January 7, 2021
Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii, USA
Plantation Course at Kapalua
Q. Nice 68. Just one bogey on your card. Are you satisfied with the way you performed during this opening round?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Yeah, I played pretty well and learning how to keep it in the fairway with the speed that I've gained over this past couple, I guess you could say month and a half after the Masters is a little difficult and different. You've got some wide fairways out here, so you can miss it pretty far off the path. That's nice. It's allowing me to kind of get comfortable out here on TOUR again with more speed and always glad to shoot under par the first of the year.
Q. It's interesting because you told me earlier in the week that you had a ball speed of 211 miles an hour that you've clocked out here, and you've been working with Kyle Berkshire, who is a world long drive champion and excellent performer. What has he taught you to help you increase that speed?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Well, I'm not going to give away what he told me to the utmost. He gave me some nice little secrets that allowed him to get from in college he was 118, 119, to where he is today, around 150. So I implemented some of his techniques. A lot of it has to do with pushing the limits of your body and going for long hours of swinging your golf club with a golf ball and trying to help up the ball speed.
There are points where, I don't know if you've ever experienced a runner's high or something like that where you get these extra endorphins and that's kind of what breaks your neurological CNS, I guess, is what breaks your nervous system down, which is a great thing. And over time as you keep building it and you keep pushing it and pushing it just keeps going up and up.
So that's kind of a basic principle of what he's done. He's just overworked his CNS like a madman and he's shown me some really cool techniques that have allowed me to sustain speed on the golf course. So I feel like I was a little faster out there today, which was awesome to have I just got to hone it in.
Q. Obviously had a good playing today. Just assess your round, first round in awhile.
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Yeah, it took a little bit to get comfortable with the new speed that I have. Albeit it's not much, it still is different. I'm moving a little differently, so golf swing's a little different and I've got a learn how to perform with that.
But I'm excited that I was able to get around the golf course and hit it somewhat straight and be somewhat comfortable out there for the new golf swing I have.
Q. Two quick things: What made you want to get more speed? And how did you spend the off-season?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Yeah, I mean, I kind of went a little dark on social media for awhile just trying to understand what Kyle did, how he did it. I mean, he was a 117, 118 mile-per-hour golf swing in college. That's what he had. And he has gone all the way up to 150 now, and so he's obviously done the right things and he's done it completely naturally and without anything and I wanted to learn from him.
So I took it upon myself to ask him some questions and we spent a few days together and we've been talking back and forth. He's been giving me tips on what to do and how to keep the speed out here on TOUR and what he think he's going to try to do when he gets out here or tries to get out here and gives it a whirl.
But I spent my off-season swinging my butt off as hard as I can. There were times where everything hurt in my body and it was breaking down my whole nervous system and rebuilding it back up. And I like doing that. It's fun testing limits of my body and seeing what I can and can't do. So you know me, I'm always a tinkerer and I love doing it.
Q. What was the best question you asked him, in your opinion?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: How hard did you push it? And he said, Until I blackout.
Q. So did you get there?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Yes. Numerous times. There was times where I was seeing a tunnel and I had to stop. I mean, you just have to stop. That's about when you stop. There's a lot to it.
Q. You didn't actually blackout?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: No, no, no. I did not blackout, but I came very close, just like he did. He did the same.
Q. So what are the goals, I guess, now for 2021 with where you're at?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: I'm going to keep getting speed until I try and get around 205 to 210, in that range. Once I achieve those speeds and I'm comfortable with that, not trying to swing my butt off, it just happens naturally, that's when I'll probably stop and go down the chipping rabbit hole and try and understand my chipping and wedging a lot bit better.
I still feel like there's some low hanging fruit with the driver, the speed I can gain. It's fun. I hit 7-iron into 18, albeit the wind died and I went a little short. And mean, I hit 7-iron on 18. That's a big deal for me.
