World Long Drive star Kyle Berkshire hits it filthy distances and is the player that big-hitting obsessive Bryson DeChambeau gets tips from – so how does he do it?
Here’s everything you need to know about the Instagram star who may well be coming to the PGA Tour…
He’s a former college golf star
Berkshire, just 25, played college golf for the men’s team for two years at the University of North Texas. He was soon recognised for his long driving capabilities and decided to try his luck on the ultra competitive Long Drive competition scene in 2017. Very quickly, he stamped his beast mode skills on the circuit by hitting the longest drive of 474 yards in Yucca Valley, California. In 2019, he was No.1 on the circuit and World Long Drive champion.
His coach is a tech freak
Berkshire is coached by Bernie Najar, who got his hands on the young stud early in his career and opted not to change any of the quirks in his swing. Najar famously lets Berkshire make the most of his footwork, which sees him sway from side to side during his drives. Berkshire works with Najar at his Caves Valley range in Owings Mills, Maryland, where the 390-yard range routinely sees Berkshire’s bombs landing outside the perimeter fence and near a practice tee close to the clubhouse. Najar’s studio is said to be amongst the most tech-laden of its kind in America, with every inch of the swing analysed and detailed. He’s also an advocate of the AimPoint putting technique.
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He used to be skinny
Berkshire was once a scrawny teen and had to work to put on the muscle, whilst staying unbelievably flexible. He’s now 6ft 3in and weighs 215 pounds, but his gym routine isn’t all dumbbells and barbells. He told golf.com that he does sprints, trains his power muscles (such as lat pulldowns) and also advocates swinging as hard as possible during practice. He says you need to “go for broke” otherwise what’s the point?
What’s his secret?
Strangely, he credits the extra feel he gets in his hands to suffering from 70% hearing loss. Also, he’s immensely confident and very knowledgeable about his body and eating habits.
He backs Bryson DeChambeau
It’s no secret Bryson and Berkshire are pals. When Bryson won the US Open at Winged Foot, Berkshire said Bryson made every critic “look like a complete jackass”. He and DeChambeau train together, and Bryson is said to have taken inspiration from what Berkshire can do.
He does crazy things
His longest drive in competition is 492 yards and his ball speed has been clocked at 231.3mph, but his craziest stat is that he once hit an 8-iron 302 yards on a simulator. That’s further than the PGA Tour average drive. He’s also ventured into bodybuilding but has said he would probably struggle to adapt to dropping his carb intake during a cut.
Bryson’s influence is growing
As well as taking advice on how to get his game PGA Tour-ready, Berkshire has been getting putting lessons from DeChambeau as he looks to improve all facets of his golf game. He says he’s trying to “fast track his improvement process” to improve his all-round game. After working with Bryson to learn his unique putting technique, Berkshire said: “I really thought it was awesome. I loved it.” Also, he moved from Callaway to take an endorsement deal with Cobra Puma and is also partnered with Sik putters, the same brand used by Bryson.
At a glance...
NAME Kyle Berkshire
HOMETOWN Crofton, Maryland, but resides in Orlando, Florida
GEAR Formerly with Callaway, Berkshire now plays Cobra gear and wears Puma clothing. He uses the Cobra RADSPEED driver. It was during his announcement that he was joining Cobra that he, possibly, revealed plans to make it as a tour player. “Looking forward to being with this team as I pursue my goals in both long drive and pro golf,” he said. He also uses a SIK putter, having been turned on to the brand by good friend Bryson Dechambeau.
BIG His ‘stock’ 6-iron goes 240 yards. That’s stock. He has hit, on camera, an 8-iron over 300 yards.
SECRET He says the secret to his big hitting is getting his neuromuscular system firing at 100%.
FANS One of his biggest fans is Bryson, who he does speed training with. “It’s ridiculous,” says Bryson of Berkshire’s abilities.