11 December 2018
Seven Interesting Facts About Brooks Koepka
Three major wins, twice at the US Open and once at the USPGA Championship, put Brooks Koepka in the fast track to becoming one of the best players in the world. His most recent victory came at the CJ Cup, boosting him to the world number one position for the first time. Here are a few things of interesting facts about the 28-year-old, Koepka:
1. Sport is in Koepka’s family blood.
His great-uncle, Dick Groat, is a baseball legend, winning two World Series as a shortstop with the Pittsburgh Pirates, earning the 1960 National League MVP award, and earning a spot on eight National League All-Star teams. His father, Bob, also played baseball; he was a pitcher at West Virginia Wesleyan. He passed that passion onto his son, Brooks. However, Koepka was unable to continue the tradition of his family due to an accident limiting what sports he could play.
2. Koepka became a golfer because of a problem with his nose.
At the age of 10, he was involved in a car accident and his nose and sinus cavity were broken on the dashboard. The accident meant that Koepka wasn’t allowed to play any contact sports. As a result, he chose to take up golf. He spent most days at West Palm Beach’s public Okeeheelee Golf Course. “To be honest, I’m not a big golf nerd,” said Koepka, as quoted by Business Insider. “Golf is kind of boring, not much action. I come from a baseball family, and it’s in my blood.”
3. Before earning his PGA Tour card in 2014, he ventured to Europe to take part in golf competitions there.
After winning four times on the Challenge Tour, the second-tier men's professional golf tour in Europe, Koepka won his first European Tour title in Turkey. He learned a lot while competing in Europe. “I think it helped me grow up a little bit and really figure out that, ‘Hey, play golf, get it done, and then you can really take this somewhere.’ I built a lot of confidence off that,” said Koepka.
4. Claude Harmon III is one of the people behind Koepka’s success.
Koepka has worked with Claude Harmon III on his swing since 2013. He praised the son of the legendary instructor Butch Harmon for making his driver swing more repeatable, instead of favoring a draw and missing both ways. Koepka now hits a power fade. In two seasons, Koepka has improved his short game under European coach Pete Cowen, who also works with Henrik Stenson, Louis Oosthuizen, and Sergio Garcia.
5. Koepka is dating Jena Sims, a former Miss Georgia Teen USA winner who has also been in several movies.
Sims has been in films alongside the likes of Morgan Freeman, Robert DeNiro, and Michael Douglas. She also runs an award-winning non-profit organization called Pageant of Hope.
6. Having his mother, Denise Jakows, beat breast cancer while he was in college added perspective to Koepka’s life.
“It made me figure out that life can go pretty quickly, so enjoy it,” said Koepka, as quoted by Golf Digest. “Make people laugh, make the best of things. Maybe not take things as seriously.”
7. Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, and Tiger Woods are his favorite athletes who really inspire him.
Koepka admires their mental toughness and work ethics. He believes they became so great because they were willing to sacrifice everything to be so, they will do anything to win, and it really bothers them to lose. Koepka had an encounter with one of his idols, Jordan, in a match at the Bear’s Club. “I was one up on the 17th tee and called out the score. Michael looks at me says, ‘Fourth quarter, baby.’ I was like, ‘Really?’ Then, with strokes, he wins the last two holes. How he did that? That’s what I’m after,” recalled Koepka, as quoted by Golf Digest.