The secrets to Matt Fitzpatrick’s success following his impressive US Open victory… chipping cross-handed, approaching the game like Nick Faldo and taking a note of each stroke he plays
- Matt Fitzpatrick won his first major as he secured glory in the US Open
- Despite being 5ft 9in, Fitzpatrick has shown that he can compete with his rivals
- Fitzpatrick chips cross-handed and also take a note of each stroke that he plays
Matt Fitzpatrick produced a superb display to win the US Open.
In a game dominated by 6ft-plus players, Fitzpatrick is a 5ft 9in anomaly — and a fascinating one at that.
So, how did ‘Fitz’ alter his game to win his first major? And what makes him different to his rivals? Let’s have a look…
Matt Fitzpatrick produced a hugely impressive display as he secured glory in the US Open
1. HE WEARS BRACES
Fitzpatrick started wearing them in March and they’ll be in for a while yet. ‘I thought it was about time if I was ever going to do it, and I’ve just got used to them,’ he told Sportsmail.
2. HE’S RATED BY THOSE WHO KNOW
Former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley likens him to Sir Nick Faldo in his diligent approach to the game. His veteran caddy Billy Foster, in a nod to Fitzpatrick’s prodigious work ethic, refers to him as ‘Bernhard Langer’s love child’.
McGinley added on Sunday: ‘I don’t think there’s a weakness in his game. He had a problem in some tournaments against the big bombers but he’s certainly fixed that with how far he hits it now. And he’s got a big heart, which tends to be overlooked.’
Ex-Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley likened Fitzpatrick’s approach to that of Sir Nick Faldo
Like Faldo, Fitzpatrick is diligent in his approach, which has huge benefits for his game
3. HOW HAS HE ADDED SO MUCH LENGTH?
It’s all down to The Stack. It’s a speed training system devised by Fitzpatrick’s coach Mike Walker and a biomechanist called Sasho Mackenzie.
It’s complex to describe but the benefits are clear. Fitzpatrick’s clubhead speed is now comparable with the likes of Jon Rahm.
4. CHIPPING CROSS-HANDED
Another Mike Walker innovation. Fitzpatrick, 27, adopted this method as a training drill until it felt so comfortable that he incorporated it into his game for certain shots around the greens.
When that proved effective, he went the whole hog and now uses it everywhere bar playing from bunkers. Last year, Fitzpatrick was ranked outside the top 100 in all four chipping categories. Now he’s in the single digits in each.
Fitzpatrick uses the technique of chipping cross-handed everywhere bar playing from bunkers
5. HE’S GUTSY
It was a bold decision to put at risk a successful career in search of the X factor that he lacked. It might well prove comparable to Faldo’s decision to seek out the innovative coach David Leadbetter, and a partnership that transformed him from a European Tour winner into a six-time major champion.
6. HE’S A NERD
From the moment he emerged as an amateur golfer of high promise and won the US amateur title (pictured above) in 2013 Fitzpatrick started taking a note of every stroke he played. Twelve years later, he’s still at it. He doesn’t note where his ball finishes in relation to the flag.
He charts where it lands in relation to the shot he was trying to hit. Take the 15th on Saturday, a seemingly superb iron shot dead on line that finished 6ft from the hole. In Fitzpatrick’s book, that went down as a five-yard miss on accuracy and length because he was aiming to be that far to the right of the flag and that far longer.
After winning the US amateur title in 2013, Fitzpatrick started taking note of every stroke he played