It’s been an eventful year for Bryson DeCheambeau, to say the least. Over the last 14 months, the 28-year-old superstar has notched two wins: a U.S. Open at famed Winged Foot, and the Arnold Palmer Invitational, where his tee shot over the water on the par-5 6th hole immediately went viral; he feuded publicly with frenemy Brooks Koepka, went 2-0-1 in Team USA’s Ryder Cup romp at Whistling Straits, then shocked the golf world by making it into the Top 8 in the World Long Drive Championship in October.
It’s safe to say that a lot has changed for DeChambeau since 2015, when he marked himself as a rising star by winning the U.S. Amateur and the NCAA Individual Championship. But in an exclusive interview at GOLF’s Top 100 Teacher Summit on Monday, DeChambeau revealed the surprising thing that has changed the most in his game since then — and it’s not his distance off the tee (or his newfound bulk).
“I think my mentality about the game has changed quite a bit,” DeChambeau said. “The biggest change that’s different for me now has been my mentality about the game. Yes, I’ve gotten stronger, yes I’ve gotten faster with the golf swing. But all of that has allowed me to have this different mentality about the game.
“I saw an opportunity a while back to gain more shots off the tee. And when I started seeing the numbers, I started evaluating, wow, if I could actually gain distance off the tee, the game of golf is probably going to be a little bit easier for me,” DeChambeau continued. “And so, my biggest change has been my brain. How I’ve thought about executing shots on certain holes, not having to feel like I have to practice as much because my distance is just at a different level, where I’m going to be having wedges into greens, so now I’m more focused on wedging. It’s completely shifted my whole brain, and the dynamic of that compared to what it was before when I had to have every single part of my game working really, really well in order to win.”
This article originally appeared on Golf.com.