Written by
Bryan Mullen, LIV Golf correspondent
Apr 01 2024
- 3 MIN
Smash GC preview Miami

Team: Smash Golf Club
Previous event team finish: 7th at LIV Golf Hong Kong
Season-long team standings: 3rd
Top finisher from previous event: Graeme McDowell, T-8
Fun stat: As a team, Smash GC is first in Fairways Hit (60.0%) in 2024 and has hit a League-high 336 fairways this season.


MIAMI - The revamped Smash Golf Club has seen impressive early returns. And the best might be yet to come.

Captain Brooks Koepka leads his crew into South Florida this week sitting third in the season-long team standings. Through four events, Smash GC has a third-place finish in Jeddah and an inspiring team victory in Las Vegas, where it won by an astounding seven shots.

The team’s strength is undoubtedly its depth of talent. Take for example Las Vegas, where veteran Graeme McDowell led the team in the final round, posting better scores than Koepka and teammates Jason Kokrak and Talor Gooch, who is the reigning season-long Individual Champion.

The depth is even more apparent when analyzing the individual standings. All four team members are in the top 18 (Gooch 6th, Koepka 15th, Kokrak 16th, McDowell 18th). And of their 16 combined finishes, they have a total of six top-10 showings.

Which brings us to LIV Golf Miami where the players have seen plenty of success, albeit with some having played on different teams. At the Team Championship in Miami last season, Koepka and Kokrak combined to shoot 5 under on the final day, while Gooch posted a 2-under 70 while playing for another team. McDowell was the only current Smash GC member to shoot over par on the final day, but his 2-over 74 was more of a middle-of-the-pack score than an outlier high score.

One thing to consider entering Miami, however, is experience. Trump National Doral Golf Club has hosted numerous professional events through the decades, and each member of Smash GC team members have not only competed in them but contested for titles. To perform well on the Blue Monster means having detailed knowledge on how to play it in different conditions, and how to outwit a course that can play very long. Patience is key for this layout, and veterans like McDowell and Kokrak won’t let frustration leak into the system.

For Koepka, the five-time major champion is dialing in his game ahead of the Masters next week and said he has completed the majority of his preparation entering this week at Doral.

"I think it's the first big boy golf course we've played this year," Koepka said Wednesday. "You've got to be able to ball-strike it out here on and this golf course doesn't really let you. If you miss your target by four or five yards out here, you can make bogey or double bogey very quickly. It's a tough golf course, and you've got to be able to ball-strike it here and ball-strike it at Augusta."