I'm Going to defend Bryson: A dumb thread

“If I can hit it down the middle of the fairway, that’s great, but with the driver right now, the driver sucks. It’s not a good face for me, and we’re still trying to figure out how to make it good on the mis-hits. I’m living on the razor’s edge, like I’ve told people for a long time.”

Ok, that’s not a great quote! Bryson is 1 over at the Open and hasn’t really been in contention recently… His caddie quit and there is a huge spotlight on him… He’s manufactured this crisis, and will likely reap what he’s sown… BUT

I think he’s probably right on the driver front. I think he could have said it better, and that problem is also self manufactured… but he’s basically beyond the current design capabilities of modern OEMs and I’m sure any ball strike that isn’t close to the center of the face has some INTERESTING gear affect problems…

Long drive guys don’t care about mis hits… They get multiple swings to put one in play, and it’s all about the longest drive of the day. There are no points for being in the middle of the range… Your ball just has to stop on the grid to count. Long drive heads are basically designed to make the ball go as far as possible. They aren’t forgiving.

The last major OEM to really try to compete in the long drive space was Adams… Barney loved to find niches where they could push the envelope, and incorporated the stuff from long drive into regular driver tech… He’s also been happily retired and playing golf most days for at least 5 years.

It’s interesting as people talk about “distance ruining the game” they don’t seem to really address the host of issues that come from hitting a ball 200mph. I’ve always heard that mentioned as the number where things get weird (some sort of mendoza line, apparently) and Bryson seems to be intent on pushing past it… I’m not sure the driver (or ball) technology can keep up with that swing speed right now…

Not surprisingly, Bryson has manufactured this crisis… he probably could have spent the time getting up to 200 ball speed working on his wedges and been a better golfer because of it (someone smarter than me could probably look at the strokes gained difference) but I think he is correct that his current driver head can’t handle the amount of load he’s putting on it… and I imagine that’s very frustrating. I do think his misses are bigger because his equipment isn’t properly designed for his swing sped… BUT he’s also the guy that chased that swing speed without making sure the equipment could handle it…

Maybe Barney Adams can come out of retirement and help design a BAD driver… though from what I know of driver design, forgiving and low spin are basically rarely put together… I used to play a COBRA head because it was about as forgiving as you could get while also being low spin… but I’d have to board a train going 50mph to hit 200 ballspeed, so what do I know?

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Sasho Mackenzie I believe said that anything getting close to 200 mph would be the breaking point of what could be played on tour. I think we are witnessing it.


Yeah, I’ve heard some other people say the ball starts to get weird at 200mph, but Sasho might have just been referring to how small angles offline become huge misses at that speed…

Probably some combination of both… on top of things like gear affect not being designed for mishits at 200mph!


Yeah, I have a hard time sympathizing. He says, in essence “When I miss the center of the club, bad things happen, and its the club’s fault”. There’s a solution, find a way to hit the center of the club. If you can’t do that at 130 mph, make a change. Don’t expect the technology to solve all your swing issues.
Consider poor Cobra, they’re producing prototypes one after another at their own expense for a guy who’s never going to be satisfied. Maybe they get a boost from consumers because of Bryson, I don’t know, but they’re sure not buying the clubs he uses. A few more “My driver sucks” comments and he might be begging someone else to make his clubs for him.


I wouldn’t be surprised if they dropped him… the biggest win would be for them to figure out how to make something that works for him at 130… but it’s golf, and sometimes you just take the double bogey out of play… Bryson definitely hit one OB today, so it will be interesting to see what happens!

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Friends, Golfers, fellow hackers, lend me your ears;
I come to disagree with Bryson, not to defend him.

I get that Bryson is frustrated. He got some immediate success when he bulked up but he’s not seeing that success evaporate as he pushes to 200+ mph ball speed. He’s also lost his caddie recently and is stuck in a feud with Brooks that he clearly wants no part of.

