Former World No 1 Lydia Ko might only be 21-years-old, but she is the player that many turn to for advice, and as far as her game is concerned, it's back on track.
As the next edition of Women & Golf hits the shelves this Friday, here’s a sneak preview of what you can expect from columnist Lewine Mair’s interview with Lydia Ko this month.
Lydia Ko has a wonderfully enquiring little mind. The moment she has finished a round and signed her card, she is as keen to catch up with what has been going on in the outside world as she is to talk about her own play.
The truth is that she has done a lot of catching up since 2016, the most recent of her ‘great years’ and one in which she had a first, a second and a third place finish in the women’s majors. For the moment at least, things are a little less hectic in that she has had just the one victory across the last two years.
Though she has currently taken a break from her online psychology studies in order to prioritise her golf, there is no question that her first two and a half years of that University-of- Korea linked course widened her horizons. Lydia has always said that she does not intend to play golf much beyond the age of 30 but now, as she approaches 22, she is pretty sure that she would like to work as a counsellor.
All of which maybe explains why she was taking more than a passing interest in the spate of bad behaviour on the men’s PGA Tour at the turn of this year.
First, there was Sergio Garcia roughing up five of the greens at the Saudi Invitational.
“I’m sure he didn’t set out to ruffle up the greens. However, there are times when your head is about to pop that it’s better to let it out than to keep holding things in. Letting it out is never a bad thing as long as it doesn’t hurt other people.”
It’s a bit unfair that everyone should ask Ko for her views on this, that and the next thing when she is still so very young. Yet of all the women playing in the recent WGC Women’s World Championship in Singapore, she was way the best qualified to comment on the latest arrivals on the world golf scene. Namely, the Saudis and the steps they have taken thus far to encourage girls.
Those Saudi officials behind this new drive had clearly had Ko in mind when, a year or so ago, they called for some words of advice from the Korean and New Zealand golfing fraternities as to where they might begin.
Ko listened with interest to the news borne by Women & Golf as to how the Korean representative, when he arrived in Jeddah, had explained that a Korean girls’ squad would be expected to practise for four hours every morning and for another four hours after lunch. And she gave a knowing nod when she learned that the Saudis had taken no time at all to realise that their daughters would never be prevailed upon to work that hard.
Her next observation concerned how she herself had long ago come to the conclusion that golfers did well to have rather more than merely than a single aim of becoming a world-beater of a golfer.
“Professional golfers,” she advised, “need a Plan B as well as a Plan A - and that’s what I got through being brought up in New Zealand. I enjoyed being at school and I’ve enjoyed my online degree course in psychology - at least what I have done of it so far.”
This is just a snippet of Lydia Ko's full interview in the latest issue of Women & Golf magazine. You can pick up Women & Golf, on sale from Friday 19 April, or click here to subscribe now to read the full feature and enjoy W&G delivered to your door!