'I Just Forgot That It Was Ever In There' - Matt Fitzpatrick Reveals Bizarre Reason Behind Driving Woes

Matt Fitzpatrick admitted that a forgotten grip weight left in his driver for a year led to his problems off the tee

Matt Fitzpatrick
(Image credit: Getty Images)

From a player that's as detailed-oriented as Matt Fitzpatrick, it seems quite remarkable that a problem with his driving came from such a simple mistake.

The 2022 US Open champion was playing with an added weight in the grip of his driver for a year without even realising.

Fitzpatrick had added a four-gram weight on his driver grip when doing some testing in February 2023, but as it remained there without his knowledge he started noticing a miss left with his big dog creeping into his game.

And since the Englishman had simply forgotten all about the added weight, the solution only came to light when his driver was being regripped in February this year.

"There was a weight in the grip, which we did some testing with in February last year, and never took it out. For whatever reason, I just forgot that it was ever in there,” Fitzpatrick said.

“As soon as it came out and I hit it the next day, it felt night and day. I could hit it as hard as I want, and it wouldn’t go left. Previously, I felt like I hit it hard, and it would just go straight left.”

Fitzpatrick still managed to win the RBC Heritage and Dunhill Links Championship despite the issue, which caused all kinds of confusion.

"My driving kind of got worse from pretty much after Harbour Town, and we were going back and forth," Fitzpatrick admitted.

Matt Fitzpatrick

Matt Fitzpatrick topped the driving stats at the Players Championship

(Image credit: Getty Images)

"We were just very confused swing-wise, did all sorts. Turns out, take the weight out of the top of the driver, and I think since Phoenix is when I've taken it out, I've driven it a lot better.

"Maybe I'd have won four times if I had it out."

The issue saw Fitzpatrick fall from 10th to 92nd on the PGA Tour in strokes gained off the tee last year.

And it seemed to pay off at TPC Sawgrass as Fitzpatrick only missed three fairways and was ranked top of the field in driving in his opening round of 66, which saw him just one shot off the lead 

“I drove it like I feel like I can drive it,” he said. “To me, it felt a bit like my old self: drove the ball well, putted well, and that’s always been the key to when I’ve played well, really.”

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.