He nearly ‘half-choked’ it away, but last Sunday we saw Brooks Koepka win his 2nd PGA Championship title at New York’s Bethpage Black. Convincing for the first 3 rounds and comfortable with a 7 shot cushion as he entered the final round, he managed to secure the win with his friend, rival and gym training partner Dustin Johnson piling on the pressure through the last 18.
He now stands as the current back to back winner of both the US Open (2017 & 2018) and PGA Championship (2018 & 2019). A huge feat but deserved due to the level of work that he puts in during his off-course preparations.
Brooks Koepka alike others such as Rory McIlroy & DJ is a physical powerhouse and openly attributes his wins and current success down to his physical preparation in the gym. 93kg of muscle and brawn; Koepka can generate clubhead speeds of over 120mph which contributes to him averaging over 300 yards off the tee - making him one of the longest drivers on the PGA tour.
Koepka and DJ both train at the Joey D Golf Sports Training Center in Jupiter, Florida along with other players on the PGA and LPGA tours. Koepka started training there in early 2017 and he has since gone on to win 4 major titles, something that his strength and conditioning coach Joey D says has nothing to do with coincidence.
His time in the gym and preparing his body for the physical rigours of competition and practice is a priority for Koepka. He is among one of the most athletic players in today’s game, with his schedule seeing him train for between 4-5 hours; 6 days per week.
He spends his daily sessions working on cardio (to develop his conditioning and endurance), strength and power training (improves clubhead speed and distance); as well stretching, flexibility, massage and recovery techniques. Many may view this as quite excessive for a golfer to undergo and would be more resemblant of a typical day for athletes that compete in football, rugby, athletics and sports viewed as more physically demanding.
However If you look at the top 20 golfers in the OWGR it is now a case of singling out the golfer(s) that don’t work on their strength and fitness. The professional game is changing and the players are seeing more and more benefit to training hard in the gym to get the best out of their games.
“After four weeks of tournaments, and it comes down to that last Sunday, I know I’m more physically fit than most.”
Brooks believes that it gives him the edge over competitors as he has high levels of endurance which helps him to cope with an intensive season of long-distance travel, high pressure and many repetitions of golf swings.
He attributes his strong core and glutes to helping him execute great shots from the rough, as we saw him demonstrate on the 13th in his third round this weekend. He made great contact with a ball deep in the rough, which saw him hit the green and sink the putt for an incredibly important birdie.
The main area that he believes gives him the edge is how mentally good he feels when he is fit and healthy. This confidence can be massive on the golf course and is also a huge factor in handling pressure and performing at the highest of levels.
The 4D camera set-up on the 15th tee this week was a great way to highlight the huge amount of flexibility that Koepka has in his hips and shoulders, allowing him to create such coil. His strength training visibly causing no detriment to his movement and flexibility.
The strength in his legs is also visible with how well he drives and pushes them into the ground creating huge amounts of speed and momentum. The man is a machine.
Koepka’s training regime is impressive and his athletic prowess inspiring. Whether people like it or not, this is the way the professional game of golf is moving with players getting stronger and faster year upon year. Physical strength is playing a large part in the success on the golf course and is producing a new breed of golf athletes.
Brooks Koepka - Physical & PGA Tour Stats
Weighs - 93kg
Bench Presses 120kg
Average ClubHeadSpeed 122.03 mph (ranked 12th on PGA - highest Cameron Champ @ 129mph)
Fastest CHS 127mph
Slowest CHS 118mph
308yds average driving distance
86% good drives percentage (PGA Tour YTD)