PGA Championship 2019: Brooks Koepka has a secret weapon that he plans to use this week
FARMINGDALE, N.Y. — In 2017 and 2018, Brooks Koepka’s driving accuracy was consistent, if rather unspectacular: 154th and 155th, respectively. This year, it’s ticked up to 88th. That’s a noteworthy difference, fueled by a new secret weapon that the defending champion intends to use this week at the 2019 PGA Championship
“I’ve started hitting this little fairway finder. It’s more of a lower-flighting cut,” Brooks said on Tuesday at the PGA Championship. “I’m hitting the driver way better, way more control. The misses are better, and everything is just trying to get more consistent.”
The “fairway finder,” as Brooks calls it, is something he’s spent that last year developing with GOLF Top 100 Teacher Claude Harmon, and it’s become his go-to shot. It’s going to be key to his chances this week, with the rough thick and the course playing long.
“If you can’t find the fairway here, I think you’re really going to run into issues,” he says.
Brooks’s stock shot is a slight fade. His fairway finder takes the same shape, but flights a little lower and fades a little more. Here’s how he does it.
Aim Left, Swing Down
The key to Brooks’ fairway finder is his understanding of how his golf swing works.
Brooks likes to come down slightly steep on the golf ball and hit a fade. That’s what he’s doing when he’s playing his best, and that left-to-right shape is what he’s most comfortable with. Sometimes, Brooks’ club tends to get too far behind him and comes from the inside too much. He starts missing to the right with a big block, and it’s something he’s constantly working to prevent.
Brooks says his fairway finder started out as a drill that he’s since taken to a course. It’s the same feeling that he uses to prevent his big miss — swinging down hard on the ball, almost like he’s coming over the top. It’s a swing feeling that he lets himself overdo when he needs to hit a fairway.
“I probably hit down on it two degrees normally, but I probably hit down four on those and just make sure it cuts from there and just turn it as hard as I can…it’s something that’s kind of actually helped my overall swing because it makes sure that I’m not underneath it.”
This might not have the same results for you, of course, but learn the sentiment: Find a drill that works for your swing and helps you hit it better, and when you need to hit a fairway, take it to the course. Just like Brooks.