Currently, Korea is officially dominating women’s golf with 11 Korean women in the top 20 world rankings. They further boast a total of 23 Korean women in the top 50, whilst KT Kim, the highest male ranked golfer ranks in at only 53rd in the world. We are well aware of Korean work ethics. On the LPGA tour they are first to arrive on the range and always last to leave the range, yet the Korean men have the same work ethics but are not as successful, what’s the difference?
LPGA courses are shorter and favour less of a power-game than PGA courses, and Korean women are the most ‘precise’ golfers in the world. Because length is comparatively less important on the women’s tour than men’s this is why Korean women are thriving on the LPGA , with their consistent swings and pressure tested games from a young age developed from a society that doesn’t accept second place.
This is where I get to my main point of this article, how can western women compete with eastern women in professional women’s golf? Western woman are working hard on their distances to compare to eastern precision. The two Western women in the top 5, Lexi Thompson and Brooke Henderson, are also ranked well in the top 10 in driving distance. The two Korean women in the top 5, Lydia Ko and Inbee Park are both outside the top 100 driving distances. You might ask why is it that the Korean’s have that unbeatable work ethic? And why does Western woman not pick up their socks and learn to train like they do?
Korean parents are thought by westerners to be over-bearing and strict in rearing and bringing up their kids but in their culture reputation is very important which makes parents and children alike motivated to make a name for themselves and be recognised as successful. Their children outside of school each day spend an extra 3-5 hours on extra tuition, courses and studying. Competition is fierce in Korea with limited opportunities for good universities to attend.
Children will do whatever is necessary to outperform the others, the same goes for Korean kids who decide to take up golf seriously.
Parents feel the stakes are high and will help in any way possible for their child to succeed. Even Koreans raised outside of Korea’s competitiveness will be brought up abroad to have the same work ethic and success that follows, a good local example would be South Africa’s Carrie Park who is currently doing the best so far out of all the other South African woman playing LPGA qualifiers.
Where westerners call their parenting ‘pushing’ Koreans call it necessary support, rarely was there ever a champion made without the support of a parent.
Another great example is Tiger Woods. He had the killer combination of a military American father that would complement his mother’s Asian work ethics. The odds are against the Western women having that ‘necessary support’ which the average Korean parent would have instilled.
This is proven statistically in the top 100 ranked woman golfers with 34 being Korean. Albeit with the right upbringing our Western society would have thrown a few curve balls (distraction’s) along the way that most Western parenting would not have been strong enough to withstand.
Written by Tijana Kraljevic and edited by Rayana Edwards UniMedia Pro