Brooks Koepka: This is links golf – get over it!


You’ve got to love Brooks Koepka for speaking his mind. But sometimes his reasoning behind the rants can raise eyebrows

Brooks Koepka isn’t a huge fan of Royal St George’s. (He’ll soon change his tune if he wins The Open.) “It’s not my favourite venue that we’ve played,” he said in Tuesday’s press conference. Royal Portrush and St Andrews, since you’re asking. He continued: “There are quite a few blind tee shots, hitting to nothing, fairways that are quite undulating.”

Wait. That’s it? That’s your issue with links golf. It’s like you’ve never played it before, Brooks. Our writers have something to say about that…

‘Blind tee shots are part of the rich tapestry of golf’

Golfers today. They don’t know they’re born, writes Steve Carroll. How would they have fared back in the days of yore when every shot was blind and you couldn’t get round any course without trying to peek over some impossible dune that reached up into the stratosphere?

All right, so I jest – to a point. But I do love a good blind shot and, if you enjoy a little variety in an otherwise staple diet of regulation design that can be modern courses today, they can pose a different and hugely enjoyable test.

None of this ‘it’s all out in front of you for me’. Give me the occasional tight drive over a big hump any day. Partly, it cures one of my big swing flaws – an ever-present tendency to take a peek before club has made contact with ball.

There’s no point in looking when you can’t see where it’s going anyway. But blind shots are all part of the rich tapestry of golf. Don’t shun them, rejoice and embrace the challenge.

‘It’s how the game is meant to be played’

Blind tee shots and undulating fairways are part and parcel of links golf, Brooks, writes Alex Perry.

It’s how the game is meant to be played. Even St Andrews and Portrush, the two you mention as your favourites, have blind tee shots.

I really feel like I should oppose Steve here, as that is generally the point of these pieces, but I simply will not speak ill of the form of the game I hold so dear to my heart.

I don’t like blind tee shots the first time I play a course. But does anyone? The uncertainty can do serious damage to one’s concentration and, with it, their swing.

At the time of his press conference, Koepka had only played nine holes. Seems a bit harsh to then come in and say you don’t like the course. If he wants to add the Claret Jug to his already impressive trophy cabinet, he’s going to have to learn to deal with it.

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