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Saturday, 5 August 2017

Lydia Ko

I've been loving watching all the links golf we've been treated to this past month or so. Watching the ladies play Kingsbarns, a course I really love, has been a treat. I really enjoy watching the ladies play. I think, for the average golfer, they can probably teach us more than watching the flat-bellies on the PGA tour who play a game with which most of us will never be familiar.

Watching the ladies we see players play courses about the same length as most of us play and hitting about the same clubs we might use under similar circumstances. They show us what can be done with good rhythm and a good shortgame. They are amazing to watch.

I couldn't help but notice that the seemingly "can't miss kid," Lydia Ko has been struggling of late. She has seemingly gone from being an unflappable golfing savant to someone who now seems to have to "work" at the game. I don't claim to know the reason for this loss of form in Lydia's case. But she seems to be an example of what Bobby Jones said about golf. He said that golf was the only game that becomes more difficult the longer you play it. Why that is, I don't know. But it's often true.

I know that Lydia has made changes. She's made swing changes. She's changed equipment. She's changed caddies... And, unfortunately, in golf when you make changes in order to hopefully get better, you sometimes get worse; at least in the short term. There are always going to be those who suggest ways to improve. And, in golf, you experience inevitable peaks and valleys in your game. But I think any changes are made at your peril in this game. And, at least in Lydia's case, I'd have been saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

In Lydia Ko we had a golfing prodigy. She was simply crazy good at a young age. She was a genius at making a score. She wasn't a power player. She just played the game better than everyone else. Let's hope she finds a way to get back to being at or near the top of the pack and that the time being spent in golfing purgatory doesn't mess up her head. Because, ultimately, as in the case of most great champions, what separated Lydia from the pack was the five or so inches between her ears. Golf is a mind game.