The No. 1 ranked golfer in the world and PGA of America Player of the Year has no regrets for baring it all and lashes back at critics

Brooks Koepka is revealing more of himself this week than he has at any time during his ascent to the top of the golf world, or in his career for that matter.


The man who was raised in Wellington, graduated from Cardinal Newman High School, played at Florida State University, and is considered one of the fittest golfers on tour (and perhaps ever), is featured in ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue, which hits the newsstands Friday. Several tastefully nude photos shot at precise angles of Koepka in different poses and stances on the course and in the weight room have been released.


"It was something I enjoyed," Koepka, who lives in Jupiter, said at the Tour Championship in Atlanta last month. "I was looking forward to it for months. It's something I definitely don't regret doing."


Koepka’s decision to disrobe was not without controversy. He lost about 25-pounds for the shoot, which was early this year in Palm City, something he said had an impact on his game.


Following a runner-up finish at the Honda Classic in early March, Koepka missed the cut at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and tied for 56th at The Players and WGC-Match Play in consecutive tournaments.


That prompted harsh criticism from Golf Channel's Brandel Chamblee, who said in April that Koepka’s decision to "change his body and his body chemistry for vanity reasons for a vanity shoot is the most reckless self-sabotage" that he’s ever seen.


"To see someone whose body has changed drastically, it's never worked out very well. It's led to deterioration," Chamblee said.


How did that hot take work out for Chamblee? Koepka went on to finish in the top 4 of the four majors, including a runner-up finish at the Masters in mid-April, defending his PGA Championship title the next month and a second-place finish at the U.S. Open in June. He won the WGC event in Memphis and finished the season ranked No.1 in the world. He had nine top 10 finishes on his way to being named the PGA of America Player of the Year.


Koepka, 29, made more than $16 million this season in official earnings and bonuses.


Koepka, who is among 21 athletes featured in the issue, lashed back at his critics last month.


"It's one of those things where all these people that talk crap and whatever on social media, they don't have the balls to do it and they wouldn't look that good," he said.


Koepka, who weighed about 210 pounds during the Tour Championship, said he lost the weight for the photo shoot by meal prepping, counting calories, going to the gym regularly and doing cardio.


tom_dangelo@pbpost.com


@tomdangelo44