The third Lydia Ko scholarship was completed last month with Amelia Garvey and Rose Zheng enjoying their time learning from one of New Zealand’s best golfers, Lydia Ko.
The Lydia Ko scholarship was designed to inspire the next generation of woman golfers to strive for the top, to see what it takes to get there and ultimately help grow the number of New Zealanders competing with Ko on the world’s richest golf circuit for women, the LPGA Tour.
On this occasion Garvey and Zheng were the worthy scholarship recipients, traveling to Scottsdale in Arizona to spend time with Ko, as well as some of the key people in her team, as she prepares for the 2018 LPGA Tour season.
The opportunity to see behind the scenes and to see Ko preparing for the season ahead gave Garvey and Zheng an insight into just what it takes to compete with the best on the LPGA Tour. Both players highlighted the purpose and intensity Ko brought to the practice tee and the course while training throughout the week.
Said Garvey: “Lydia was able to chat with us, have a joke and enjoy that moment, but when she turned to hit the next ball on the range or out on the course you could really feel the intensity lift.
“It was a noticeable shift of focus and attention to the next task that I’ll be looking to bring into my practice and play.”
Garvey and Zheng also noticed how Ko’s training was set up to address her skill refinement while also linking it quickly to testing her execution of those particular skills. There was a mixture of both technical and performance training, which formed an important part of her day to test the work that was done on the range, putting green or short game.
A highlight for the girls was taking Ko on in a two versus one battle which they managed to halve despite Ko’s best attempt to get the better of them where she finished the day at six-under par on the tough Mineshaft course at the Scottsdale National Golf Club.
New Zealand Golf high performance manager Gregg Thorpe, who spent the week with the players, continues to be impressed by what Ko is giving back to the game and believes this very special scholarship will play an important part of the future success of women’s golf in New Zealand.
“Partnering with Lydia to bring this scholarship to life over the last three years has been fantastic,’’ Thorpe said.
“Having these players working alongside Lydia as she prepares for her season is quite special, it’s both inspiring as well as a genuine opportunity to learn from one of the best.
“Thanks must go to Lydia and her family for putting the scholarship in place so early in her career.”
Garvey returned to the University of Southern California where she recently accepted a college scholarship, while Zheng has come back to New Zealand.