Lifting Webb Simpson Higher


On June 17, 2012, Webb Simpson won the U.S. Open and rose to a number 5 on the official World Golf Rankings at the age of 27. The rise was surprisingly meteoric. Just a year-and-a-half earlier, he was ranked 213th among the same field. What happened?

Recognizing that he was not living up to potential at the end of that 2010 season, Simpson took responsibility and made major changes for 2011. He hired current caddie, Paul Tesori and he enlisted the expertise of strength and conditioning specialist, Ben Shear, along with golf-performance therapist, Craig Knight. Tesori honed technique; Knight ensured that Simpson’s body was properly prepared to perform week to week, and Shear designed a golf-specific program that subtly turbo-charged Simpson’s total body.

When the Golf Channel asked Wake Forest golf coach, Jerry Haas, to comment on his former athlete’s success, he said the 2012 Open win actually began when Webb initially got into the gym with Shear and began to concentrate on the tightness in Simpson’s hips. The result was a technically better and more powerful swing. In a short time, Simpson had added 11 yards to his tee offs, moving him from 118th to 51st in driving distance on the PGA Tour. He also saw a great improvement in accuracy, going from 121st to 8th in Greens in Regulations percentages.

On the CBS special, “The Sport of Golf,” Simpson admitted that, while 18 of the top 20 players on the PGA Tour were working out for their golf game, he wasn’t doing anything. It was time to make a drastic change, if he wanted to be an impact player on the tour.

After getting into the gym, he acknowledged that “the changes seemed pretty immediate. I was hitting further, had more energy, was feeling better, and seeing my golf improve.” The changes also had a direct impact on his playing. The 2011 season ended with Simpson ranked #6 in the world. He had won twice on the PGA Tour, finished second three times, was in the top-10 twelve different times, represented the US in the President’s Cup and earned over $6.3 Million in winnings alone. For 2011, Simpson’s PGA Performance Ranking was #1 overall.

As Simpson began the 2012 season, he was truly a different player. Halfway through the year, he already has one Major title and five top-10 finishes, and is looking to continue to improve his performances. Next up will hopefully be more top finishes and an invite to the American Ryder Cup team.