Rickie Fowler Golf 2014
Posted at January 21, 2014
Special Feature: Rickie Fowler
Rickie Fowler is a well known and much loved star of the PGA Tour, with a personal brand as iconic as they come in the golfing world. His dedication to the fans is up there with the best; his charity work is highly commendable and his willingness to get involved with almost any project is undoubtable - but there is only so much one can do to build a profile without consistently performing at the highest level. The striking Puma Golf outfits, the Golf Boys videos and even that moustache which divided opinion a couple of years ago all help make headlines but for 2014, Rickie has expressed his desire to be known for what he does on the golf course, not off it.
Enter: Butch Harmon. Having gone without a full-time swing coach since the sad passing of Barry McDonnell in 2011, Rickie has opted to take direction from the man who has worked with multiple major champions and has a proven, undeniable track record on the PGA Tour. Perhaps most notably, Harmon has worked very closely with Phil Mickelson since 2007 and, with both regarded as 'feel players', it is hoped that similar improvements can be made with Rickie's game for success in 2014. As shown in before/after image below, it is also clearly evident that Rickie is working on the physical side of his game - he's not just that pretty boy who wears bright clothes any more!
During a golf clinic which Rickie hosted in Oklahoma this week, Rickie said 'I spend more time on the golf course as I enjoy playing, I try and figure things out while I'm out there playing golf. I feel I get more out of it that way.' Everyone practices in their own way, but with a host of highly regarded, polished youngsters coming through on the PGA Tour, it begs the question whether Rickie could have spent more time refining his technical game on the practice range. Speith, Henley, Ernst, Reed; all of these rookies won on the PGA Tour last year and are expected to come on even further in the next few seasons. Rickie himself was once considered to be one of the most promising and exciting young talents after turning professional in 2009, but just one tour victory and 23 top ten finishes is a little underwhelming to say the least.
Still only aged 25, Rickie certainly can't complain on the earnings front. His performances on the golf course may not have lived up to expectation, but he came in at no. 35 in the 2014 Golf Digest 'all-encompassing money list' proving that a strong image off the course is still hugely beneficial.
Back in Oklahoma, after presenting a cheque from the fundraising efforts to those affected by the Moore Tornadoes, Rickie explains 'I wanted to be a role model and being in the position I am now is pretty special. To be able to come out with young kids to older adults, it's cool to see the effect that I can have on people and just be able to donate a little bit of time.' Rickie is unquestionably a huge role model for young golfers in particular - but perhaps now Rickie feels that it's time to further cement himself as a real star of the PGA Tour by notching up one or two more wins and perhaps even a first ever major championship. Butch has done it before, so why not again?