When Brooks Koepka is at the top of his game, he’s among the most feared golfers in the world. He bashes drives down the fairways and lasers irons at pins, all with a steely glare that strikes fear into his opponents. That macho brand of golf has been instrumental in the 31-year-old’s success, including an ascent to World No. 1 and four majors in a two-year stretch.
However, over the last couple of years, that Koepka of old has made very few appearances. He’s still gotten himself into contention at majors, but the ruthless closer has disappeared. Since the end of 2019, Koepka has just one victory, and he’s lifted zero major championship trophies after winning four big ones in the previous three years.
“I’ve fallen off, to be completely honest,” Koepka said at this week’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. ” I haven’t been where I expect myself to be.”
Some of this drop off can be attributed to injures. Koepka has been hobbled by knee injuries in recent years that have no doubt contributed to his struggles. But a bum knee is only one piece of the puzzle; he’s also struggled mightily on the greens.
When Koepka was at his peak from 2017-2019, he ranked as high as fifth in SG: Putting, and no worse than T68. Although the flatstick wasn’t his calling card, Koepka could still roll the rock.
But in 2020, his putting cratered, and he dropped to 144th on Tour in SG: Putting. Koepka’s putting woes, along with injury struggles, resulted in a lost season in which he had just two top-10 finishes and zero victories for the first time since 2016.
The 2021 campaign showed signs of improvement on the greens as Koepka found the winner’s circle once again and improved to T66 in SG: Putting, but with another o-fer in majors, his game did not fully return to peak form. So now, he’s turning to a different strategy on the greens in the form of AimPoint putting.
AimPoint is a feel-based green reading technique that has gained considerable popularity over the last decade, and Koepka is the latest big-name player to give the technique a shot.
He revealed in Las Vegas that he began using AimPoint during the Ryder Cup to double-check his reads on the greens after struggling in that department during his lull.
“As far as putting goes, it’s just been I struggled, it wasn’t the fact I was lining up wrong or the stroke was bad, it was my green reading,” Koepka said. “It’s just using [AimPoint] kind of more as a not the answer, more of the double check.”
While some players use the system as their first and only way to read greens, Koepka is merely supplementing his own green reading. Plus, it has the added benefit of taking some stress off his knees as he doesn’t have to bend down to analyze the slopes as much, a perk he called an “added bonus.”
“I don’t try to get too specific with it and just kind of have a ballpark,” he said. ” I don’t probably use the AimPoint as the AimPoint people would like it, it’s just like a rough guess.”
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