Two Lessons You Can Learn From Jin Young Ko and Her 'Most Important' Victory
By Brendon Elliott, PGA
Jin Young Ko plays her second shot on the 18th hole during the final round of the 2023 HSBC Women's World Championship at Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore. (Photo by Lionel Ng/Getty Images)
Many things can be taken from Jin Young Ko’s win this past weekend at the HSBC Women’s World Championship. The two most notable? Being prepared and having perseverance.
With wet weather throughout the event in Singapore, Ko, along with the rest of the field, had to be prepared for the conditions.
Weather delays, slow play, and several other outside factors can wreak havoc on your round, but if we take note of what professionals like Ko do in terms of being prepared, we can rise above these outside influences.
A few tips to try:
Check the forecast.Being prepared means knowing what you might have to face during a round. Rain, wind and temperature can all have a dramatic effect on how your day on the course plays out. Knowing what could happen is half the battle, so check the hour-by-hour forecast the night before to prep.
Pack the essentials. Here’s a look at items you need to have on hand for a variety of different weather challenges:
*Extra golf glove
*Extra towels to keep hands dry
*A spare change of clothes in your car
*Extra socks in your golf bag
*Rain cover for your bag
*Golf shoes with good traction
*Water bottle and two extra bottles to stay hydrated
*Sunscreen (reapply after nine holes)
*Hat or bucket hat for sun protection
*Extra towels to keep hands dry
*Extra golf gloves to swap
*Umbrella for shade
*Snacks (protein bar, fruit, nuts, etc.) to keep energy levels stable
*Dress in layers: long-sleeve base, golf shirt, pullover, jacket is a good template
*Warm winter hat
*Hand warmers (keep them in gloves or pockets to use before swinging)
Remember that you have the choice to how you react in certain situations. It is a conscious decision if we let it be. If the weather is poor, we need to accept that fact and how it may influence our outcomes. This is where sticking to your routines comes in handy. A routine helps settle the mind, and puts you in a mode of following a pattern. It creates more predictability and helps to eliminate doubt.
One other notable lesson from Ko’s victory is perseverance. For a good part of the 2022 season — after rising to World No. 1 and winning a record six times in 10 starts — she dealt with a nagging wrist injury . . . and a lot of doubt. The latter is something many of us often battle with, both on and off the course.
However, the art of a comeback is mainly reliant on the person’s ability to persevere.
Ko spoke on how much her win meant to her, especially after how the second half of 2022 played out.
“I had a tough year last year,” said Ko after her victory. “I fought with injury, a bad [golf] game. It [was] mentally tough. This win is the most important — it’s a big moment for me in my life.”
As fans, we love to watch the stories of our golf heroes persevering, and overcoming obstacles. Too often, however, we do not allow ourselves to take that inspiration to help fuel our own desire to get better.
Start small: Setting realistic goals allows us to meet them, and then move on to a new set of goals. That is key in having the ability to persevere. Little victories add up to big ones.
If you have that mindset, before you know it, you will be able to achieve things that you may have otherwise thought not possible — both in golf and life.