“He loves working out; He’s a gym rat; He hits the ball a mile,” are some of the ways Brooks Koepka has been characterized by a number of golf writers and commentators.
“I’m not that big,” quips Koepka in a interview with CNN Sport’s Coy Wire earlier this year. “It’s old … I hang around a bunch of NFL guys. Golfers in general aren’t that athletic in type.”
Combined with his willingness to not hold back with his opinions, the 30-year-old often doesn’t fit into the “traditional” golfing stereotypes, which sometimes means Koepka thinks he often can “relate to people from other sports a lot better than I can golfers.”
Whilst golf is a sport that argualy prefers to stick to the age-old traditions, with players required to wear certain items of clothing — socks that cover your ankle and a polo top — and told to stick to centuries’ old traditions, Koepka is happy to stand out.
“Golf is so traditional,” added Koepka. “It’s like the triple pleated khaki pants and the big baggy t-shirts.
“It’s just not me. I’m not the traditionalist.”
Koepka is preparing to defend his PGA Championship title in San Francisco, US, following a poor run of form with just two top-10 finishes in 2020.
He showed glimpses of his best at the recent WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational, though, matching his career-low with a 62 in the opening round on Thursday. He eventually finished joint runner-up, three shots behind winner Justin Thomas.
Over the years, however, Koepka has often been the focus of the ire of the golf community for his thoughts on the sport and its need to innovate and be more exciting.
Ahead of his victory at last year’s PGA Championship, the four-time major winner suggested that golf rounds are too long and that “it gets boring from like hole 5 to 12.”
But the world No. 6, who is chasing his third consecutive PGA Championship win, isn’t going to start apologizing anytime soon.
“It’s just me. It’s just who I am,” he explains. “I’ve always liked to express myself, say it how it is. I can say what I want. I can say how I’m feeling, whatever it might be.
“At the same time, I feel like they want my opinion and I think that obviously rubs a lot of people the wrong way. But it’s like: ‘If you want me to be honest, I’ll be honest with you.’
“And then you’re going to kill me for it. I’m not what they, I guess, draw on the drawing board. I’m something different, something fun, something to get other people in the game interested.”
The PGA Championship had originally been scheduled for May this year, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, it was moved to August 6-9.
There will be no fans in attendance, something that will also be the same at the US Open which takes place in September.