MINNEAPOLIS -- When world eighth-ranked Bryson DeChambeau committed last December to the inaugural 3M Open, he did so saying he wanted to meet with company scientists about nanotechnology.
Of course, he did.
"That's the future," he said.
The first notable name to say he would play in the PGA Tour's regular return to Minnesota, DeChambeau majored in physics at SMU and has revolutionized the way the game is played -- or at least the way he plays it.
He has done so with a scientific approach to his equipment and a belief in both the single-plane golf swing and air density's infallibility.
"There are laws that govern the way of nature," DeChambeau said.
And he has applied them to golf and the golf swing, determining years ago that he wasn't smart enough to master a game in which all 14 clubs had their own length, lie angle and loft. So he experimented and simplified until he came up with a unified swing plane and set of clubs, each of which share the same length, lie angle, head weight and differ only in their lofts so he can hit each one a specific, different distance.
All of it is in the name of building a repeatable golf swing.
He calls himself "no smarter than anyone else," but considers himself a "great experimenter" and tinkerer who always seeks to improve. He read the book "The Golfing Machine" his instructor gave him when he was 15 and adapted a system it taught, and built a noticeably upright golf swing with clubs whose shafts are all 37.5 inches, the length of a 7-iron.
That swing and his game won the NCAA individual title and U.S. Amateur in the same year, 2015. He also has won five PGA Tour events -- with no top-10 major finishes -- and has earned a top-10 world ranking, all by age 25.