Wilco Nienaber proves you don't have to bulk up to bomb it
Dunno if you’ve heard, but Bryson put on some muscle, trained with some long drive guy and started absolutely bombing it. It created a bit of media hype.
There was a lot of chatter around bulking up, saying his hard-earned muscle and protein shakes were to thank for the extra yards off the tee. With Tiger side lined, Bryson stepped into the vacant spotlight and revelled in the attention. And it had a be a pretty sizeable spotlight to illuminate his new frame and ego.
Quietly, a 21-year-old South African was plotting his way on the Challenge and European Tour hitting absolute piss missiles off the tee. Wilco Nienaber went ahead and averaged 340.47 yards off the peg in 2020. AVERAGED 340 yards – that is an absolute sensation.
For context, when not IGing his workouts and actually playing golf, Bryson ‘Brooksie’ DeChambeau has been averaging 322.7 yards. Quick maths, that’s an embarrassing gap of 17.77 yards. Like the gap between you and your old man’s ball.
Take a look at Wilco. Take a look at Bryson. The former looks like a middle distance runner while the latter’s a shot putter. Looks like Wilco’s been going round Will Zalatoris’ house for dinner while Bryson’s been at Shaquille O’neal’s.
It suggest that, maybe, the bulking thing is a little overblown. Because this isn’t the only example. Cam Champ is regularly at the top end of the driving distance stats and that guy’s hardly benching houses, either. ‘Long’ John Daly was an absolute ripper, but the most he’s lifting is a quad-patty burger (‘you can’t pull fat’).
Hitting the long ball has always been about technique and flexibility. Having a bit of strength isn’t going to hinder your numbers, but it’s way off the most important factor. And it’s laughable the way they’ve tried to push the envelope on the subject.
It’s almost like the big brands are hellbent on turning their golfers into ‘athletes’ because they know it’s better for their bottom line. They can sell more training gear, get them better endorsement deals, move golf away from the ‘old man game’ thing.
In the grand scheme of golf (and there is definitely a scheme), it’s small fry stuff. It’s a minor racket compared to the other criminal marketing campaigns that continue to run.
We’ll be pulling hard for Wilko this week and we hope you will to. All in for the little guy.