Although he is just 23 years old and a PGA Tour newcomer, Bryson DeChambeau is already the most eccentric golfer around.
The 2015 US Amateur and NCAA Champion famously used his SMU physics major to develop single-length irons for his unique single-plane swing, and he tests every one of his golf balls by swirling them around a cup of Epsom salt.
Now, DeChambeau is debating an old-school putting technique: the side-saddle.
“It’s in development now,” DeChambeau said to Golf Digest’s Tim Rosaforte on Wednesday. “I think it’s an easier way to putt and could be another game-changer like the one-length [irons].”
For those unfamiliar, side-saddle putting is something that more closely resembles croquet — or sweeping a broom — than a traditional putting stroke.
Here, for example, is a demonstration:
DeChambeau isn’t the only professional golfer who has opted for the side-saddle. KJ Choi experimented with it in 2010, and Sam Snead ended his career putting side-saddle after the between-the-legs croquet style was ruled illegal by the PGA Tour.
In 2010, former professional golfer Gary McCord advocated side-saddle putting for those who were having a hard time on the green. From Golf Digest:
“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 has messed around with the side-saddle motion in the past, Golf Digest noted. At a tournament in college, he turned to it, but said his putter wasn’t the proper length for the motion to be effective.
DeChambeau said that he’s not fully committed to the side saddle, but at least wants to test it out more fully before ruling it out.
“Given I have a couple months off, I’ll be ready for it,” he said. “If it doesn’t work I’ll go back to putting normal. It’s not an issue.”
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