Bryson DeChambeau’s disc golf hobby provides thrill for Augusta family
April 07, 2021
By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
- Seth Straughn went to Lake Olmstead with his youngest son, Parker, and one of Parker’s friends, Nathan Barrette. (Courtesy of Seth Straughn)
AUGUSTA, Ga. – Living in the home of the Masters, Seth Straughn has seen professional golfers from afar when they are in town to compete at Augusta National.
He’d never met one until Tuesday afternoon, however. And it happened at a most unexpected location, Lake Olmstead Park’s disc golf course.
While most Masters participants were grinding on the driving range and scouting out potential hole locations, DeChambeau was decompressing by playing a different form of golf.
With this week also serving as Spring Break for Augusta’s schools, Straughn went to Lake Olmstead with his youngest son, Parker, and one of Parker’s friends. There was a large group ahead of them, and by the sixth tee the threesome behind the Straughns had caught up to them.
“We were chatting and I noticed that one of them looked familiar and he was wearing Puma,” Seth Straughn said. “I said, ‘Hey, what’s your name?’ He said, ‘Bryson.’ That’s when it clicked.”
Seth Straughn, an 8 handicap in traditional golf, quickly realized that he was sharing the tee with the reigning U.S. Open champion and one of the favorites in this week’s Masters.Bryson DeChambeau signed discs for a few lucky Augusta residents. (Courtesy of Seth Straughn)
DeChambeau told Seth that he was playing disc golf for just the second time in his life. It was a new activity he’d taken up to take his mind off of his day job.
The two groups joined up at 2:30 p.m., and DeChambeau and his two friends spent the next 90 minutes playing with Straughn and the two boys.
“My first thought was, ‘Stay calm,’ Seth Straughn said. “It was surreal because you expect these guys on TV to appear larger than life but that was not the case. He was so nice to take pictures with us, but as time passed by it was just like chatting with anyone else. He was really cool.
“He seemed like a guy just trying to relax and have some fun. As a dad, the fact that he enjoyed the company of the boys and had a good time with Parker meant a lot. I’ll be a fan of his forever now.”
He was impressed that DeChambeau’s group stuck with them even after they skipped ahead of the large group in front of them. It would have been a perfect opportunity for DeChambeau’s group to split off on their own.
“He was cutting up quite a bit with the boys,” Seth Straughn said. “I was able to give Bryson some pointers, which felt weird giving him tips on playing better golf, even though it’s a different kind of golf.”
As a beginner, DeChambeau struggled to replicate his long tee shots on the disc golf course, but Seth said DeChambeau improved as the round went on. After the round, they went to an empty tee and worked on DeChambeau’s tee shots.
“I got to see a bit of his competitive spirit come out,” Straughn said. “After we finished, we worked on his driving off the tee. We emptied my entire bag. He definitely started picking up on it.”