5:25 | Tour & News
Brooks Koepka talks about his career-defining year
Koepka talks about how 2017, while vaulting him into the limelight, has not changed the "laid back" and "chill" guy that he worked hard to become. He also recounts his favorite moments from his U.S. Open win and the importance of playing the weekend.
By Sean Zak
Wednesday, January 31, 2018

For those watching the big game this weekend, you'll catch a series of ads from Michelob Ultra. One of them will feature a familiar face: Brooks Koepka. The reigning U.S. Open champ has a short (but sweet) cameo in one of the ads, which you can watch below. Yes, that likely makes him the only pro golfer starring in a commercial during this year's game. While he's currently laid up with an injury, Koepka joined us to discuss the commercial and his absurdly competitive fitness life off the course.

Have you seen the commercial yet, or will you wait to see it live?

I've only seen the part that I've done, but it sounds like it's going to be pretty cool.

Alright then, where does being in a Super Bowl commercial rank for you?

It's super special. Funny enough, we were doing the shoot and I texted Wayne Gretzky right after. He was like 'I've only done one.'So I said, 'Hey, listen, if you're that good and you've only done one and I'm able to get one, that's pretty cool.'

Was the shoot fun? Do you have a future in acting?

No, I definitely can't act. I'm a terrible actor. I'll leave it to my girlfriend to act. But it was so much fun. The crew was awesome. It's crazy how much production goes into all these things. You really appreciate all that goes in to making the commercial. Especially after you've been there. I don't know how long my little segment will be, but just a 30-second or minute-long commercial, so much work goes into it.

What are your watch party plans?

I'll probably be with my girlfriend. We actually talked about going up to Orlando to watch it at my caddie's house. I've got a few friends in Orlando, so we'll all get together to watch it.

Patriots or Eagles?

Neither, really. I'm a big Packers fan. If I wanted someone to win, I'd like to see the Eagles.

So, with it being a Michelob Ultra ad, I gotta ask — do you ever drink on the golf course, like with buddies during a casual round?

I've drank on the golf course one time in my entire life, with my buddies not too long ago for a birthday.

Just one time? That's interesting.

Yeah, to me it's just if I'm going to go [to the course] I'm going to go work. I'm not going to go drink and have fun. But that's just me, that's my playground. When I go there, I want golf to be work. Not fun. As far as hanging out, it's a perfect beer to have hanging out, being fit and having the active lifestyle.

You work out quite a bit and it's pretty obvious online. Working out — to some extent — can be a taboo topic in professional golf, but I imagine you consider it as important as anything.

Yeah, I do. I've given this example before, but some of the strongest, most flexible people I've ever seen are gymnasts and people in Cirque Du Soleil. Seriously, in the Olympics or any competition they're doing, they are so strong. You can challenge almost anybody to 'Hey, go on the rings and hold yourself horizontal. See how that goes.' They're absolutely the strongest people I've ever seen, pound for pound, and the most flexible. So when people start talking about being strong and losing your mobility and flexibility, I just laugh at it. I’m like 'Okay, then why are these gymnasts so strong, yet do the splits. Why are you so strong, yet so flexible?' All of it is just maintaining flexibility and gaining it. The stronger you get, the more mobility you have. So, it’s all bogus — everything [those critics] say.

You and Dustin Johnson — it's almost become cliche to note how you two are friends and workout together. I'm wondering…who is more athletic, Brooks Koepka or Dustin Johnson?

Ooooh, that's really tough, to be honest with you. Taking myself out of the equation, he's probably the most athletic on Tour. He can pick up a basketball, look good doing it, and if you give him a couple months he could probably go play college ball and not look too awkward doing it. I don't know who would be more athletic.

I can tell you right now, though, everything is a competition between us, no matter what we're doing. Whether that's playing cornhole out back and messing around, to paddle boarding to anything. You name it. Everything is a competition. We play basketball together and that's quite an interesting, good matchup. Obviously, him being a little taller doesn't help me. But when we're playing cornhole, we'll sit out there and play for three hours straight. Just to figure out who is better. That's how it goes with us.

Behind-the-scenes footage from Koepka's commercial shoot.
Michelob

What's the most ridiculous workout you two have ever done?

The one coming back from the U.S. Open. I didn't work out for like three weeks after the U.S. Open. We had fun, were traveling around the States, we went to Vegas, L.A., Atlanta, so I wasn't working out. Dustin had been working out, though. So he decided he wanted to make it a really hard day. Him and Joey [Diovisalvi] made it like a Welcome Back, Congrats kind of thing.

Because Dustin is a lot stronger than me with the lower body — he's very strong lower body, and I'm very strong upper body, where he isn't as strong. They decided they wanted to do some running and some Versa-Climber. We got about three sets in and I was feeling it. Dustin just kept going and was laughing. He hadn't even broken a sweat yet and I was dying. We did a squat, I racked it up and looked at him. He just laughed because I was so white in the face. I went to the bathroom and threw up. I just kept throwing up. [laughs] I was dying.

Was there a moment where DJ's lower body made you stop in awe?

We were doing something one time, squatting at some event. We were squatting like 350 lbs. or whatever and were toward the end of the set. Just tired. Dustin wanted to do one more and see what he could max out. I forget what he maxed out at, but it reminded me of being in college and seeing these offensive linemen in football. We had the 45s stacked out — you couldn't throw anything more on there. Dustin repped two or three of them quick and it looked like he didn't have any problem with it. I was like 'Whoa.'

When it comes to the elite level of fitness on Tour, is there anyone else who is on your level? Do you feel like you're the most physically fit player out there?

I do. I had no doubt — especially at the U.S. Open — that I was stronger, was in better shape than anyone else there. Rory is in phenomenal shape. I think Dustin is more athletic than Rory, but I think Rory is overall a little stronger than Dustin with the upper body. But I think on a fitness scale, Camilo [Villegas] has all of us beat by a mile.

When and where does your devotion to fitness pays off?

It was more of when I arrived at the U.S. Open on Sunday. I was walking to the range, even before I practiced. I just told myself 'We had already worked out. We had done everything. I'm in much better shape. There's no reason why I should be tired by the end of today. I feel like I'm as strong as anybody.' Even if I hit it in that hay, or whatever they call it, fescue. When you're coming down those last five holes, I wasn't nervous. I just kept thinking, 'This is why you run.' I hate running but this is why you run. This is why you put in all those minutes and miles and all the struggle. I absolutely hate running. Anytime you’re on the treadmill for 15 minutes and there’s those 2-3 minutes in the middle where you’re struggling to keep the pace — c'mon, really? I just kept telling myself, 'That’s why you run. For moments like this.'