Yes, you read that title correctly. L.A. Rice, the co-host of the MoeCast Baseball and Football podcast, "Mr. Quadruple Double man" (for my out of this world performance in McLean House Basketball), Mr. 2-Time Vienna American Legion Post 180 Baseball State Champion catcher and pitcher, and Mr. Vienna House Basketball All-Star and Champion, has fallen in love with the game of golf.
I know this is crazy talk, especially with Opening Day in the MLB less than a week away, but I just cannot get over this feeling that I have for the game of golf. It has truly swept me off my feet. As an American citizen still fairly early in his career as a college student, it is only natural for a 20-year-old male to get into this great pastime. It is a common cycle for a person like me. You go from playing with toys as a child to playing sports and video games as a teenager, to playing the game of golf as a young adult. It is a beautiful thing, and I am fully here for it. Now why am I so in love with golf? One of the main reasons is a man that cannot be ignored. A man that is changing the way how golf is played and has experienced so much success at the professional level that he is the main reason for rule changes to be implemented. No I am not talking about the greatest golfer of all-time Tiger Woods. I am talking about the one and only, love him or hate him, Bryson DeChambeau.
To think about myself writing an article like this a few months ago is simply out of this world crazy. But after conversations with Kyle Leverone, the Good Griefs golf aficionado, and reading his great golf article, I have been keeping tabs on Bryson. And boy has this crazy man not let me down. Before this year, Bryson was known as the weird guy on tour who gained 50 pounds since going pro, and the lunatic known for yelling at a cameraman for filming him for too long. He is also not a fan of red ants, and let the world to know about it in a meltdown, but who isn't? The fact of the matter is that Bryson is an out-of-this-world golfer. He is currently ranked as the 5th best golfer in the world and has won eight times on the PGA Tour, including a win at the 2020 US Open. In my mind, there is nothing not to like about this guy. He is the Trevor Bauer of golf. Sure, even I have my problems with Trevor Bauer, but overall, with his success and the attention that he is bringing to his respective sport, it cannot go unnoticed. When Bryson broke onto the PGA tour, there was not much attention behind his game, and his rise to stardom had skeptics and harsh critics. Like all sports in America, athletes have been enhancing their games’ centered around new technologies, and the "mad scientist" Bryson DeChambeau is no different.
Every time Bryson DeChambeau hits the links, he does everything with a purpose. The 27-year-old is not just trying to drive the ball as far as he can, he is methodical with all of his shots. Bryson was the first guy to use launch monitors for his putting and chipping game, not just to see his analytics on his drive. Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson followed suit. Rory McIlroy, the 18-time PGA Tour Winner, has even admitted that chasing speed and distance by emulating Bryson has hurt his swing. This is like World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg of the Washington Nationals saying that his pitching mechanics have been messed up for the worse because he is trying too hard to piggyback on the success of a young and up incoming pitcher like Tyler Glasnow. That is how good Bryson is and it can no longer be ignored.
Let's fast forward to the moment I pushed all my chips into the center for Bryson. I was impressed by his win at the 2020 US Open, but I needed a little more. Yeah, he hits bombs, but who doesn't nowadays? Even I can mash the golf ball when I never even hit a home run in baseball after little league (even though I hit the wall once in the middle of winter, true story). But Bryson's bombs are different. They're elegant.
Now, I want you all to watch the start of this video from Bryson's latest win and tell me you didn't get fired up. And that hat that he wears is absolutely fantastic.
PGA Tour YouTube
370 yards. Like it was nothing. Over a friggen lake. Bryson attributed his clean swing to his win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and he talked about the importance of fans being back at events to fire him up. The arms in the air after that absolute bomb is now iconic. I might need a poster for my bedroom.
Regarding my golf game, there is nothing better than hitting the links with some buddies on a Friday after a long week at school. The weather in Virginia is as up and down as my putting game, but I have cut down on my fish tank expenses (which add up believe me) and have been working my jobs a lot more as of late so I can comfortably drop some money to play golf. I am a golf cart guy but am always down to walk a course as well. I am very fortunate that I was gifted a beautiful set of golf clubs for Christmas, shoutout to my mom, dad, and my Nana Rose for that, and I will definitely be putting them to good use this spring and summer. Golf is not a cheap hobby by any means, but there are plenty of affordable courses that you can go to and have a good time. What has been most important to me is I am finally comfortable enough to use my driver, and you better believe I step up to the tee box and expect to hit a bomb every single time. Once you hit a long perfect drive once, there is no going back. I might never use my irons on the tee box again. I am glad that I have finally embraced the legacy of a non-college athlete by playing golf a lot more, and I am disappointed that I did not play more during high school. I was too worried that it would mess up my baseball swing, but in hindsight, there was not much more I could mess up.
I encourage all of you to give golf a chance. Sure, it can be boring to some, but start off by playing a couple of holes. If you don't have any clubs, I am sure your dad or mom might have an old pair in the garage. Go to a driving range with a friend and see what happens. Look up some Tiger Woods or Bryson DeChambeau highlights on YouTube tell me you don’t get an itch to go out and play. The beautiful thing about golf is the only factor that affects your game is yourself. It is an awesome feeling being a part of a team, but in golf, you live or die by your play alone. You control your own destiny. The golf game has never been as popular as it is today. COVID's go-to sport, with the PGA tour featuring superstars like we have never seen before, is only going up from here.
It is truly astonishing that I am writing about golf during March Madness and after a wild NBA Trade Deadline. Starting April 1st, I have warned my family and friends that I will be busy during every single one of the Nationals 162 games this year, but I know what I will be doing from April 8th-April 11th. Watching Bryson DeChambeau win the 2021 Masters.