A resurgent Rickie Fowler has not one but two Harmons helping him
Not long ago, Rickie Fowler was the No. 4-ranked player in the world. His struggles from that point on are well documented, which left many wondering what happened to the confident, charismatic player who racked up five PGA Tour wins.
Fast-forward to this week’s Wells Fargo Championship, and that player is back — or getting there, anyway.
Fowler’s been in much-improved form of late, entering this week with seven top-20s in his last eight starts. He’s been striking the ball with precision, pop and a belief that he’s regaining his mojo.
When asked about the changes he’s made, Fowler was blunt, giving the credit to the two coaches he’s been working with: Butch Harmon and his brother Craig Harmon, two legends in the golf instruction space.
Fowler described how the Harmon brothers have helped improve his swing, saying it’s been a mix of in-person sessions and video analysis.
“A lot of it’s videos,” Fowler said. “[Butch] has been to Florida twice this year, because he comes down to the Floridian usually about four times a year. He was down earlier this year right before San Antonio, he was around for the member-guest, and then a couple weeks ago he was around for the Harmon Cup.
“Luckily, a lot of those trips he makes, I end up being home, so I get at least a solid day or a few days with him. And then in between there, videos back and forth, get on the phone and just keep it simple.
“Then outside of that, every once in a while, I will hit balls with his brother Craig. So I feel like it’s a nice simple setup, not where I’m relying on someone day-to-day, but I have a great kind of support and coaching system between Butch being a phone call away, and if I need a set of eyes, Craig’s in Jupiter if I need it.”
Fowler’s recent swing transformation has garnered high praise from analysts, as he’s staying much more on plane for more of a “C” shape. This means he isn’t relying on timing as much as he once did to square up the clubhead. The video below is a good example of his new approach.
Best I’ve seen Rickie’s swing pic.twitter.com/dzgeshAzjk— Travis Fulton (@travisfulton) January 9, 2023
While Fowler continues to tweak his swing, he admitted that it’s still a work in progress, saying that he continues to send Butch videos to assess.
“It could be one certain area that’s being focused on — whether it’s that day or that week,” he said. “You can kind of see what’s been worked on, but, sometimes, I need to exaggerate one feel over the other. Maybe, like I said, more that week.
“Right now is making sure that, I mean for me to get the club to where it’s not laid off at the top, that’s kind of the focus. If I’m in a good position from there, I can go ahead and swing and let it go. But sometimes, the feel to get there, there could be a few that help me to that position.”
Despite his fall down the rankings, Fowler said he has maintained a positive attitude. While his swing needed some work, his mental strength stayed sharp. That resolve, along with his work with the Harmons, has helped his resurgence over the past year or so.
“Yeah, it’s been a tough few years,” he said. “I feel like I’ve always had a good mindset, as far as continuing to look forward or current situation, [just] trying to be as positive as possible knowing that good golf’s not far off. Sometimes that little gap takes a lot longer to fill or get past.
“But, yeah, I have a great support crew around me from the team and family.”
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