PGA Championship

Valhalla Golf Club

The Loop

Brooks Koepka switches drivers ahead of Ryder Cup, says U.S. strategy is to "hit it as far as you can"

September 28, 2016

Getty Images

CHASKA, Minn. -- At more than 7,600 yards and having absorbed 15 inches of rain since early August, Hazeltine National figures to play long at this week's Ryder Cup. And with little rough, that means players are planning on hitting a lot of drivers.

"Pretty much I guess our mentality right now is just hit it as far as you can off that tee," Brooks Koepka said on Wednesday. "I think having a couple wedges, shorter irons into these greens is going to be a big difference."

Makes sense. What makes slightly less sense, perhaps, is that the club Koepka will be relying on off the tee will be in his bag for the first time. Koepka confirmed he switched from his Nike Vapor Fly driver to a TaylorMade M2.

"Started working with it, I think, last week," Koepka said on Wednesday. "Just like the way we hit it. It was going really well. It was actually, the first one I hit was Graeme McDowell's driver. I was in Orlando last week and was just hitting balls and liked it, and here it is. So it's here."

Koepka, one of two American Ryder Cup rookies, isn't the first golfer to make an equipment change ahead of the biennial matches. Rory McIlroy put a new Nike driver in play at the 2014 Ryder Cup, and Phil Mickelson changed to a Callaway driver, fairway woods and ball before the 2004 Ryder Cup. Mickelson also switched drivers ahead of this year's event, but the move wasn't as drastic with him just changing to a longer shaft. He also got a tournament under his belt with the new big stick at last week's Tour Championship.

As for Koepka, he's in equipment limbo now that Nike Golf has stopped making clubs. However, he said this just last month at the Travelers Championship following the Nike news.

"I love the golf ball and I love everything that I've got in the bag. There is no point in switching if it's working," Koepka said. "I don't see any changes coming in the next couple months."