Lydia Ko left golf instructor David Leadbetter in December after working together for three years. Following is the announcement of her new coach.
Howey-in-the Hills, Fla.; February 9, 2017 – The #1 ranked women's golfer Lydia Ko has officially partnered with Gary Gilchrist. After spending over a month at the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy at Mission Inn Resort & Club, Ko feels confident in the new team she has built in the off-season, including having Gilchrist as her new swing coach.
"Everybody here (at GGGA) tries to make it fun. We're obviously working on things, but we're trying to have a good time. Even before coming here, I had heard that Gary is not only a great coach, but he's a "cheerleader" - he’s here to support." says Ko. "In golf, it can feel so individual… You have to feel like you have a team around you that will make it fun, no matter what the situation is."
Ko is walking into the season with a new team, new equipment and new goals. Gilchrist and Ko have been honing in on her long game while working on the ownership of her swing. "That’s been the real difference for me. It's been very simple. Making it into a natural swing instead of putting me into place." says Ko. "I started over-thinking myself in my last season - and when you're over-thinking and you're over the ball - that is not a good combination."
For Coach Gilchrist, the opportunity to work with Lydia Ko is an honor that comes with a lot of responsibility. There is no missing Gilchrist's passion for the game and building champions. For him, it is much more than technical training, and when starting off with a new player, Gilchrist focuses on the positive that is going unnoticed.
"In the beginning, I try to build confidence through consistency, and from there begin to build their game," says Gilchrist. "That is the art of coaching to me... it is not to get into somebody's head - it's to get into somebody's heart. If you follow your heart, you'll get there quickly. It will change your mindset right away... Improving your club face can get you somewhere, but improving your outlook can get you anywhere in life."
"Coaches are not something you change very often, and I hope this (partnership) goes a long way. I like what we've done. It's been good progress without being too much to work on… I'm excited to go out and play," says Ko.
Gilchrist also coaches some of the best players in golf including current LPGA Tour world #2 player Ariya Jutanugarn, world #4 Shanshan Feng, former #1 Yani Tseng, 10-time winner Paula Creamer, 2013 Rookie-of-the-Year Moriya Jutanugarn, and PGA Tour player Morgan Hoffmann.
"What I do every single day is my passion. Now, getting to coach the best players in the world… that is the cherry on top," says Gilchrist.