• Kiwi Golfer Lydia Ko Plunges Sacrificing Accuracy for Distance Chase

    Lydia Ko, the New Zealand national from South Korea has slipped from the top of the world rankings to a current position of 19th, but the sky is not falling.

    Ko is only 22 and if she decides to stay of her current path of a professional golfer, it would be reasonable to speculate that barring the unforeseen, she could be relevant for another two decades.

    Some might say that hers is a case of too much success too soon, so a slip was inevitable. Perhaps it was.

    There are numerous reasons why she is not where she once was, but as any professional golfer can attest, the thing that will sink someone faster than anything else is the simple failure to make putts when those putts truly matter.

    Whether a failure to make a two-metre putt to card or birdie or to make a putt of the same distance to avoid a bogey, the failure to make more than missed, in a sport where success and failure is determined by fractions of a percentage, supplies an object lesson in humility that all the champion golfers over the course of time have encountered.

    Ko is currently 36th on the money list of the LPGA, but the pack is so tightly bunched that one good finish could easily move her well up that list.

    Other observers say that Ko’s lack of distance off the tee, by comparison to other golfers, is the cause for her struggles.

    Ko has actually improved in that category, but some of the other women have left her behind.

    Distance off the tee is the statistic that impresses, but without accuracy, the advantage loses relevance rapidly.

    Ko, unfortunately has bought into the myth that distance off the tee supersedes accuracy and her quest for more distance has cost her the accuracy that was her strength.

    A simple survey would prove this assertion.

    Start with Tiger Woods and work your way down to the hacker level we willingly enjoy, asking, “Which would you prefer, 100 metres to the green from the deep rough or a fairway bunker, or 120 metres from the middle of the fairway and at least 80 percent of the respondents will say that in most instances, they will take the fairway with the extra distance every time.