Brooks Koepka needed a little pick me up for the back-9 at the U.S. Open. Some people drink coffee, others a Coke. Some others, like Angel Cabrera, pull out a cigarette to calm their nerves. In Koepka’s case, he whipped out the chewing tobacco.
The 2-time U.S. Open champion has garnered a lot of social media attention for his dipping, particularly how he disposes of the spit of the venerable Pebble Beach Golf Course. Here’s a captured image of his discarding some of his snus into a tee box.
For a quick boost of energy, chewing tobacco does the trick, according to WebMD.
Nicotine works by making the brain release adrenaline-like compounds(such as norepinephrine). These “excitatory” neurotransmitters get your body revved up. (You have probably heard the term “get your adrenaline pumping.”) Many people enjoy this feeling, but not the feeling that comes after it. After the nicotine is gone, and the brain stops releasing the positive neurotransmitters, smokeless tobacco users feel tired, depressed, and down.
In addition, dopamine injects into the brain to provide positive feelings. It obviously also contributes to a higher chance of oral cancer. For Koepka, it’s worth it if he can pull closer to Gary Woodland, who currently leads by two strokes through 11 holes.
However, it has caused a range of reactions both positive and negative from those on social media. Some people just find the habit in itself disgusting.
This disapproval is nothing new. At the Open Championship in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, a British commentator named Ewen Murray accused Koepka of spitting on the famed golf course:
“One or two American players have a terrible habit of spitting on the edge of the green, I’m not sure about that.”
In addition, Rick Broadbent of The Times excoriated Koepka for his “disrespectful” behavior.
Dismiss this as prudish PC if you like, but spitting anywhere except the deep rough on a course shows a lack of respect for your peers, as it does when someone spits in the street.
Showing the divide between Americans and Brits, several Yankees love how Koepka is bringing dip culture to the hallowed courses of the PGA Tour. DraftKings writer Adam Levitan tweeted during the 2019 Masters: “Inject Brooks Koepka spitting dip all over the precious Augusta National grounds straight into my veins.”
This sentiment is shared by many, including several other golfers. Koepka has shared his dip with peers such as Chez Reavie and Harold Varner III. In addition, Sergio Garcia and Dustin Johnson are just a handful of others that partake in the practice.
However he chooses to give himself a leg up, well…it’s a free country. His girlfriend Jena Sims doesn’t seem to mind, for what it’s worth.