U.S. Open champ reinvents golf, and his impact will only grow

MAMARONECK, N.Y. — It shouldn’t be a surprise that a championship that prizes a metronomic style of golf — fairway, green, rinse, repeat — should fall to golf’s most metronomic player, but the U.S. Open victory of Bryson DeChambeau illuminated the extent to which modern power golf, and the tools with which it is played, have neutered what was once the most formidable test in the game.

In adopting a scientific approach to every aspect of his game, DeChambeau expects his carefully (some might say laboriously) calculated input to deliver a predictable output, which is an awfully high happiness bar to set in a sport that is hostage to the vagaries of chance, bounce and weather. Such a mindset would seem to guarantee frustration, and frustration is the very stress fracture that the U.S. Open is designed to locate, from which it will then prise a man open until it exposes every other weakness he didn’t think he had.

But that kind of U.S. Open is now a relic of a bygone era, one when courses were characters in the narrative and none evoked more fear than Winged Foot. Strategy is now dictated not by course architects but by player preference. The main peril DeChambeau faced…

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