Sean Foley Thrilled with Lydia Ko’s Progress After LPGA Restart

New Coach Sean Foley Thrilled with Lydia Ko - AIG British Open (R&A)
Lydia Ko - AIG British Open (R&A)

Lydia Ko’s new coach Sean Foley said he is thrilled with her progress after being away on the LPGA for the last five weeks.

The series of tournaments saw Ko return to familiar courses and familiar form, her worst finish was a tie for 28th with her best finish coming at the Marathon LPGA Classic where she finished in a tie for second.

In a social media post from his first training session with Ko since the 5-week run, Foley said she came back looking better than when she left.

“Spent the morning with @lydsko and was very excited by what I saw,” Foley wrote on Instagram.

“I was thrilled with this for two reasons.

“1.) She completely OVERSTANDS what she is working on, so from this simple understanding she is able to stay in her lane and not tinker around trying to find perfection.

“2.) After playing and traveling for 5 weeks on different courses, different turf conditions and wind directions, the TO DO LIST we have created together done daily is enough to sustain the skill we need to be competitive.”

As reported by NZ Golf Magazine in July, Foley said his approach with Ko would be 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’.

Today Foley mentioned the Marshmallow experiment as a key to Ko’s new success.

The Stanford marshmallow experiment was a study on delayed gratification in 1972 where a child was offered a choice between one small but immediate reward (usually a marshmallow), or two small rewards if they waited for a period of time.

Researchers found that children who were able to wait longer for the preferred rewards tended to have better life outcomes.

“Golf is hard most of the time and it is very easy to go down the road of too much self-experimentation, and my observations of avid golfers is that they change almost daily on what they are working on, and never really improve anything because they don’t work on something long enough to see the fruits of their labor,” Foley said.

“Delayed gratitude is the key to success, instant gratitude will have you shackled in the ego’s estimate of life.”


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In the videos that were posted of Ko by Foley showed her hitting balls from three different tee heights.

“One ball is teed as high as possible, the next one half of the tee in the ground,” Foley explained.

“Finally the third one is on the ground.

“Lydia’s tendency is to get ahead of it with too much shaft lean. Her reaction is to stand up and back out.

“She is the best version of herself when she is able to rotate and release the club. This skill/drill has really helped to compliment her natural movements again. And the really cool news is that we are carrying driver 25 yards further than before quarantine.

“Had one today carry 257, which was very impressive. Speed is important but not as much delayed gratification.”

The positiveness from Foley seems to be rubbing off with Ko both in training and on the course.

The New Zealander sits in 14th position on the LPGA Tour’s season-long Race to CME Globe and has picked up 14 places in the World Rankings.

She now has a week off before teeing it up in another major championship at the ANA Inspiration.

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