I feel like -- I mean, I hit pitching wedge into 5, albeit I parred it. Putting still matters. These distances are allowing me to do things that I never thought were possible, which is cool.
Q. How far did you have into 18?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: We had, including the downhill, it played 233 to where we were trying to land it, and then with wind, we played, like, 220, 225, and I tried to hit 7-iron and I landed a couple short than what I wanted to.
Q. How close do you think you are to that 205, 210?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: That's a great question. I still feel like I'm over a year and a half, year to year and a half out from it. That's what he projected. Kyle projected for me. He's like, I think you can get there within a year, year and a half if you keep pushing the boundaries.
Now, the difference is I got to keep playing golf, right? I got to keep trying to play my best. I got to putt, got to chip, and all that, whereas he had time to just go at it with the driver, and he made a gain of 8 miles an hour in a year. I mean, I think I can get a baseline average of probably 4 to 5, so it's probably going to be a year and a half, hopefully, if I keep doing the right things and I'm healthy.
Q. Are you afraid to put that much torque on your body, knees, and back?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Yeah, this is why I have Greg Roskopf back in Denver. I mean, he's figured out a way to heal the body in a very nice way and make me feel like I'm a kid again. This is what I've been talking to you guys a bit about for awhile now.
And he's who helped Peyton Manning come back, worked with John Stockton, works with a few golfers, I think, on TOUR out here now, and he's gaining some pretty good credibility through his system. I mean, I come back after seeing him and my speed gains are at their new level. They're at a whole new top max level that I've never been at before. So every time I go see him, it's like he rebuilds me up to a stronger level.
Q. So between the weights and the torque, you don't feel any pain in your body?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Well, as of right now, we have a system where working out actually fixes all the stuff, which is amazing. That's, that's what we worked on for the past three years together, trying to figure out how can I trick the nervous system into sensing, oh, you're actually okay and you can heal now, rather than being stuck in this inflammatory period and taking just natural time for it to heal.
Q. Kind of a dumb question, but what's the difference between where you were at speed-wise this past year and where you're trying to get to? And I don't mean just from -- obviously it it's extra yards we're talking about here -- but in the risk of that, of weighing the risk of that whether it's physically or other parts of your game whatever, versus the reward?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Yeah, I mean we don't know those answers. We don't know those answers, right. I mean I'm okay with taking on that risk. I feel like I've got somebody that can help fix me if something goes wrong. And when it does, because it will go wrong, I can go and see him and get everything fixed.
The only problem is walking these hills. You add 30 more pounds it's a hike, right? I mean, it's different. I have to create some endurance for that. I don't just need strength, I need endurance with these muscles.
And so this is going to be a process and the risk versus the reward, I don't know, but I know that the risk in taking it, I can always fall back into a safe haven with Greg and what we have worked on and figured out.
Q. And just the difference really of that versus this past year like --
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Oh, from a speed perspective?
Q. What does it add up to, I guess?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: What does it add up to? Well I know I'm about five to six miles an hour faster with the driver, at least. And that equates to, I mean I was about -- at my top speed was around 134, 135, now I'm around 140, and that creates ball speeds around 200 to over 200 and, I mean, shoot, depending upon the right situation it could be 40, 50 yards if it's firm and downwind and all that. But in a, in normal conditions it's probably going to fly about 20 yards farther.
And my irons are even farther. I'm hitting my 8-iron 205 right now. So it's kind of nice to have that in the bag, right? I mean, I'm chipping, hitting little half shot chip on 8 with my 8-iron. So it's just a different ball game for me, I got to learn how to manage it still.
Q. That's what you had today at 8?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Yeah. And just to give everybody a perspective, I mean, in this whole process you have to get bigger and stronger so your body can tolerate more force, right, and then without getting, learning how to do that without getting injured. Second off, you got to learn how to swing faster without getting injured. Third off, you got to learn how to hit it straight, somewhat straight without getting injured. And then four, you got to learn how to play golf. It's a big process, it's tough.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports