More than a Game

Lydia Ko
If golf shoes are not comfortable I'm not going to wear them.

Lydia Ko

LPGA Tour Player of the Year 2022

Lydia Ko

From child prodigy to World Number One in the blink of an eye - Lydia Ko's career as a teenager on the world stage was unlike any other. After another stellar season that saw the Kiwi winning her second LPGA Player of the Year Award, Lydia is still the most dominant force in women`s golf.

You won your first professional golf tournament at the age of 14. How do you stay motivated when you've achieved so much at such a young age?
Golf itself keeps us pretty humble. It's a very challenging sport - one day you feel that everything is clicking and the next day you have no idea where your game has gone. I love that challenging aspect of golf and no matter what ranked player you are or how well you are playing, there is always something that you can get better at. There is no perfect score - compared to bowling, for example, where you can hit a perfect number. That in itself keeps me motivated and, of course, seeing how well a lot of the ladies on tour are playing is a great motivation and inspiration for me to keep working hard and hopefully put myself in contention more often.

What is it that you look for in a golf shoe?
We spend a long part of the day in our golf shoes. Most of our rounds take five hours and with practice it adds up pretty quick. That's why for me the most important question is: are they comfortable? In fact it does not matter to me if it`s golf shoes or high heels. If golf shoes are not comfortable, I'm not going to wear them.
Do you need to break new shoes in or do you take them out of the box straight into tournament play?
Before I was with ECCO I needed some time before a tournament to break in new shoes. Sometimes I even needed to plaster my heels to not get blisters from new shoes. But now, hand to my heart, I can put a new ECCO shoe straight in to play before a tournament or even on a Friday like I did at the 2020 British Open. I know from experience that I don't need a breaking in process with new ECCO shoes because of the materials and their build quality.

Representing my country at a stage like the Olympics was maybe the best experience I ever had on a golf course.

Do you wear different models and types of golf shoes for varying course conditions?
The great thing about ECCO is the choice of shoe available; I know that I will get just as much traction from the hybrid models as the spiked ones. I've been using the a spiked model since the British Open, but I've also used SOFT CASUAL as well for pretty much a year because I love how they sit so low to the ground. We play in all sorts of different conditions and weather, so to have the option of hybrids or spikes is great. No matter if it's dry or the grass is still wet, I know I get good traction from my ECCO shoes and I'm not going to slip when I'm hitting a shot.

Would you say you feel a performance difference between a hybrid and a spiked sole?
The ones that I'm wearing actually have spikes and elements of the hybrid sole mixed in. I've never had any problems with slipping when playing in hybrid shoes. I even played the Scottish Open, a tournament that can provide some real challenges in terms of weather conditions, in hybrid shoes and never had any problems with traction or stability.
Is matching the colours of your shoes and your outfit important to you? How many pair of shoes do you normally take to a tournament?
If I'm on the road for longer I might take three pairs with me but normally I travel with a couple of pairs of shoes. In that case with the current model of shoes I'm wearing I like the plain white ones because it just matches so well with almost everything. Those shoes are subtle and offer a great mix of being sporty, athletic and a classic golfwear look. I like to pack black or blue models as well, because there's always a hint of white, black or blue in my golf outfit. I do like to mix and match to what colour of clothes I'm wearing that day.

How high would you rank your Silver Medal in Rio amongst your impressive list of achievements?
It's up there close to my major championship wins. I think I went to Rio as the number one player in the world so there was a lot of expectation to win a medal, especially at a smaller field event.

For me, even though I wasn't the gold medalist, winning the first silver medal in women's golf in over a hundred years was a huge honour. Representing my country at a stage like the Olympics was maybe the best experience I ever had on a golf course.
Was it hard for you to accept that the Tokyo Olympics has been pushed back a year? Or did it suit your preparations?
As golfers we are very lucky that we have constant tournaments on our tours. We have other major championships to play at even if the Tokyo Olympics have been pushed back to 2021. For some sports and some athletes their moment that they work towards for four years is the Olympics. For them, the games being pushed back is a lot harder to take because it means 12 more months of physical and psychological hard work. As golfers we can be very grateful that we have other opportunities. That's why, for us, it`s not that big of a deal.

I love that challenging aspect of golf and no matter what ranked player you are or how well you are playing, there is always something that you can get better at.

You mentioned the 30 years milestone as a potential ending point for your career. Does that plan still stand?
That is still were my goal is at. I talked to other players and a lot of them said that their goal was 32. And when they got to 30 they started to realise that there's nothing like golf. Golf was such a big part of their lives and it's so great to be out here and playing with friends, even when you are competing against each other. So who knows? That goal might change but at the moment I'm still thinking 30. I would like to finish my studies, maybe have a family. But even if I stop playing professional golf, I'm sure there will always be a connection to golf after that as well.
Lydia Ko

Bo-Gyung "Lydia" Ko

Born: April 24th, 1997
Hometown: Seoul, South Korea
Turned professional: 2013
Professional wins: 32
Career highlights:
  • 2012 & 2013 CN Canadian Women's Open (LPGA Tour, as an amateur)
  • 2013, 2015 & 2016 ISPS Handa New Zealand Women's Open (Ladies European Tour)
  • 2015 & 2022 LPGA Player of the Year
  • 2015 The Evian Championship (Major)
  • 2016 ANA Inspiration (Major)
  • 2018 LPGA Mediheal Championship (LPGA Tour)
  • 2021 Lotte Championship (LPGA Tour)
  • 2021 Aramco Saudi Ladies International (Ladies European Tour)
  • 2022 Race to CME Globe Champion
  • 2022 Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio (LPGA Tour)
  • 2022 BMW Ladies Championship (LPGA Tour)
  • 2022 CME Group Tour Championship (LPGA Tour)
  • 2023 Aramco Saudi Ladies International (Ladies European Tour)

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