In Gee Chun wins the Evian Championship 2016 at the aged of 22. She is one of nine Koreans in the top twenty of the event. There are many perspectives and opinions of what exactly it is that makes Koreans lead at every level of women’s golf.
Some argue that the focus of play is around precision, because many of them are generally short and cannot drive as long as the ladies in Europe and America. Another theory is that Korean fathers push their daughters harder than dads elsewhere.
If one looks at the stats over the last two decades, then it’s easy to see that the Korean Tsunami has long hit the women’s tour and that it will take more than another decade for the rest of the world to catch up. This group of Korean women golfers have highhandedly popularized women’s golf globally with consistency and presence in big numbers at golfing events globally. If you google most women’s golf websites and other social media platforms you see the Korean faces, apparel and celebrating victories, while many of the players of Europe and America are past their sell by dates.
Just like how the IPL cricket revolutionized cricket, the Koreans are taking the game away from the rest of the world and have comfortably made it their own and dictating the direction the sport is heading.
Above all else, what is the bottom line here with economic constrictions, accessibility to courses and political tensions , it simply comes down to determination and family pride.
Some additional interesting info about women’s golf in Korea
- Lydia Ko at the age of 14 years became the youngest woman ever to win a professional golf tournament.
- South Korea is a small, crowded country. It has only 0.7% of the world’s population, and hardly any room for golf courses. Yet four of the top 10 female golfers in the world are Korean, as are 38 of the top 100 and 144 of the top 500. In the same breathe let me remind you that these figure are changing all the time.
- With all the ideas we may have about Korean women’s golf, there are several points we are overlooking and that is, Korea’s lack of space means that girls start off hitting balls at a driving range instead of playing a proper course.
- Another fact about the Korean culture is, that it stresses constant repetition in pursuit of perfection. That’s how calligraphers and taekwondo masters train. It’s also a good way to develop a reliable and solid golf swing.
And the last interesting point for this article is that Koreans have a tendency to follow trends. When Ms Pak won the US Women’s Open at Blackwolf Run in 1998 and became a national heroine, not many Korean women played golf. Immediately afterwards, bands of Korean girls took up the game. Within a decade, they wining, dominating and influencing the trend of women’s golf.
“Its all about the Swing”