Lesson Learned: Seeking Better Impact? Try Koepka’s Key Move
By Keith Stewart, PGA
Brooks Koepka always seems to perform well when the pressure is on. His major championship record over the past five years is second to none. As the average golfer looks at Brooks this past Friday in the Match V, they see a complete and powerful golfer. Yet, there is one Koepka move we can all copy that will take your impact to the next level.
Performance under pressure truly depends on hitting the ball solidly. Brooks is a contender because his clubface position is always consistent at impact. The average golfer turns, flips, or rotates the head while hitting the ball. All that motion lowers the likelihood you will strike the ball solidly on every swing. We all may not be built like Brooks, but we can copy his clubface movement. Better yet, the lack of movement.
Check out this clip of Koepka as he hits a variety of shots at the PGA Championship. The takeaway is always the same. Watch the pitch shot, the club stays stable, and the body rotates. Pay special attention to the clubface control when the shaft reaches about hip high. The toe or end of the clubhead is not pointing toward the sky. Rather it is leaning a little toward the ball side of the shaft.
If you are looking down the line standing behind the golfer, the clubface will be tilting down toward the ground just like your body is bent over. In fact, when the shaft is level with the ground in the backswing, the angle of your spine and the angle of the clubface will match. If the toe of the clubhead is pointing up or worse leaning away from the ball, we have opened the clubface during our initial takeaway. This generally happens when players rotate their forearms away from the ball in the backswing. To keep the clubface consistent and copy Koepka try this demonstration.
Grab a mid-iron from your golf bag. You can do this demonstration at home or on the practice tee. Stick the grip end in your navel. Grip the club shaft with your arms outstretched and the clubhead pointing directly up toward the sky. Like the arms on a clock pointing to twelve. Your hands will be gripping the shaft about halfway down the club.
Now take your normal address posture and lean over. Start your backswing by turning your torso. Notice what happens to the clubhead. The face doesn’t move, your body does. Notice the position of the clubface as this happens. It is the same position we described above.
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By limiting the amount of forearm rotation, we can keep the clubface position very consistent. Brooks rotates the club into this powerful position and the results speak for themselves. The less you turn and rotate the face, the more likely you are to hit the ball solid. You will feel more body turn and that’s a powerful sensation.
Continue to practice this takeaway move at home. It’s a simple drill you can do twenty times a day. The dividends it will pay in the long run are exponential. When you start hitting the ball with a reliable square face at impact, the ball will not only go farther, but it will also repeat more often!