for Yon Ram (29, Spain), who is ranked third in the world. This year’s average driving distance was 313.8 yards, a decrease of 5 yards from last year (318.9 yards), but already 2 wins, surpassing last season’s (1 win) record.
The British Golf Association (R&A) and the United States Golf Association (USGA), which set the world golf rules, decided to come up with regulations to prevent players from competing for long shots any longer. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) recently reported that “the R&A and the USGA will regulate balls and drivers with high distance within 3 to 4 years.” The two associations are regulating the repulsive power of clubs and balls not to be raised above a certain level, on the grounds that the increased flight distance as the performance of clubs and balls improves is damaging the essence of the game.