Why LIV golfer Bryson DeChambeau has never been more popular

why liv golfer bryson dechambeau has never been more popular

Bryson DeChambeau

Bryson DeChambeau nearly won his second career major tournament at the PGA Championship this past weekend and the crowd at Valhalla Golf Club was behind him every step of the way.

The excitement at the venue as DeChambeau kept chipping away at Xander Schauffele’s lead was palpable through the broadcast. It started Saturday as he grew closer to contention with an eagle chip-in on hole 18, which elicited a passionate fist pump from the LIV golfer and a chorus of cheers from the gallery.

On Sunday, DeChambeau's birdie putt on 18 that tied the lead was met with one of the loudest roars of the day.

Despite his controversial move to LIV in the summer of 2022, DeChambeau appears to be at the height of his popularity with golf fans. But why?

Since the boom of the game during the COVID-19 pandemic, golf has attracted a younger audience. The National Golf Foundation found as of March 2024, golf's highest level of participation is among young adults aged 18-34.

A younger demographic's energy and inspiration owes much thanks to YouTube. The most popular young adult golfers have channels ranging from hundreds of thousands to millions of viewers and subscribers. The site is golf's vital outlet to this audience as less and less tune into live, televised professional tour events.

Of the professional golfers in the YouTube space, DeChambeau remains the most popular with 604k subscribers. He has filmed with the likes of viral sensation “Good Good" (a channel featuring amateur golfers which has 1.51 million subscribers) and Rick Shiels, face of the biggest golf channel on YouTube with 2.8 million subscribers. Comparatively, the official PGA Tour and LIV golf channels only have 1.39 million and 348k, respectively.

DeChambeau's presence on YouTube allows a younger audience to become familiar with the play and personality of a professional playing in major tournaments. The new influx of fans are primed to root for someone not only charismatic but familiar.

One demonstration of his connection with younger fans came after DeChambeau tossed a golf ball to a young boy, only for it to be snatched away by an older gentleman. The golfer made sure to let the man know that there was no place for that.

While DeChambeau is undoubtedly disappointed to miss out on winning the PGA Championship by one stroke, he represents a niche highlight in a professional environment that desperately needs invigorating. By tapping into the YouTube space, he’s more than a golfer. He’s a character in the story of the sport.

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