8 Feb 2017

Ko ready to take control

12:59 pm on 8 February 2017

New Zealand golfer and world number one Lydia Ko has introduced a raft of changes to her game ahead of the 2017 LPGA season.

Lydia Ko

Lydia Ko Photo: Photosport

Ko has confirmed she's now under the tutelage of South African swing guru Gary Gilchrist.

It finalises the trio of changes she's made, her new caddie is South African Gary Matthews and she's switched from Callaway golf clubs to new brand on the block - PXG.

Gilchrist coached former world number one, Yani Tseng, is the current coach of world number two Ariya Jutanugarn from Thailand and world number four Shanshan Feng of China.

Gilchrist was also the understudy of Ko's former coach - David Leadbetter.

Ko said she doesn't expect a conflict of interest to arise between her, Gilchrist and Jutanugarn, despite the competitve nature of professional golf.

"There's a bunch of us that work with Gary, I think they all trust him and enjoy working with him.

"I don't think it's neccessarily a rivalry thing it gives me confidence that he's a great coach and hopefully this will be good going forward," Ko said.

Following their public split, Ko's former coach Leadbetter warned the 19-year-old that her parents have too much influence on her and she must take control.

Leadbetter has since blamed her parents, Gil-Hong and Tina, for the split.

Ko agrees her parents do have a strong influence on her but only want what's best for her.

However Ko said she will be taking greater control in 2017.

"The process for me to grow as a person and as a player is if things don't go right, I'm still able to learn from that.

"I think that's the best way. There's always going to be great people around me but I can't always rely on them."

Meanwhile the International Golf Federation is considering moving the location of the 2020 Olympic Golf Course as the current course - Kasumigaseki Country Club, is a men-only club.

A vote was meant to take place today among club members on whether it would allow female members but it's been postponed.

Asked for her thoughts on the matter, Ko was diplomatic.

"The world itself is changing and I think the game is changing so hopefully in the future or within some time there'll be no golf courses that restrict it to just one sort of player and it'll be available for all."

Ko's first tournament of the season is at the Australian Open next week, in the meantime she's spending some downtime in New Zealand.