DeChambeau’s Compass Draws Unwanted Attention from Tour OfficialsJune 29, 2018
By Paul Choma, Senior Golf Analyst
Bryson DeChambeau is in the news again for yet another bizarre rules debacle, this time for using a compass during the third round of the Travelers Championship. Supposedly, DeChambeau was using a compass to determine more accurate pin locations than the ones provided on pin sheets. The PGA Tour Rules committee at the Travelers informed DeChambeau that they would be investigating the use of the compass after his round on Saturday, and though no penalty was assessed, the Tour told Bryson to stop using the compass, a verdict that was just lifted yesterday. Though PGA Tour sanctions were not assessed, the USGA said they are investigating the use of the device and expect a ruling to be made soon.
Look, I get that the Rules of Golf are sacred literature and anyone who dares break them should be smited instantly. Phil Mickelson intentionally putting a moving ball at Shinnecock in order to avoid chipping it from off the green? Immediate disqualification. However, DeChambeau’s situation is a little different. He’s a brilliant physics grad from SMU, and has bright young mind that is focused on improving the game of golf, as well as himself in the process. Last season he gave side saddle putting a go, and while he ultimately ditched the method, he said that the stroke “felt like cheating” on short putts. If he thinks that a compass will help him get more accurate distances by maybe a half a yard, then by all means, go for it.
I think DeChambeau’s latest stunt is ultimately good for golf, and it should not be bashed by any rules committee. DeChambeau has the knowledge and ability to play his own game, and it draws the attention of fans all over. However, one thing is certain: DeChambeau’s compass should not be drawing the attention of rules officials.