Brooks Koepka: LIGHT = SMOOTH = FAST

Photos by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images


By Rick Currin

Brooks Koepka put on an incredible US Open show for us, dominating the field at Erin Hills to win by four shots. The statistics tell all. Koepka ranked seventh in driving distance with an average of over 322 yards off the tee, which certainly helped him secure his first Major win. The American was fourth in fairways hit and topped the greens in regulation stats over four days.

Koepka’s modern-day golf swing is the epitome of speed and power, with light hands and smooth transitions throughout. It is relatively easy to copy if you’re willing to dedicate some time at the range. Remember … light is smooth, and smooth is fast.

Set-Up: A trend in more and more players on tour today is this extremely athletic set-up which fully engages the core in order to allow for complete body rotation. Straight spine, hands hanging, quadriceps flexed and ready for the impending swing.

Takeaway: As the club moves away from the ball during the backswing, you’ll note how far outside the hands the clubhead is, with the clubface closed and pointing at the ground. Koepka’s powerful shoulder rotation gets the club onto a more vertical plane, with his wrists setting later on to complete the backswing. Similar to Dustin Johnson, you’ll now see Koepka’s left wrist is bowed at the top of the backswing. This leaves the clubface pointing at the sky (closed) but, interestingly, he still prefers to hit a baby-fade.

Backswing: Koepka’s legwork from the address position to the top of the backswing is relatively quiet. The right leg has remained stable throughout via a powerful set of quadriceps, biceps femoris and gluteus muscle. This is a sure way to more pure ball-striking and I have seen this in almost all of the students that I teach; improve the maintenance of their spine angle through one simple drill, which immediately improves the centeredness of contact.

Downswing: The transition from the top of the backswing into the downswing is an awesome move to try to imitate. Note that the movement comes predominantly from the rotator cuff of the right shoulder. It slides slightly posterior and downward as the club begins to drop more behind him. The right elbow drops down as well and gets really near his ribcage, which emphasizes the change in width on the backswing compared to the downswing. Koepka’s right heel starts lifting halfway down to the ball, which shows that the lower body is working independently of the upper body to allow for an inside-to-out attack on the golf ball. The clubface is still extremely closed as it makes its final descent into the golf ball and, one frame away from impact, you would think his ball has to go left. However, his final move into impact is a slightly steeper than usual attack on the ball, which sends the ball down the target line with a slight left-to-right flight.

Impact: Note that Koepka’s right arm is still folded at impact, which shows that his swing is THROUGH the ball, not AT the ball. His right arm is only going to extend from here, which produces maximum speed and power through impact.

Follow Through: Just after impact, Koepka’s hips have fired almost completely to target and you can see the extension in his arms. Note the release of speed in the arms as the right forearm rolls over the left, allowing the exit of the golf club to be on a shallower plane (the shaft is bisecting the left shoulder).

Finish: The completion of his swing is a complete rotation of the right shoulder to target. The speed of the club from the swing will essentially pull the golfer into this balanced position if the golfer is loose enough to let it happen, as Koepka shows.

About The Author: Rick Currin is a high-performance golf and fitness coach from South Africa with more than 11 years of experience. The PGA of South Africa Class AA professional can be found at the MST Golf Academy@TPC Kuala Lumpur. For more information, email currinrick90@gmail.com or call 019-278 1003.

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