Brothers in arms: Hitting a gym with Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka

Are golfers athletes?

The doubt itself has prolonged had a sniff of a putdown—after all, in what other veteran foe do a competitors have their athleticism questioned? (Well, maybe bowling, though that’s a screed for a opposite magazine.) Golf’s design problem is a outcome of a prolonged story of pear-shaped play-ers and a use of tobacco products during competition. The times (and bodies) have changed, though a stereotypes endure, so recently we asked tutor Joey Diovisalvi, whose pupils Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson have won a final dual U.S. Opens, if golfers are, in fact, athletes.

If we work out any day, you're giving yourself a best eventuality any time we go into an event, says Koepka.

“If we work out any day, you’re giving yourself a best eventuality any time we go into an event,” says Koepka.

“That’s ridiculous. That’s insulting,” says Joey D, as he’s widely known, a corners of his mouth curling ceiling ever so slightly. “I would plea anyone, anywhere to step into a gym with DJ and Brooks and contend these guys are not hardcore jocks.”

Indeed, on a toasty morning during a Joey D Golf Performance Center in Jupiter, Fla., during a PGA Tour’s brief off-season, golf’s whack brothers grunted by a hearing that looked like it had been designed for muscular home run hitters or maybe center linebackers, not guys who wear white belts and ideally pulpy polo shirts for a living. While classical stone blared in a background, Johnson, 33, and Koepka, 28, altered complicated steel in old-school passed rises and while pulling a weighted sled opposite synthetic turf. They did drills to raise their explosiveness, like slamming a 20 lb. medicine spin opposite a wall in a suit that mimicked a golf swing. They did a wearying series of pushups, done some-more severe by carrying their feet hook from insurgency bands. At a unequivocally high velocity, they summited a integrate of practical Empire State Buildings on a StairMaster. All a while, Johnson and Koepka muttered insults and hurdles during one another. (Sample discourse from DJ: “Take off your diaper and lift some genuine weight.” From Koepka: “That’s good work—for you.”)

I would plea anyone, anywhere to step into a gym with DJ and Brooks and contend these guys are not hardcore jocks, says Joey D.

“I would plea anyone, anywhere to step into a gym with DJ and Brooks and contend these guys are not hardcore jocks,” says Joey D.

To cold down they went for a sprightly float on highway bikes, then, to cold off, strike a Intracoastal for a paddleboard session, that fundamentally incited into a tournament that left both Open champs dripping and giggling like schoolboys. Meanwhile, their 52-year-old trainer—who has a chiseled physique and eternal appetite of a Mr. Olympia half his age—managed to be a usually one who stayed atop his paddleboard, that he was still woofing about an hour later. The macho ethos is constituent to bargain a singular attribute between this rope of brothers. “We’re always chirping,” says Johnson. “It’s one of those things where we try to make any one of us better. We’re chirping during Joey. Joey’s chirping during us: “Lift harder,” whatever it is. It works for us.”

Indeed it does. The U.S. Open is golf’s ultimate examination, designed to pull players to a violation point—physically, mentally, spiritually. Before a final spin final year, Koepka combined a amicable media frenzy with footage of him in a gym bench-pressing some critical weight. Afterward, he said, “I feel great. we could go play another 18 right now.” Power underpins both of their games, and this is quite essential during a U.S. Open, including this year’s selected venue, Shinnecock Hills. Johnson (second on Tour in pushing stretch in 2017, during 315 yards a pop) and Koepka (311.1; 7th) can conflict a standard 5s for altered birdie opportunities. Longer drives meant shorter manacles on their proceed shots, permitting them to be some-more accurate to a tiny targets. Faster clubhead speed allows Johnson and Koepka to shun a luscious severe and put some-more spin on their iron shots to reason a brick-hard greens. But being stronger is about a lot some-more than only a prominent biceps; vital in a gym is partial of a incomparable lifestyle they have embraced, one focused on fortify and rigor.

“I feel like if we outwork everybody, you’re giving yourself a best eventuality any time we go into an event,” says Koepka, who’s been operative with Diovisalvi given early 2017. “You wish to outwork everybody, and we wish to kick everybody. Put in a work and a formula will come.”

“And golf is unequivocally mental,” adds Johnson, a Joey D footman given 2010. “Even if we consider we have an corner on someone, that’s your corner right there.”

