Koepka, speaking to Michael Weston on the Golf Monthly podcast, said “it’s not that hard” to hit a golf ball and called the speed in which some players play “embarrassing.”
The three-time major champion is playing the Saudi International this week, an event that’s been in the news for other reasons, and he was asked about some players’ sluggish pace on the Tour.
“I just don’t understand how it takes a minute and 20 seconds, or a minute and 15 to hit a golf ball — it’s not that hard,” Koepka said. “It’s always between two clubs: there’s a miss short, there’s a miss long. It really drives me nuts especially when it’s a long hitter because you know you’ve got two other guys or at least one guy that’s hitting before you, so you can do all your calculations, you should have your numbers. Obviously if you’re the first guy you might take 10 extra seconds, but it doesn’t take that long to hit the ball, especially if it’s not blowing 30 [mph].
“If it’s blowing 30 I understand taking a minute and taking some extra time with some gusts, you know changing just slightly. I get that, but if it’s a calm day there’s no excuse. Guys are already so slow it’s kind of embarrassing. I just don’t get why you enforce some things and don’t enforce others.”
The question to Koepka was spurred by a European Tour clip that showed DeChambeau’s methodical approach to a shot during the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. While the video was supposed to be a glimpse into the scientist’s in-depth thought process, it generated a lot of negative attention due to DeChambeau taking what many thought was too much time to hit a shot.
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) January 27, 2019
“It’s actually quite impressive that we’re able to get all that stuff done in 45 seconds,” DeChambeau said on Tuesday at the Saudi Arabia event. “People don’t realize that it’s very difficult to do everything we do in 45 seconds. I think that anybody that has an issue with it, I understand, but we’re playing for our livelihoods out here, and this is what we want to do. If we want to provide the best entertainment for you, it’s part of our process, or it’s part of my process, at least.”
DeChambeau added that he’s put on the clock almost every week but he’s “used to it now.”
“Trust me, we do our due diligence to speed up and do our best,” he said. “We’re not trying to slow anyone down. I’m not trying to slow anyone down. It’s just a part of the process, and unfortunately the Rules of Golf allow for a certain amount of time, and we’re used it to our fullest potential.”