1. Bryson DeChambeau
DeChambeau epitomizes the new and up-and-coming millennial golfers. The 24-year-old uses analytics and isn’t afraid to show it, if his Microsoft Cloud commercials are any indication, and with the club in his hands, he is doing everything differently. He might just be the most bizarre player on tour.
Amazingly, DeChambeau has all of his clubs at the same length: 37.5 inches. Their lie and bounce angles are also the same, an extremely unusual feature in a sport that so rarely departs from traditional methods. He keeps his wrists still throughout his swing and relies almost completely on torso and arm movements to create power:
It’s stiff, and it’s not exactly beautiful, but he has enough pure strength to make up for a lack of wrist movement, and it clearly works. He’s 14th in shots gained from tee to green and is driving the ball at 296.3 yards per clip, ranking 21st. Clearly, he is at his best when tasked with hitting the ball long. DeChambeau is above average in almost every driving statistic.
But it’s his approach to the green that has put him over the top this season. He 29th in greens in regulation percentage and has been both aggressive and efficient when going for the green — he has chosen to go for the green 69.05 percent of the time (22nd-most) and hit it 35.23 percent of the time, placing him a tidy fifth in the PGA.
He’s not quite as good when he actually gets to the green, with a 128th-ranked -0.79 shots gained putting score, but his out-of-left-field approach has worked pretty well for DeChambeau. He is one of five players to have won the NCAA D-1 championship and the U.S. Amateur trophy in the same year, among a small group that includes Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus. (Good company!) He’s considered one of the best young players on tour.