He's roughly the dimensions of a rugby prop; he's derided by some as a "mad scientist" and a Frankenstein figure experimenting on his own body, yet US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau is now being hailed as the man who broke golf.
DeChambeau was impressive when overpowering Winged Foot, ranked by some as amongst the top three toughest courses in the world but, in today's world of hyperbolic over-reaction, he has been hailed as already up there with Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus as men who changed the sport.
Not yet he ain't, though you can understand the contention that DeChambeau, with his towering drives and "bomb and gouge" strategy, is reshaping golf as a game in which precision has been king. The skill of golfers who can consistently find fairways and greens, shaping shots left or right to suit the terrain, has always been paramount - until DeChambeau arrived with his big-ass driver, pumped-up physique, scientific theories and determination to use all to greatest effect.
His win at Winged Foot has reignited discussion of golf courses as frightened victims waiting to be overwhelmed by his fearsome length and how golf balls need to be doctored to reduce the distance he can wallop them.
This year DeChambeau has hit more drives over 350 yards on the PGA Tour than the next two players combined. He famously emerged from Covid-19 lockdown no longer a slender young man but a hulk who called to mind Australian journalist Clive James' description of Arnold Schwarzenegger: "Like a condom full of walnuts".
DeChambeau weighs about 107kg and stands 1.85m. After his US Open triumph – where he won by six shots, was the only player under par, and cowed feared Winged Foot – he announced plans to pump himself up even more.
By the time he gets to Augusta for the Masters in November, he intends to weigh 111kg or more and is experimenting with a 48-inch driver, the biggest allowed under PGA rules. He told media: "I'm not going to stop. We're going to be messing with some [club] head designs and do some amazing things to... hit these drives maybe 360, 370 yards, maybe even further."
Much of this has incited trolls to make dark mutterings about steroid use (calmly denied by golfer and coach). His diet seems almost like a death wish, but was possibly released to explain his new physique. Breakfast: four eggs, five slices of bacon, toast, two protein shakes. Lunch: peanut butter & jelly sandwich, protein bars throughout the day, two protein shakes and "snacks". Dinner: steak and potatoes, two protein shakes.
That, plus heavy workouts, saw him add about 10kg of muscle during lockdown. His coach says his intake is about 6000 calories a day (as opposed to a recommended average for a male of 2500 calories).
The "mad scientist" claim comes from this physics graduate's habit of making intricate calculations of distance and options with every shot, an exaggerated version of what Nicklaus started about 60 years ago. He also copped criticism for his eccentric utterance that his goal was to live until he was 130 or 140.
"Bomb and gouge" meant his length usually left him with only 150 yards or less to Winged Foot's greens, often just a wedge, even from the rough. His strength and skill meant that even Winged Foot's unruly jungle didn't stop him getting the ball on the greens – and he is a good putter.
That's the thing with DeChambeau; it's not just about length. He has skill aplenty in the other disciplines. His "bombing" would be useless without his consistent ability to "gouge" his way out of trouble and into rewarding territory.
But don't give me this "he's changed golf" malarkey. Not yet, anyway. The ancient sport of golf is a huge leveller; it is littered with players who burned brightly but faded. Things can go phut in a game where tiny blemishes have big consequences; skills that once prevailed can mysteriously depart. Ask Jordan Spieth.
DeChambeau may force some older courses to try to combat him before he embarrasses them. His game, however, seems suited to majors. He came fourth in the recent PGA Championship – though he never really looked like winning; it will be fascinating to see his artillery unleashed at Augusta National and the Masters, in November.
The key factor could be mental strength. Before the US Open many observers – including this writer – watched DeChambeau blow up at an official after a bad shot in a previous tournament, suggesting a tendency to meltdown. But, at Winged Foot, he kept his cool, analysing what was happening with calm acceptance and the clinical interest of, well, a scientist.
He is not yet at the level of Woods and Nicklaus but, particularly at the Masters, his progress will be keenly watched. But break golf? No - though he might give it a substantial bruising.