How to fix slow play? Brooks Koepka recommends his anger issue strategy

August 12, 2019

Most days, Brooks Koepka’s emotional range on the golf course is somewhat limited. The status quo is a sort of unexpressive intensity, but he’ll occasionally mix in a smile, a sign of exasperation or even a dash of excitement. But Koepka wasn’t always this way — as a younger player he dealt with serious anger issues, he says. And the way he confronted those issues, he says, could serve as a model to combat slow play.

Koepka, the Tour’s most outspoken critic of slow play, was asked several questions on the topic after his final round at the Northern Trust on Sunday. “I think you’ve just got to sit back and look in the mirror and reflect on and watch a video of yourself,” he said after closing with a 1-under 70.

“I did that in college when I was dealing with what I’ve always talked about, when I had anger issues on the golf course. I had a guy come film me and I watched myself through the entire round. He would come out to Seminole when I was at Florida State and he would film a couple of the qualifiers, things like that, and I was able to see how I reacted, and it made a big difference.”

For Koepka, seeing himself from an outside perspective gave him new context for his actions.

“I think sometimes if they were to just go back and look at the video, it might help. It might make them realize how slow it is.

“Yeah, that helped for me, just with anger. I’m not saying that’s the solution, but if you can get back and see some tape of yourself and realize that it’s a 10-footer, there’s not much that goes into it, you know, that’s where I don’t understand it.”

Of late, Koepka has been among the Tour’s most outspoken critics of slow play. The issue boiled over on Saturday when a video surfaced in which Bryson DeChambeau spent well over two minutes on a 10-foot putt, which he went on to miss. While Koepka was careful to point out that DeChambeau isn’t the Tour’s only culprit, the two spoke before Sunday’s round to clear the air.

There’s some data to support Koepka’s strategy. In GOLF’s most recent anonymous player poll, 78 percent of golfers acknowledged that slow play had personally affected them on Tour — but not a single player admitted to being a slow player himself.

While Koepka would love to see players show more self-accountability, he reiterated his belief that Tour officials should hand out penalties based on the rules as they’re currently written.

“I think it comes down to rules officials enforcing it, players enforcing it,” he said. “You know, I’d just like to, if it’s going to be in the rule book, then I would just say enforce it.”

Koepka remains at No. 1 in the FedEx Cup standings heading to this week’s BMW Championship at Medinah.

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