Sean Foley has coached the great Tiger Woods and more recently Justin Rose, but he has now joined forces with New Zealand’s Lydia Ko ahead of the LPGA restart at Toledo, Ohio this week.
Speaking with NZ Golf Magazine, Foley confirmed he has taken on one of the most talked-about roles in New Zealand sports after it was reported that Ko had parted way with swing coach Jorge Parada.
“I am coaching Lydia,” Foley responded when asked if he was now coaching Ko.
“Back to being Lydia.”
Foley currently coaches 2-time PGA Tour Winner, Cameron Champ and 2016 Masters Champion, Danny Willett and has now added Ko to this group.
Foley has suggested that his approach with Ko has been to go back down memory lane and look at what made her one of the ‘most dominant teenage amateur golfers in the history of golf’.
“It’s tough to explain what we are doing,” Foley said.
“I am just challenging her to find what is already inside of her.
“I am answering her questions and just stripping all of the noise away.
“As you aware she is amazing but was a young woman having to deal with fame and the limelight.
“The light points to what is right about you, not what is wrong with you. She is a lovely person and has a focus I have rarely seen.”
In recent days Foley has been showing images and videos of Ko and her swing again suggesting the new approach will be more about finding the positives from the past and bringing them back into her game.
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Spent the morning with @lydsko and her trainer @damientaglione, who trains @thevaultperformance. I feel that it is imperative to have members of the team supporting a player to be in communication with one another. It is all about dropping your ego and working together to benefit the player the most. Too many different ideas or crossed-up messages will certainly harm the player. Clarity is the most important gift you can give a player. #coach #performance #peace
Foley is the newest in a long list of coaches that have managed Ko since parting way with long time mentor David Leadbetter in 2016.
It is interesting that Foley lists watching David Leadbetter work with Nick Faldo on the range at the RBC Canadian Open in 1988 as the catalyst for wanting to be a teacher of elite players.
It was reported earlier by NZME that Jorge Parada was no longer the swing coach for the two-time major winner, saying the breakup was mainly down to the coronavirus pandemic.
“She just gave me a call and I thought she was gonna call me to FaceTime me and do some swing work for an hour or half hour or so. [But] she called me and told me [the news],” Parada said to NZME.
“I don’t know exactly what the reasoning was. I know we ended up on very good terms.”
Ko is set to tee off in the LPGA Drive On Championship event starting Friday in Ohio.