Golden nuggets from the golden bear! Matt Fitzpatrick reveals switching to heavier grips following advice from golf legend Jack Nicklaus, as the 28-year-old impresses at the Sentry Tournament of Champions
- Matt Fitzpatrick goes into the final Tournament of Champions round in 2nd place
- The Brit has risen to number nine in the world rankings after an excellent 2022
- He has revealed making changes to his technique after chats with Jack Nicklaus
- Fitzpatrick said he felt ‘very, very lucky that I talk with’ the legendary golfer
In his unending exploration of golf and its quirks, Matt Fitzpatrick revealed he has been mining golden nuggets from the Golden Bear.
On the basis of his form in the past week in Hawaii, the friendship he has struck up with Jack Nicklaus is certainly assisting him on the course.
It transpires that lunches and practice rounds between the two at Nicklaus’s Bear’s Club in Florida have been a regular theme since last January.
Matt Fitzpatrick goes into the final Tournament of Champions round in second place
The Brit has risen to number nine in the world rankings after an excellent 2022
The upshot of those conversations is that Fitzpatrick, an obsessive hoarder of details in the name of progress, has adopted a tip from the 18-time major winner to better fade his ball. It has led to the Englishman, 28, adding eight grams of weight to the grips of his irons.
And it has worked a treat on the severe slopes of the Kapalua course at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, with the world No 9 second only to runaway leader Collin Morikawa ahead of the final round.
It is solid early evidence at the first of the PGA Tour’s ‘elevated’ events that Fitzpatrick has carried his 2022 form into the new year. Discussing his tweaked method and his lunches with Nicklaus, 82, Fitzpatrick said: ‘Changes to my irons have been positive — we put weights in the grip to make them a little bit more fade biased.
He has revealed making changes to his technique after chats with golf legend Jack Nicklaus
‘I spoke to Mr Nicklaus about it because someone told me he did it. I asked him and we had a chat about it and why he did it.
‘I feel very, very lucky that I talk with him. I have spent a lot of time with him, particularly January of last year.
‘I had the whole of January off so I was practising at the Bear’s Club. I ended up having lunch with him on three or four occasions and we were just chatting about life and golf and stuff.
‘For me growing up it’s a dream to be able to talk to someone like that, one of the greatest, if not the greatest, to ever play the game.’