PGA Championship 2019: The most important part of Brooks’ routine is something you didn’t even notice

May 18, 2019

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. — By now, you’ve probably watched Brooks Koepka play a lot of golf. Hanging around the top of the leaderboard at majors tends to have that effect. But I bet you haven’t noticed the most important part of his putting routine.

It happens before every single one of his putts. He does it here.

And here.

And here.

Did you notice it?

Before every putt, Brooks Koepka makes two practice strokes, then wipes the putter face off with his hand, then steps into the ball and strokes his putt. It may seem like a small, inconsequential detail, but it’s become an indispensable part of his routine.

It all started with a lesson from his first-ever coach, Warren Bottke. Bottke kept detailed notes from all his lessons with Brooks, including the lesson in question given to a 14-year-old Brooks on November 14th, 2004:

“You never know when there’s going to be a sand particle on the putter face, so always clean the face.”

It’s a lesson Brooks took to heart. He does it before every single one of his putts, to the point where it’s now part of his pre-shot ritual.

“It’s funny, because if I don’t wipe it, I can’t go into the ball. One, two, wipe, step in,” Koepka says. “A lot of times, if I don’t wipe it right, I have to step back and start again.”

The one, two, wipe ritual has become an important part of his routine that he can’t do without. It’s a little quirky, but you can’t argue with the results.