Golf: How Ko's pro video was shot

By Kris Shannon

Lydia Ko. Picture / AP
Lydia Ko. Picture / AP

After an unprecedented amateur career, Lydia Ko marked her move to the professional ranks in appropriately unique fashion.

The video of Israel Dagg pestering the 16-year-old about her professional status while playing a round at Gulf Harbour was a project shrouded in secrecy and has now made headlines around the world.

It was the brainchild of Auckland production/advertising agency Augusto, which wanted to capture Ko's personality in a way that would have been impossible were her announcement made more traditionally at a press conference.

Video

There was a certain serendipity to how the video came together, with Dagg and Ko set to feature this summer in New Zealand Golf's new Love Golf campaign and booked to film at Gulf Harbour on Monday.

Augusto's original concept featured Dagg, a handy golfer, trying to beat the world's fourth-ranked female player, but when Ko's mother revealed a fortnight ago her daughter was beginning the process of becoming a professional, a different idea was formed.

Augusto contacted NZG chief executive Dean Murphy and pitched the idea of Dagg coaxing Ko into turning pro, an announcement the teenager was already about to make public this week.

"Dean immediately loved the idea and he had been told by Lydia that she was reluctant to do a press conference, because the news had already half been told," said John Foley, part of the team behind the video.

"[Ko and her mother] absolutely loved it so it was like, 'Okay, now we have to go into lockdown'. We knew that it would fall over if everyone knew we were going to do it."

Only two at NZG were told, along with limited numbers at Augusto, and Dagg was even kept in the dark about the change until the day of shooting.

There remained the possibility of the idea being scrapped if something was amiss when the cameras starting rolling.

But there was evident chemistry between Ko and Dagg, who had previously met at the New Zealand Women's Open in February.

"We knew to bring out the best in Lydia, a 16-year-old girl who had never done this before, Izzy Dagg had to be the perfect personality to do it," Foley said.

"Lydia was in awe about playing golf with an All Black and Izzy almost had a sleepless night worrying about playing golf with Lydia. For different reasons, they were both really nervous about it, even though they knew each other. But the chemistry was just magic."

The footage took four hours to film, allowing time for other groups to play through the well-known twosome, and left Augusto with a busy day of editing, intent on releasing the video while the cat remained in the bag.

After the protagonists tweeted in co-ordination the final product, the video has been viewed 40,000 times on YouTube and by hundreds of thousands more having featured on the like of USA Today and the Golf Channel.

Ko was thrilled with the outcome and found the response on social media to be "crazy".

"It was a fun day at Gulf Harbour," she said. "Izzy is a great guy and I thought the final video was really funny. It was a great way for me to confirm that I was turning professional."

- APNZ

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