Learn to Swing Like LPGA Player of the Year Lydia Ko

By Keith Stewart, PGA
Published on

Lydia Ko poses for a photo with the Vare Trophy, the Rolex Player of the Year trophy and the CME Globe trophy after winning the CME Group Tour Championship at Tiburon Golf Club.Getty Images

The LPGA wrapped up their 2022 season on Sunday in historic fashion. Not only did they give out the biggest winner’s check in professional women’s golf, but their season long champion had a year for the record books. Lydia Ko won the CME Group Tour Championship by two shots over Leona Maguire.
Ko’s consistency all year has been remarkable. In a season where she won the scoring title (Vare Trophy), official money title ($4.3 million), and the Rolex Player of the Year, what can be said to sum it all up? As a PGA Coach, I would rather just give all of you a quick insight to her success. Watch this quick video tweeted by the LPGA over the weekend.
Did you see her extension through the ball? That’s the move to copy. Her arms are reaching through to the target. Most amateurs’ arms shrink as they get to impact. Great players like Ko extend at that moment. Look again. Do you see the long “v” formed by her two arms as she swings through. Visually, that is what you should see and feel in your own swing.
There are a couple important steps to get there. Go back to the beginning of the video and watch her lead hip. You can follow the swing in slow motion if you put the post on pause and then use the slide at the bottom. Lydia makes a move in her transition from backswing to forward swing you need to create that kind of arm extension. Notice how her lead hip moves and the left leg extends. By creating that space, she can now extend her arms through impact.
Here's how you do that:
  • During your warm up at the range, take out an eight iron.
  • Address the ball and get to the top of your backswing.
  • To start your transition, open your lead hip, and don’t pull the handle down.
  • As you start swinging, push into your lead toes and extend that leg.
  • Strike the ball and make your arms as long as possible as if they are reaching toward
    the target.
  • Finish your follow through.
This should feel different. First, you will feel much taller at impact. That’s good, it means you created some space to swing through the hitting area. Second, you should feel tons of extension in your arms. Take a video before and after. Notice the length of your arms in both. Bent elbows post impact are a terrible move in order to compress the ball. If you want to get consistent like Ko, master these two feelings.
Lydia’s three victories, Rolex Player of the Year, scoring title and CME Globe points win are impressive. Those results are because she was ranked first in the two most important statistical categories: Strokes Gained:Total and Strokes Gained:Putting. These moves make a difference and if you follow her lead, chances are you’ll be making some history of your own on the course.