Six-time PGA Tour winner Rocco Mediate has some simple advice for Kiwi golfer Lydia Ko: `Don't change too much.'

Mediate is one of the more notable names lining up at this week's revamped New Zealand Open, which gets underway at The Hills and Millbrook Resort tomorrow.

The 51-year-old, who now plays predominantly on the Champions Tour, has seen his share of golfers try and overcomplicate things during their careers and said Ko, who has switched equipment suppliers and coaches since turning professional, didn't need to clutter her game.

Ko, the world No 4, recently signed an endorsement deal with club supplier Callaway and although Mediate said he didn't follow a lot of women's golf, Ko's name was one he had read up on.


"I know all about her. I hope she doesn't mess around with this equipment stuff because I kind of see that and I kind of know what's going on, that's the most dangerous thing these kids can go in to is this [money] for equipment,'' Mediate said as he rubbed his fingers and thumb together to indicate money.

"Play with what you've got, do what you can do with what you have because you know you're really good with it and then in five or 10 years you can dabble with something else because that's how I look at it. No-one ever offered me that much money to play [with their] clubs but I don't play for anybody now because I don't want to deal with it, I want to play with my own stuff and do whatever I want.''

After joining the paid ranks late last year Ko split with long-time coach Guy Wilson to link with American David Leadbetter and Sean Hogan of the Leadbetter Golf Academy.

Mediate again urged caution over changing too much with Ko's swing, which he said looked good.

"I hope she doesn't mess with that because what she has obviously works pretty well. So lets not go and find some new guy to destroy it because that's what will happen, you mark my words. If she goes and messes around with other teachers it's not going to work. Just refine what you have and get better around the green and putt. That's all you've got to do.''

Ko has made a solid start to her first full season as a professional and finished in a tie for 19th at the LPGA Thailand event last weekend. She also finished in a share of seventh in the Bahamas last month and tied for third at the Women's Australian Open two weeks ago.

25 Feb, 2014 5:00am
2 minutes to read

The 16-year-old claimed outright second at the New Zealand Women's Open at Clearwater earlier this month.