MIAMI — Brooks Koepka played his morning pro-am ahead of the LIV Golf Team Championship in Miami with former President of the United States Donald Trump on Thursday. But don’t get it twisted, despite playing with the club’s namesake at Trump National Doral’s Blue Monster, the four-time major champion didn’t get any helpful info to take back to his Smash GC teammates.
“He didn’t give me any tips. He’s not gonna give me any tips. He didn’t want me to beat him,” Koepka said of his round alongside the former president with a smile. “We had a great time. It’s always fun playing with him.”
Not that Koepka needs the help, anyways. Sure, he struggled early after joining the upstart circuit led by Greg Norman and backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, with finishes of T-16, T-11, T-26 and T-21 over his first four starts in the 48-player, no cut events. But when the series took the show to Bangkok, the old Koepka appeared on the course. The 32-year-old finished T-8 at the event in Thailand before winning the next week at the regular-season finale in Saudi Arabia via a three-hole playoff with teammate Peter Uihlein.
After splitting with longtime swing instructor Claude Harmon III, who began working with Koepka in 2013 when he was playing on the European Challenge Tour, two years ago following the November 2020 Masters, the pair are working together once again. Harmon told Golf Magazine he thinks Koepka is hitting the ball like its 2019 all over again, and Koepka agrees.
“I think we’ve seen it coming for a couple weeks,” Koepka said. “I think it was when we were in Bedminster, I called (Harmon) and he was on the range on Friday or Saturday. I started working with him there and it’s been, if we’re home four or five days a week I’ve just been bugging him to see if he’ll work with me every day. It’s come along really nicely. I’m very pleased. Very happy.”
“I’m just happy to be back,” Koepka continued. “There was always a question mark of, ‘Am I gonna be the same player?’ just because of all the injuries and all the different things. You start questioning whether you can do it and all of a sudden, it’s like all the pieces are starting to come back. Then you go out and win and it’s like, ‘Okay, I’ve still got the mental side of it. I’ve still got the physical side of it.’ So just put them all together every week and I’m just very happy.”
After this week’s event in Miami, the series will be on a break until it transitions into the LIV Golf League in 2023, with events likely to begin in February.
“Honestly, just keep doing the same thing I’ve been doing,” Koepka said of the four-month offseason, noting how he wants to get back in the gym. “But just keep playing golf. I think that’s one of the big things, I’ve been working with Claude and I’m very pleased and I don’t want it to get out of whack and just return to where it was.”