How Matt Fitzpatrick Joined Golf’s Big Hitters

The US Open champion revealed all about the special program that has helped him add more than 10 yards off the tee

Matt Fitzpatrick has added more than 10 yards off the tee by following a special program
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Matt Fitzpatrick has put his increased length off the tee down to two years of hard work following a program developed by a biomechanics expert.

The new US Open champion was noticeably longer off the tee at Brookline, holding his own against Will Zalatoris in the final round and outdriving the likes of Dustin Johnson and Sam Burns on occasion in earlier rounds. Driving the 301-yard 5th hole in his final round set up a key birdie, and his drive on the 15th went nearly 400 yards, so far that there were questions whether the TV coverage had missed him chipping out from somewhere nasty.

After the 2020 US Open Fitzpatrick made headlines questioning whether hitting a golf ball a long way is a skill, but since then he’s made a concerted effort to join the big hitters club, and crucially, managed to maintain his accuracy too. According to PGATour.com, his average driving distance has risen from 287.9 yards in 2019 to 298.1 in 2022, a gain of 10.2 yards. In winning the US Open, he averaged nearly 310 yards, ranking him 16th, and 5th in driving accuracy.

He puts the gain in length down to The Stack, a speed training system co-developed by biomechanics expert Sasho Mackenzie that he says has worked wonders since he started using it in 2020 “That’s been a massive help,” said the 27-year-old Yorkshireman. “It’s given me a few more miles per hour swing speed and quite a few miles per hour ball speed as well which has been the big difference and definitely given me over the last two years probably 10 to 15 yards longer.”

His added length has been noticed by his rivals, with World No.1 Scottie Scheffler who told PGATour.com that Fitzpatrick has made “extreme improvements” off the tee.

“I played with him in Austin this year, and he was not hitting it nearly as far as he is now,” said Scheffler, who finished tied second in Brookline with Zalatoris, one shot back. “I don't know what he was doing. Maybe he was on the Bryson program or something. He's hitting the ball really well and has been knocking on the door for a long time. He definitely deserves this win.”

Fitzpatick, listed at 5’10” and 155 pounds (11 stone 1lb), is never going to be among golf’s giants physically, but his hard work to find that extra length certainly paid off in the US Open. In the final round, he consistently outdrove playing partner Zalatoris, something that would have been unthinkable a couple of years back.

“I feel like maybe four years ago if I was in this position, and I was playing with Will in the final group, I'd be concerned that I'm going to be 15, 20 (yards) behind him,” Fitzpatrick told PGATour.com. “But I felt comfortable all day that I was going to be past him, which gives me confidence obviously going into the next shot knowing that you've got less club. There's a bit of a mentality thing that when you're hitting it past people, it's quite nice.”

Next month the Florida-based Brit heads home for the 150th Open Championship at St Andrews, something he is relishing all the more now his status has risen to Major winner. “It will be great,” he told PGATour.com. “I love playing St. Andrews. It's a great golf course. It's going to be interesting, obviously, with the length and everything. And now I'm a bomber, I'll probably be driving most of the greens.”

While that might have been slightly tongue in cheek, Fitzpatrick ranks 10th on the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee this season, up from 59th in 2020 and 119th back in 2018, and he ranks 5th on the Tour in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green at +1.6, up from just +0.2 strokes per round two years ago.

Jeff Kimber
Jeff Kimber

Jeff graduated from Leeds University in Business Studies and Media in 1996 and did a post grad in journalism at Sheffield College in 1997. His first jobs were on Slam Dunk (basketball) and Football Monthly magazines, and he's worked for the Sunday Times, Press Association and ESPN. He has faced golfing greats Sam Torrance and Sergio Garcia, but on the poker felt rather than the golf course. Jeff's favourite course played is Sandy Lane in Barbados, which went far better than when he played Matfen Hall in Northumberland, where he crashed the buggy on the way to the 1st tee!