Bryson DeChambeau has become embroiled in an extraordinary war of words with his equipment manufacturer after stating his driver “sucks” in the immediate aftermath of a first‑round 71 at the Open.
DeChambeau, known for huge length off the tee, believes the inability to find a driver compatible with his ferocious swing speed is continually hampering his performance. His comments were branded “stupid” by the club maker, Cobra, as news filtered back to the US.
“If I can hit it down the middle of the fairway that’s great but, with the driver right now, the driver sucks,” DeChambeau said. “It’s not a good face for me and we’re still trying to figure out how to make it good on the mis-hits. I’m living on the razor’s edge like I’ve told people for a long time.
“I’ve realised this for years now. This has happened since 2016-17 when players stopped drawing it. There’s not very many golfers that draw it any more. It’s not because of spin rate. Everybody thinks it is. It’s not. It’s literally the physics and the way that they build heads now. It’s not the right design, unfortunately, and we’ve been trying to fix it.”
DeChambeau found just four of 14 fairways with his Cobra driver during his one‑over‑par start at Royal St George’s. He sits seven adrift shots of the first‑round leader, Louis Oosthuizen.
DeChambeau’s outburst will turn heads across the sport given the boundaries he has supposedly pushed through trying to overpower courses.
“When I did get it outside of the fairway, like in the first cut and whatnot, I catch jumpers out of there and I couldn’t control my wedges,” the 2020 US Open champion said. “It’s quite finicky for me because it’s a golf course that’s pretty short, and so when I hit driver and it doesn’t go in the fairway, it’s first cut or whatever, or it’s in the hay, it’s tough for me to get it out on to the green and control that. Once in the middle of the fairway, like I had it on 18, I was able to hit a nice shot to 11 feet and almost made a birdie. It’s kind of living on the razor’s edge and we can’t figure it out. It’s for ever.”
DeChambeau headed straight from post-round media duties to the driving range as he sought to resolve his issues. As he did so, Cobra fired back. The manufacturer’s tour operations manager, Ben Schomin, is heavily involved in the design of DeChambeau’s equipment and told USA Today: “Everybody is bending over backwards. We’ve got multiple guys in R&D who are CAD-ing this and CAD-ing that, trying to get this and that into the pipeline faster. Bryson knows it. It’s just really, really painful when he says something that stupid.”
DeChambeau’s driver is 46 inches long and has just five degrees of loft. “He has never really been happy,” Schomin said. “Like, it’s very rare where he’s happy.
“Now he’s in a place where he’s swinging a five‑degree driver with 200rpm of ball speed. Everybody is looking for a magic bullet. Well, the magic bullet becomes harder and harder to find the faster you swing and the lower your loft gets.
“It’s like an eight-year-old that gets mad at you. They might fly off the handle and say: ‘I hate you.’ But then you go: ‘Whoa, no you don’t.’ We know as adults that they really don’t mean that and I know that if I got him cornered right now and said, ‘What the hell did you say that for?’ he would say that he was mad. He didn’t really mean to say it that harshly. He knows how much everyone bends over backwards for him. But it’s still not cool.”