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Golf:Lydia Ko’s Clanger?

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Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland

“Ko began changing to David Leadbetter's A swing about two years ago in an effort to find more length off the tee by learning how to draw the ball – moving it from right to left – which has made her less accurate without noticeably increasing her distance.” That’s from Stuff.

Lydia like so many
A clanger is defined as, “An absurd or embarrassing blunder,” and whilst it may be overly-dramatic to suggest Lydia’s search for more length is absurd we need only to reflect on the number of top golfers who at the top of their game fought for more length and failed. There’s another Kiwi golfer called Michael Campbell and who’s evidence of this phenomenon. And in more recent times Englishman Luke Donald.

Ditching the A Swing
Stuff advises us that, “World No 1 Lydia Ko's changes may not be limited to her caddie with suggestions the Kiwi golfer is ditching the A swing,” and details references from keen observers of Lydia’s swing.”

“But golf writer Steve Eubanks, of, believes she has started to move back to her old swing.
"Whatever the reasons, Ko's swing was different," he wrote after watching her hit balls in Incheon.
"Not drastically. She hasn't gone through an overhaul. But, from the perspective of someone who has watched her since she was a sophomore in high school, the move in Asia seemed closer to her swing two years ago – a time when she almost never missed a fairway – than the one she has sported for most of this year."

Eubanks was not the only observer to comment on the change.
"That's a different back-swing," said television golf analyst Karen Stupples after watching Ko hit one drive in Incheon.
And Jeff Martin of P3 Golf says that reliable sources have told him that the Ko camp has concluded the A swing is not working and "the off-season will be devoted to recapturing her old swing".”

So what’s the A Swing?
I believe it’s true to write that it was apparent to most keen observers that Lydia’s take-away and backswing has changed in recent times, and there’s a post by 2tcreative over at Reddit which describes this aspect of the A Swing

“The main difference is in the take-away and backswing. It puts the clubhead outside the hands until about hip high, then the right hand cocks it straight up while the core of the body coils to move the clubhead slightly across the line. So the backswing has the club almost straight up or actually leaning forward in the same angle as the spine. From there you move weight to the left which slots the club into a shallow plane. This creates a V-like angle to the early backswing angle. From there you turn through the shot, holding the angle in the right wrist through impact and then release it under the left hand (not rolling over).”

Good luck Lydia
The season-ending Tour Championship begins on November 17 in Florida and here’s hoping that whatever Lydia’s doing will improve on, “A rough patch with her ball-striking which is reflected by her poor results over the past two months, including a tied 43rd last weekend when she hit just half the fairways and 57 per cent of greens.

Link to Stuff  and 2t creative

Quote of the Day
“Close to home, New Zealander Craig Perks won the Players' Championship and, with the security of guaranteed status on the PGA Tour, promptly began swing changes. He never won again.
Ian Baker-Finch won the British Open in 1991 and decided to change his swing to gain extra distance off the tee (sound familiar). A few years later he retired to the commentary booth, his game in ruins.” – From Stuff dated 28/05/2014 under the headline, “Lydia Ko flirting with a swing failure.”


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