Lydia Ko parted ways last month with instructor Sean Foley. The former world No. 1 took to Instagram to make the announcement, noting that they decided to go their own ways as a coach and player for “logistical reasons,” but that Foley will always remain a close friend and mentor.
“When I first met Sean, I was in a place where I didn’t have a lot of confidence in myself and in my game,” Ko wrote. “Over the past two years he has helped me evolve as a better player and person. Our time together was full of so much learning, laughter.”
Ko, 25, recently won at the BMW Ladies Championship in South Korea for her 18th career title, calling this her most consistent year yet. A two-time winner this season, Ko leads the LPGA in scoring, and she leads the Rolex Player of the Year race with 11 top-5 finishes in 20 starts.
Currently No. 3 in the world, Ko was ranked outside the top 50 when she began working with Foley during the summer of 2020.
“I’ve been looking at lots of my videos or swing videos,” she said a month after starting with Foley. “Kind of weird to Google or YouTube yourself, but I’ve been doing that to just see my swing as an amateur.
“He’s, I think, gotten me not to think too much about the lines of everything. I’ve tried to change my mindset of not trying to take a video of my swing every single time I’m on the driving range.”
And then this kicker: “It doesn’t need to look like a perfect swing for me to just play golf.”
Foley urged Ko to look inward, reminding her that the ingredients that led her to be the youngest to ever reach No. 1 were still there.
She snapped a 1,084-day victory drought with an absolute dart show at the Lotte Championship in April 2021. There’s no question that Foley helped resurrect Ko’s confidence and change the trajectory of her career. Ko won three times on the LPGA and once on the LET while working with Foley.
Now, with a chance to become No. 1 again for the first time since 2017, she continues a new chapter with only a handful of events left in the season. Ko’s sister and manager Sura told Golfweek that Ko has been casually seeing instructor Ted Oh again, but nothing is yet full time. Ko first started working with Oh ahead of the 2018 season.
Ko worked with Jorge Parada prior to Foley. Her list of former instructors also includes David Whelan, Gary Gilchrist and David Leadbetter. As an amateur, she worked with New Zealand’s Guy Wilson.
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