But you cannot throw your team under the bus. As an engineer myself, it’s incredibly discouraging to have a customer you can never make happy. To then have that customer call you out publicly would be a breaking point for many. I’m so glad Cobra went back at him today. It may be only a matter of time before Bryson finds himself looking for a new manufacturer.

I’ve said this on multiple places of social media. Bryson is an awkward nerd, and shows some tendencies of people on the autism spectrum. He definitely lacks emotional maturity and he shows that when he’s frustrated, whether it be a poor range session, a bad break on the course, or today talking to the media. I’ve often defended Bryson for this reason. I have a child on the autism spectrum so I give everyone who is a bit different some grace.

That said, I think that Bryson needs to face a consequence for this from Cobra. Perhaps that is the only way for him to learn. I also think he’s in a bad place all around right now, so he needs support of those close to him to come out the other side of this.


Yeah I am sure it is a combo of controlling that speed as well as equipment limitations. Regardless, and many people don’t like him, you have to be impressed with Bryson’s ability to push the limit beyond anything anybody has seen.

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I think this is the best lesson engineering school teaches people… Those of us with “soft” degrees have to learn it the hard way… on the streets.

My wife is an engineer turned lawyer, and works with a mix of lawyers (some with engineering backgrounds, some without) and I have to remind her sometimes that us liberal arts kids never learned to play well with others… It’s a dramatic difference, even at 40 in the professional world.

I 100% agree Bryson was wrong to publicly criticize / blame his driver… the mature response would have been “I swing fast, so when I miss, I miss big. I’m working on it and grateful for the work Cobra has done to support my club head gain. We are in uncharted territory and learning what works as we go.”… Same basic message, very different delivery.


He should hire you to do his PR.


Ha, it’s not that hard… as you said, it’s a team game… failures are personal, success comes from the team…

It’s an interesting dynamic… him saying stuff like that is great for the golf press, but not great for golf, him or cobra…

He could go full Richard Sherman and say “I’m only here so I don’t get fined” and call it a day.

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I agree completely here. Its a bit odd for a pro to say, when I play badly it goes wrong. I remember DJ a few years back saying he swings around 85% as when you push 100% bad things can happen.

Bryson is almost playing a different game that favors speed and power over skill and control. It has its own ups and downs but the evidence so far is that skill wins. Personally I am happy about that.

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He is the #6 player in the world. To say that doesn’t take skill or isn’t using his skill is so ridiculous it is laughable.

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His performance at the us open is constantly reduced to the driver performance which is ridiculous

His strokes gained v the field was outrageous on sunday at wingfoot and I don’t think he gets the credit for how freakishly good that performance was

I don’t like him but he is insanely skilled


Agreed. Whether you like him or not, you can’t diminish what he has accomplished.

Bryson is a science project; nothing more, nothing less.

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Bryson is clearly in need of a caddie that understands him. I nominate Bagger Vance.

I find both Bryson and his experiments interesting. I have an Engineering degree so I’m a bit of a nut, but Physicists are certifiable (no offense to any here) lol. I love building clubs so I love players that are trying different things. Nothing against the purists playing blades with Dynamic Gold X100 and an Anser style putter, but I love the guys not afraid to experiment. They’re going to drive themselves mad chasing things down a rabbit hole, but that just makes it more interesting.


Pretty sure no one would say he doesn’t have skill. He is a great player, its impossible to argue anything else. He is putting a premium on distance over accuracy however and I think it would be hard to argue the the approach of Morikawa to the game is based more on accuracy and less on brute force.

I actually do like Bryson (what I know of him) he seems genuine, speaks his mind and goes his own way.

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Agreed. Their other product ambassadors seem more low key and media friendly, plus … I don’t think there’s been a big move into / adoption of the One Length idea … which was “The” big thing with Bryson signing with Cobra…

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He certainly does that, but then he complains about the publicity and its negative effect on his “brand”. That leads me to think he wants his brand to be different from his real self, and thats not good. If you want to have a positive brand, be a good dude.