Bryson DeChambeau’s prowess off the tee has largely defined his golf career, so any time the former US Open champ and current LIV golfer changes drivers, it’s a big deal. And that’s particularly the case when the switch is to a club from a company other than Cobra, who DeChambeau has represented during his entire professional career.

During Thursday’s opening round of the Saudi International, his first competitive tournament of 2023, DeChambeau put in play a TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus driver. TaylorMade declined to comment on any of the club’s specifics, but the lowest loft listed on the USGA’s list of conforming clubheads for the Stealth 2 Plus is 8 degrees. The club’s adjustable hosel, however, could bring that down as much as another 2 degrees, a potentially important consideration for a player like DeChambeau who has used drivers at that loft and lower in competition.

Another point to note on the club is its shaft. Judging from photos taken at the event, it is clear the shaft is not his normal LA Golf prototype. Rather it appears to be a Project X model.

DeChambeau still appears on Cobra’s website as one of its staff players and is listed as using either the company’s LTD LS model or the King Radspeed. Cobra officials could not be reached for comment as to whether DeChambeau is in violation of his endorsement contract by playing the TaylorMade club.

Among the longest drivers in the game, DeChambeau is known for constantly looking to hit the ball even farther, going so far as to make a bold prediction about driver technology to LIV’s Mike McAllister.

“We’re still on a pursuit to who can make a driver that can work it at 200mph ball speed anywhere and everywhere on the face and still goes in the fairway,” DeChambeau said at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club. “When that day comes, that’s going to be eye-opening for a lot of individuals because they will be optimising ball speeds at 195mph, which can fly 360 yards. And that’s going to change the game forever. But we’re not there yet.”

Whether equipment companies will ever get there remains to be seen as making a driver that performs the same way all over the face is currently more fantasy than reality. But that’s not stopping DeChambeau from experimenting in the meantime.