Women’s golf world No. 1 Jin Young Ko, 28, who has returned to form with two wins this season, has been working hard with swing coach Yi Xiu during her short break to prepare for upcoming major tournaments.
With her second win of the season at the Cognizant Founders Cup on the U.S. Women’s Professional Golf (LPGA) Tour, which concluded on Friday, Ko regained the world No. 1 ranking she lost last November and completely shook off a brief slump due to a wrist injury. With two wins in the first half of the season alone, Ko has climbed to No. 1 in stroke average, No. 2 in player of the year and No. 3 in money earnings, raising hopes that she will win the Triple Crown (No. 1 in player of the year, money earnings and stroke average) for the first time in four years after 2019.
Despite his perfect comeback, Ko was still not satisfied. He hadn’t reached the level of play that he was satisfied with. In particular, some of her swings, which she had refined over the past winter, felt disjointed, so she called her South Korean swing coach, Lee Siu, to the United States.
The window of opportunity was short-lived. After taking a break from the Bank of Hope Match Play after the Founders Cup, Ko will play in the Mizuho America’s Open, which begins on June 1. She will then play the ShopRite Classic before taking a short break to play all four majors through August, including the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, U.S. Women’s Open, Evian Championship and AIG Women’s Open.
After meeting with her swing coach, Ko was eager to get started and spent a week working hard on her game. He set up a training camp at Trinity Golf Club near Dallas, Texas, where he lives, and sweated and sweated and sweated every day.
“Until I won the HSBC World Championship in March, I had just finished the training camp and had good ball contact and was hitting shots as I wanted, but as I played more and more, I lost contact and made mistakes such as some cut shots, and I couldn’t produce good results, especially with wedge shots.” “Because of that, I couldn’t make birdies on the par-5 holes throughout the match at the Founders Cup,” said swing coach Lee Siu in a phone interview with E-Daily. “That’s why I was frustrated at the Founders Cup because I couldn’t make birdies on par-5s throughout the match, so I focused on correcting those two things in training. With two wins in the first half of the year, it’s a satisfying result, but one that sets the stage for even better results the rest of the season.
A “cut shot” is a sharp swing that doesn’t change the direction of the ball much, but creates unnecessary spin and doesn’t travel as far as it should. Players often describe this cut shot as “flying,” and when this mistake occurs on a wedge shot that needs to be hit accurately, it makes it difficult to keep the ball close to the hole, making it difficult to make birdies on par-5 holes where wedges are often used.
“Although Jin Young Ko won the Founders Cup, he was very disappointed that his performance was not 100% satisfactory,” said Lee. “He needs to make birdies, especially on the par-5s, to perform well in the upcoming majors, and it is important for him to improve his ball contact skills and wedge shot precision.”
After more than five years of world-class form, Ko continues to battle with herself. She is more concerned with maintaining a level of performance that she is happy with than with the results. Even when she had a bad year last year due to a wrist injury, it wasn’t because she was performing poorly, but because she wasn’t satisfied with her performance.
According to her swing coach, Ko didn’t have much time to work on her game, so she didn’t waste any time in order to produce the results she wanted.
“He trained so much that the blisters on his palms were peeling off,” says the coach. “He checked his swing during rounds, practiced, checked, practiced, checked, checked, and identified the problems and corrected them immediately and intensively. We both worked hard to produce good results in a short period of one week, and as a result, Jin Young Ko was satisfied and had more faith in his game. I expect even better results in the rest of the season,” he said of the training.
“I had been working hard on my own for about three months, but my swing pattern was not in the direction I thought it should be,” said Ko, who posted on social media after the training with Lee. “I had no choice but to practice a lot to the point of physical pain for about two to three days, and every time I gripped the grip, I heard an ‘evil’ sound, but I persevered to make the swing I wanted with a professional who had traveled a long way to the United States.” He summarized the results of the training.
“We’re eight tournaments into the 2023 season and there’s still a lot of tournaments to go,” he said. “I have to dive into the competitive life again. I’m looking forward to sharing some happy news with my fans who have been supporting me since (interruption).”안전놀이터
The LPGA Tour hosts four majors every two to three weeks from June through early August. Ko, who has 15 career LPGA Tour wins, hasn’t won a major since the 2019 ANA Inspiration (now Chevron Championship) and Evian Championship. That’s why she’s not satisfied with two wins.