Bryson DeChambeau, despite the best efforts of the US Golf Association, won the US Open at Winged Foot earlier this month. His nickname, “The Scientist”, has been well deserved as he progressed from his original studious approach to the game, to bulking up his body to become the longest hitter on the professional tour.
“I’m just trying to figure out this very complex, multivariable game, and multidimensional game as well. It’s very, very difficult. It’s a fun journey for me,” he said after collecting the trophy.
Winning by 6 shots and the only player to be under par for the week, his power game was not the one the organisers had wanted to see succeed. They set the course up to make it really difficult for those players who hit the ball a long way. The fairways were narrowed, the rough was grown long and close to the fairways, encouraging players to be accurate rather than long, a US Open tradition.
However, the plan back-fired. Why? Because the USGA focussed on making it so difficult for DeChambeau they didn’t think about the rest of the field.
Whilst he hit it 350 yards, flying the bunkers and cutting the doglegs, into the rough, he now had only 100 yards to the green on a 450 yard hole. He was between 50 and 100 yards nearer than his opponents on most holes. And because the fairways were so narrow, they were probably in the rough too; not so far in, but it was still rough!
DeChambeau has a pitching wedge in his hand from 100 yards out, the rest are trying to hit an 8 iron from 170. No surprises who gets closer to the pin. His strength makes it far easier for him to get out of the rough, he has a more lofted club in his hand and he is coming in from a shorter distance.
The organisers unwittingly set the course up in a way that gave him a major advantage. Add to that his scientific approach to reading every green, which was really fast and would not look out of place on a crazy golf course, and he must have looked at Winged Foot and said, “Thank you”.
So why did they get it so wrong? Their logic made complete sense when they focussed on the single outcome they wanted to prevent. The USGA did make it difficult for DeChambeau, however, over 4 rounds he had time to figure it out.
But they made it even more difficult for the rest of the field who didn’t have the length or strength he had. With hindsight they could have made the fairways wider at the average landing distance, say 260-300 yards, so more of the field were getting the benefit of some run and playing off the short grass. This would have reduced his advantage considerably.
So why is this experience relevant to the IT Industry?
Over the past weeks I have had conversations with our ecosystem partners who are trying to address planning for success. Many projects, whether systems upgrades or a complete digital transformation, are started with thought through, logical reasoning and a definition of a successful outcome.
But wouldn’t it be great to test the logic for making that decision and the processes you will need to follow, beforehand? Having confidence in the outcome before you start.
At out next Innovation Series Webinar, we are delighted to include long term partners CSI and Bell Integration. They both have a set of tools that are complementary, and help customers planning for systems upgrades or transformation projects.
CSI have developed a methodology to provide deep understanding of how digital assets behave in commercially critical environments. Perhaps you don’t need to replace but retune or maybe redeploy.
vClarus from Bell Integration is an end-to-end platform designed to immediately build confidence and trust with customers who want to recognise the benefits of consuming IBM cloud. vClarus ensures workload migration programmes run as smoothly as possible, minimising any risks, over-spend and disruption to your business.
To hear more from Bell and CSI and explore if a partnership with them might be beneficial to you and your customers, please join us on October 22nd.
Registration is here: