Here’s a great lesson in personal branding. In what NOT to do.
Bryson DeChambeuau is now, arguably, the most talked about player on the PGA Tour. Golf fans gasped when they saw him on TV when play resumed after the Covid hiatus ended. He’s gained 20 pounds of muscle this year by training like an NFL lineman. DeChambeau has been hitting the weight room in the gym while drinking seven protein shakes a day, in addition to his regular protein and fat laden meals that include eggs, bacon, peanut butter and steak.
With a big, faster than lightning, explosively violent swing, DeChambeau’s drives now average an unprecedented 323.8 yards off the tee. His longest drive of the year was measured at 428 yards. If you don’t play golf or have no context for these statistics, take it from me. They’re incredible. His scientific, and often unorthodox approach to golf, along with a formidable short game, could set him up to be the successor the Tiger Woods as the worlds’ most dominant player.
So how is the 26-year-old responding to his time in the spotlight? Like Tiger his younger days, not that well.
This weekend at the Rocket Mortgage Challenge in Detroit, DeChambeau confronted a cameraman after he had the nerve to continue shooting after a sub-standard bunker shot, exposing a moment of frustration as he took an angry swipe at the sand, and then “muttering an expletive” as he missed the par save.
DeChambeau got in the cameraman’s face – for doing his job – complaining that he followed him for too long and that the video would be “harmful to (his) brand.”
The lesson of this story is obvious, though clearly lost by the very intelligent DeChambeau. First, don’t be an asshole. And if you do behave that way, don’t blame others for your own behavior. We all have moments of frustration, but the grace in which we handle them go long way to enhancing our reputations.
Perhaps DeChambeau might consider spending some small percentage of his $1,350,000 winnings from last Sunday’s tournament to enroll in anger management. Imagine the endorsement potential of “nice guy Bryson” against the earning power of “asshole Bryson.”
What DeChambeau’s “brand” will become is entirely up to him, not an innocent cameraman out on the course doing his job.