Bryson DeChambeau entered the competitive long drive sector a few months ago, one that is now dominated by top-ranked Kyle Berkshire. Berkshire took a shot at DeChambeau’s profession on Thursday.
On Thursday, Berkshire competed in his first tee-to-green competition in nearly six years in Lake Wales, Florida. Berkshire, who played collegiately for two seasons at North Texas before switching to long drive, finished tied for 43rd in a one-day, 50-player Minor League Golf Tour tournament at The Fountains Country Club’s West Course, 12 strokes behind winner Ben Silverman.
“I didn’t lose any strokes from anything huge; just hit a couple approach shots that were right at the pin but were long or short and couldn’t get up and down,” said Berkshire, who started in even par 35 but finished in 41. “I’ve been working my tail off for the past few months, and getting this first competitive round under my belt was a big step for me because, while I’m used to being in the public eye as a long driver, I’m not used to being in the public eye as a golfer, and I definitely felt a lot of pressure to perform to a certain standard, which made it difficult to feel relaxed out there.” As I gain more competitive rounds under my belt, I’m confident that I’ll begin to understand how to handle situations better, resulting in lower scores.
Berkshire, whose clubhead speed is over 150 mph and whose ball speed is over 230 mph, has a lengthy history in the sport of long drive, most recently winning the PLDA World Championship’s open division last October with a 422-yard long drive in the final versus Justin James.
His long-term objective is to remain at the top of the long-drive rankings while also pursuing a career on the traditional golf course.
“Professional golf is tough, and these guys are good,” Berkshire said. “I’m very driven to keep improving my game as much as I can.” “More than anything, I’m grateful to finally be in a position in my life where I can compete in both long drive and golf.” It’ll be a long voyage, but one I’m looking forward to.”