Brooks Koepka has quickly ascended to the top of the golf world in the last few years. With four major championship victories since 2017, Koepka has established himself as the best big-game competitor on the PGA Tour.
Koepka has been a main fixture on Tour since 2014. He climbed the ranks from college star to promising amateur to now top 10 player in the world, but he never would’ve pursued a career in golf if not for a scary car accident from his childhood.
Brooks Koepka was a hockey and baseball star growing up
Golf was never Koepka’s first profession of choice growing up. The four-time major winner was always a special athlete, but he was much more focused on team sports as a child.
Koepka came from a baseball family. His great uncle, Dick Groat, was an MLB superstar in the 1950s and ’60s. Groat played 14 years in the majors, including nine for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He won two World Series titles and even a National League MVP in 1960.
Koepka’s father, Bob, also played baseball in college. He inherited a love of baseball from his family, and Koepka grew up wanting to follow in their footsteps.
Koepka was also a skilled hockey player. Baseball and hockey were his two main focuses growing up, but he was also a promising golf talent. Koepka never really took golf seriously until a car accident forced him to.
Koepka was involved in a childhood car accident that made him focus on golf
When he was 10 years old, Koepka and his brother were involved in a car accident in their home state of Florida. The family nanny ran a red light and T-boned another car in the intersection, causing Koepka’s face to fly forward into the dashboard.
Koepka fractured his nose and sinus cavity in the accident. Because of his injuries, Koepka was told he couldn’t play contact sports for a full year. That meant no hockey or baseball for a while.
So, Koepka made the best of his situation and took up golf full time. He started playing Okeeheelee Golf Course in West Palm Beach, Fla. almost daily, and he began excelling at his new favorite sport.
Eventually, Koepka became good enough to field college golf offers as a teenager. He went on to play golf at Florida State University, and he never looked back.
Koepka is now one of the best golfers in the world thanks to a car accident
Fast forward 20 years and Koepka has seven PGA Tour wins, four major championships, and over $30 million in career earnings. Koepka rose to the No. 1 ranked golfer in the world throughout his dominant run of four majors in six tries.
None of that would’ve been possible if not for the car accident that forced him to give up hockey and baseball as a kid. Koepka has stated he would pursue baseball harder if he could go back in time, but it’s hard to believe he’s unhappy with all the great success he’s had in golf.
Maybe Koepka owes his nanny a thank you.
All stats courtesy of PGA Tour