Dustin Johnson's Swing In Pure Slow Motion

These guys demeanour for an advantage even during mealtime. Both have embraced what they call “clean eating”—in essence, expelling anything fun from their diets. (Diovisalvi has been an inspiration; Johnson describes his trainer’s standard cooking as “twigs and berries.”) Koepka has a dish use that bonds his home fridge with low-fat proteins and vegetable-intensive dishes. Johnson flies in a cook to all a majors and vast tournaments. She is vegan-trained and brings that sensibility to a food, nonetheless DJ still cooking copiousness of fish and chicken. Both he and Koepka sneer during a idea of lie days. “If we eat unequivocally healthy, and afterwards go out and eat shitty food, we indeed feel awful,” Johnson says. “It’s extraordinary a disproportion between eating super healthy and not, and how many improved we feel. You nap better. You have approach some-more energy. The healthier we eat a some-more we wish to keep it up.”

Of course, even a man doing all a right things can get hurt, and a initial half of Koepka’s 2018 debate has been compromised by a partially ripped tendon in his left wrist. The perils of overhanging a bar during 125 mph.

“The best surgeons in a nation concluded this was a one-time event, and that Brooks will be all good long-term,” says Diovisalvi. Koepka stays daring to a Brandel Chamblees of a world, who have opined that too many time in a gym can lead to an towering risk of injury. “If we demeanour during some of a strongest athletes in a world,” says Koepka, “they’re gymnasts. And they’re a many flexible. You can be unequivocally strong, unequivocally flexible, and still be means to move.” He has spent as many time in a gym as always, even as he hasn’t been means to pitch a golf club. “He’s worked as tough as anybody I’ve ever seen with an injury,” says Joey D. “His reduce body, heart and lungs are stronger than they’ve ever been. He’s a machine. That ability to work is unequivocally rare.”

Dustin Johnson hoists his prize during a 2016 U.S. Open during Oakmont Country Club.

Dustin Johnson hoists his prize during a 2016 U.S. Open during Oakmont Country Club.

Joey D has seen that before, in Vijay Singh, a vast Fijian he helped get to series one in a universe and win 22 tournaments in his 40s. Singh’s arise coincided with Tiger Woods’ physique apropos increasingly shredded, and ever since, Tour players have flocked to a gym to maximize their performance. “If we take a tip 50 in a world, you’re not going to find anyone in there that doesn’t have a unequivocally clever training regimen,” says Johnson, momentarily forgetful about spin Kiradech Aphibarnrat, a difference who proves a rule. “It’s only how golf is nowadays. Everybody’s athletic, everybody is in good shape, and everybody hits it a unequivocally prolonged way.”

Diovisalvi is some-more blunt: “You can’t eat a greasy steak, splash red booze during dinner, afterwards nap in and consider you’re going to hurl onto a initial tee and contest opposite these guys. You’re gonna get your donkey handed to you. You’re gonna get embarrassed. The diversion has changed. To compete, we improved keep up.”

Brooks Koepka, shown here during a final spin of a 2017 U.S. Open during Erin Hills.

Brooks Koepka, shown here during a final spin of a 2017 U.S. Open during Erin Hills.


Most weekend golfers can’t record a gym time to spin themselves into energy players. But even during home or in a office, Joey D has his ways.


“Holding a vast bottle of H2O in any palm and mount in a golfer’s residence position, with your feet during shoulder width. With arms extended as if you’re holding a club, and your wrists distant by 6 to 8 inches and elbows parsimonious to your rib cage, stagger into your backswing and postponement during a tip for one second. Then solemnly pierce by unnatural impact and follow through. Pause during a execution of a swing, afterwards repeat.”


“Stand with your feet during shoulder width. Using 3 H2O bottles placed 18 inches divided from we during a 9:00, 12:00 and 3:00 positions, pull your right feet behind and somewhat off a ground. Keeping your right feet elevated, reduce yourself into a slight hunker by kindly tortuous your left knee. Reach with your right palm to daub a 3:00 bottle, afterwards strech and daub a same bottle with your left hand. Repeat for any bottle. Switch legs and repeat again. Yeah, it kills.”

Dustin has won 8 PGA Tour events and $25.5 million given employing Austin, his best crony and visit training partner, in a tumble of 2013.


In a gospel according to Joey D, there are certain running principles. Here are dual of them.


“Build strength and emanate fortitude in a tiny muscles of a behind by progressing a good spine angle whenever and wherever we can. On a bike during a gym or on a road, don’t hunch—maintain a good spine angle. Do your station curls in a golfer’s residence position—and say a good spine angle. Do squats with a trap bar (right). You get a picture. The some-more you’re wakeful of a significance of this posture, a improved golfer you’ll be.”


“Movement patterns and exercises concede us to feel golf-specific flesh activation and recognition of flesh aria or interruption to mobility. By isolating and improving pivotal flesh duty in a golf context, we can start to emanate a some-more efficient, absolute and repeatable swing.”

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