There’s been much media flutter over the past 3 months revolving around Kiwi Lydia Ko’s decision to turn pro. What kind of impact will IMG have on her career? How’s the firing of Guy Wilson, her long-time coach, going to effect her game? How much money is Callaway paying her? Are these questions we typically ask about a golfer beginning her rookie season?
Is Lydia Ko, 2-time winner of the CN Canadian Women’s Open, 4th ranked woman golfer in the world, really a novice, an untrained or inexperienced recruit, a newcomer to competitive golf?
I’m more impressed by Ko’s age than by her decision to make the inevitable shift from amateur to professional. It’s hardly fair to compare her to the other newcomers to the 2014 LPGA and LET Tours. She didn’t claw her way through Q-School. She hasn’t struggled to put together the funds players need to meet expenses while they work their way through the qualifying process.
Let’s enjoy the unfolding of Ko’s career on the world stage as a remarkably talented young athlete, and compare her if we must to her true peers, American teen Lexi Thompson and English teen Charley Hull. In this trio I see the face of women’s pro golf future, none of them young, inexperienced, rookie players.