Maybe Augusta National is where amateur Bryson DeChambeau belongs.
Maybe – it’s not entirely outrageous – this is the week when an amateur fulfills the dream of tournament founder Bobby Jones by winning The Masters.
You’re probably familiar with DeChambeau’s uncommon story – he’s the U.S. Amateur champion whose irons all are the same length and who views golf as a mix of science and art.
He’ll be a professional next week but he kept his amateur status to play this week at Augusta National because it’s The Masters and because Jones is one of DeChambeau’s inspirations.
He knew that Jones used a set of modified clubs when the won the Grand Slam in 1928 with most of the irons a similar length. A set of Jones’ clubs hangs in the Augusta National clubhouse and DeChambeau went immediately to them, reconfirming his belief that the game is easier when almost every club can be swung the same way.
“It inspired me even more,” DeChambeau said.
Here’s where DeChambeau’s imagination keeps going. His irons have specific lofts on them but they also have names stamped on them – each with a connection to the game’s history, The Masters or Augusta National.
Let DeChambeau take it from here:
“So 1960, who won the Masters? So King is on that wedge.
“Now I am using Cobra wedges this week, but on the 60‑degree, it’s King.
“55, it was Mr. Ward, Harvie Ward, low am, 1955, U.S. Amateur winner, too.
“1950, 50‑degree, Jimmy Demaret, won in 1950, so I call him Jimmy. Kind of funny when you ask, hey, give me the Jimmy.
“46‑degree, 1946, Herman Keiser.
“Jackie is my 9‑iron, No. 42, 42‑degree lofted club.
“38‑degree is the 8‑ball, 8‑iron, correlates quite nicely.
“34‑degree, 3 plus 4 is 7, OK, and it has Tin Cup written on it, because that was Tin Cup’s favorite club.
“6‑iron, Juniper, it’s the sixth hole at Augusta, 6‑iron.
“Then 5‑iron is my favorite par-5 out here, Azalea.
“Then you’ve got Gamma, which is the third letter in the Greek alphabet, 3‑iron and it’s 20 degrees of loft.
“Haven’t gotten to the woods yet. I’ll get to those eventually.”