Bryson DeChambeau: The Rise of YouTube Golf

Bryson DeChambeau celebrates with fans and the trophy after winning the U.S. Open golf tournament Sunday, June 16, 2024, in Pinehurst, N.C. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) © Provided by The Associated Press – Sports

FORESTVILLE, New York – Flashback four years ago to the U.S. Open at Winged Foot where Bryson DeChambeau won his first major championship, with his Payne Stewart cap and beefed up arms, and was probably one of the most disliked players on the PGA Tour. Heated encounters with Brooks Koepka, arrogant interview sessions with the media, and same-length irons that flew farther than most players drive. DeChambeau was one of the best golfers on the planet, yet his personality displayed on the golf course made him an enemy of the people. Now fast forward to the present day, where DeChambeau just claimed his second U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2, and is arguably the most entertaining and relatable player in golf right now. How did that happen?

Perhaps the fastest growing market in golf right now is on the popular video streaming platform, YouTube. Before Covid-19, golf YouTube was a niche genre held together by European influencers Peter Finch Golf and Rich Shields. There were few ideas for entertainment, and most videos on golf were instructional pieces designed to help the average player work on some new technique to try and improve. But once the golf boom happened in the aftermath of Covid-19, the number of channels and types of entertainment increased exponentially. From wild eating golf challenges from Bob Does Sports, to multiple hole-in-one’s on Good Good Golf, YouTube is at the forefront of golf entertainment, and leading the charge for professional players is Bryson DeChambeau.


Since the breakup of the best players in the world from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, golf has been at an uneasy standstill. Scottie Scheffler winning every other week, or every week. Tiger missing the cut at majors. Unemotional endings to repeat golf events that lack excitement for the viewer. Golf needed a new face, an exciting character that engages the fan. That is Bryson DeChambeu. Like Rory McIlroy said in his statement after “choking” the U.S. Open, Bryson “is a worthy champion and exactly what professional golf needs right now. I think we can all agree on that.”

I first noticed it at the PGA Championship. Bryson was the only one at the top energizing the crowd, fist-pumping at every long putt or chip that was made. It felt like the crowd was willing him to win, feeding his game with energy with each passing shot. Though he did not come out on top, something clicked on the grounds of Valhalla Golf Course.

In the aftermath of the PGA Championship I was intrigued by Bryson’s game, and the change in attitude he displayed while out on the golf course so I checked out his YouTube channel. As an active golf nerd and previous “hater” of DeChambeau, I was thoroughly surprised. You would think as a professional golfer he wouldn’t have the time to make videos or talk to an audience because he is practicing and preparing for tournaments. But with the shorter LIV event schedule, Bryson has been able to embrace the role of an entertainer and a performer and he is darn good at it too.

He dives into how he thinks on the golf course, the calculations he makes while on the putting green. The feel of his shots, how far back he wants to take the club to hit exactly the right yardages, the mentality and approach to the game he takes with himself on the course. As a viewer you get to see who Bryson is; a guy who is obsessed with getting better to a point where you would think he is insane. And to a degree he is insane, using 3D printed irons, a long driver face that when mishit sends the ball back towards his target rather than away from it. The time, thought, and calculations that have gone into his entire golf game that make him the most unique golfer is fascinating.

Not only does he show you how he thinks about the game, but he also shows you how good he is too. DeChambeau is creative, taking on other top YouTube golfers and beating them with kids junior sets, or letting Siri pick what club he uses on each shot and still shooting under par, or playing nine holes dressed like a player from the 1800s with suspenders on using hickory shafts. YouTube has given DeChambeau the opportunity to show who he really is, and the fans are right behind him.

In the U.S. Open at Pinehurst, it was almost inevitable. I remember one tee shot on Saturday where Bryson and his caddie were discussing whether to drive the green or layup. If you know Bryson, then you know he rarely ever lays up. After a long discussion he takes out an iron, and the crowd lets out this huge groan, they wanted to see him rip one. Most players would have stayed in their mental zone, blocking out the noise and focusing on the shot they committed to. But not Bryson, he turned to the crowd and shrugged his shoulders, almost gesturing to them that he wanted to hit the driver too and everyone reacted with a laugh. He then proceeds to hit an iron down the middle and birdie the hole.

I urge everyone as readers and golf fans to check his YouTube channel out and see for yourself the change that Bryson DeChambeau has made for himself and the direction for golf players as a whole. DeChambeu is an entertainer, a people-pleaser, and above all one of the best golfers in the world, and he is changing the game one video at a time.

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