By Sam Weinman
Bryson DeChambeau – the man famous for playing with same-length set of irons, is again considering something whacky.
“I’m the one that’s used to being not normal,” DeChambeau said.
Fresh off earning his US PGA Tour card and missing the cut in the season opener at the Safeway Open, the 2015 U.S. Amateur and NCAA individual champion, already a pioneer in his use of single-length irons, says he’s contemplating a side-saddle method of putting next year.
“It’s in development now,” DeChambeau told Golf Digest’s Tim Rosaforte. “I think it’s an easier way to putt and could be another game-changer like the one-length [irons].”
DeChambeau has toyed with side-saddle in the past, including in a college tournament, the Jones Cup, in which he had the lead going into the final day. At the time, however, he said he didn’t have the proper-length putter for it. Side-saddle has been used only sparingly at the game’s highest level. K.J. Choi toyed with it for a few tournaments in 2010, and Sam Snead used it at the end of his career – this after his initial method of putting croquet-style with the ball between his legs, was declared illegal.
In a story for Golf Digest in 2010, US PGA Tour Champions player and announcer Gary McCord advocated “face-on putting” as a solution for those struggling on the greens.
“What makes it so great?” McCord wrote. “The simplicity: You move only your right arm (for righties), like you’re rolling a ball to the target, with your eyes looking directly at the hole (not from the side, like in traditional putting). You can even look at the hole when you putt.”
DeChambeau says he intends to tinker during the holiday break in the PGA Tour schedule with the intent of using it at the start of 2017.
“Given I have a couple months off, I’ll be ready for it,” he says. “If it doesn’t work I’ll go back to putting normal. It’s not an issue.”