Ko: New coach won't 'rip my swing apart'

By Michael Burgess

LPGA World No.1 women's golfer Lydia Ko during her visit to Windross Farm Golf Club, Ardmore, South Auckland, this morning. 08 February 2017 New Zealand Herald photograph by Brett Phibbs.
LPGA World No.1 women's golfer Lydia Ko during her visit to Windross Farm Golf Club, Ardmore, South Auckland, this morning. 08 February 2017 New Zealand Herald photograph by Brett Phibbs.

A new coach, some subtle tweaks to her swing and a different mind set have put Lydia Ko in a good space ahead of the 2017 season.

The two-time major winner confirmed Gary Gilchrist as her new swing coach today, after splitting with David Leadbetter late last year.

Ko has been working with Gilchrist - who also coaches World No 2 Ariya Jutanugarn - for the past month and said she didn't really consider anyone else.

After three years with Leadbetter, who has been criticised for his attempts to radically reshape Ko's swing, the 19-year-old was looking forward to a less complicated approach.

"When I talked to the other players that are with Gary, they said he [keeps things] very simple and not very mechanical," said Ko.

"I tried a few lessons with him and I felt like it was very simple and he wouldn't rip my swing apart, and that is really important."

Ko didn't forsee any issues with sharing a coach with Jutanugarn, one of her biggest rivals on tour.

"It just shows how good a coach Gary of is," said Ko. "It's not necessarily a rivalry thing, it just gives me confidence he's a great coach and this will be good going forward."

In her short time with Gilchrist, Ko said they have already made some changes to her technique.

"[We have] worked more on the setup and that will change the swing itself," said Ko. "They are subtle changes.

It might not even look so different but to me it feels different and [has] cleared up my mind. If I keep my swing as simple as possible then I'm confident."

Gilchrist, who like Ko is also based in Florida, told Radio Sport today that he wanted to help Ko rediscover her enjoyment of the game and rebuild her confidence.

"[It's about] having a common goal which for her was to start enjoying the game again," said Gilchrist.

"I think for her it started to get a bit over technical - which wasn't I'm sure the goal of David - that's how she started to struggle a little bit with that [enjoyment]. [And] I think at times she was started to lose a little bit of confidence in her driving."

Gilchrist's appointment caps a series of changes for Ko, after switching to PXG clubs and selecting a new caddy (Gary Matthews).

But perhaps the most important change is her mind set, with a sense she wants more control of her own destiny.

"Sometimes changes happen," said Ko. "But I am making the decisions because I think it is the right one and I hope it is the right one going forward."

"I'm trying to take more ownership of my game, able to take that club that is the right one and then own it.

Always going to be great people around me but I can't always rely on them."

Today's media conference at Windross Farm Golf Club in South Auckland was to promote September's McKayson New Zealand Women's Open, which will be the first LPGA event to be staged in this country.

"It gets more exciting each time I am home and come to this course that I realise that we have an LPGA event coming here," said Ko. "I think the girls will just love this course and I look forward to hosting them."

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW
Stats provided by

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf05 at 30 May 2017 00:03:50 Processing Time: 398ms