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The secret to Kim Sei-young’s towering iron shots

Posted December. 01, 2018 07:59,   

Updated December. 01, 2018 07:59


The year 2018 will be unforgettable to Kim Sei-young. She made history in July by breaking the 72-hole scoring record at 257, finishing at 31-under at Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic.

“Shooting 31 under (at Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic) was the most memorable moment,” said Kim Sei-young at a studio in Gangnam. "I’m planning to start winter training earlier than usual for the competition in the middle of January next year."

She finished 7th in the money list by earning 1.36 million dollars (1.53 billion won) this season. Improving her greens in regulation rate to 72.7% (18th) has helped her hit more birdies (411, 4th place). She would not have been able to set the record without her solid iron shots.

Her early engagement in Taekwondo (a level 3 certificate) has boosted her physical fitness, developing strong legs and flexible upper body. Her strong legs have helped her make a powerful swing.

“Your body needs to be as flexible as possible to use your lead leg throughout the swing,” said Kim. "Jump ropes and running are better than muscle strengthening exercises to improve your flexibility." She said agility and flexibility are more important than anything else. She added that the secret to making a long shot is using your lead leg throughout the swing. “Shorten your backswing and focus more on the right weight shift. Professional golfers make shots this way.”

“For a player like Kim Sei-young, who dynamically makes weight shift in her swing, using a driving iron with stronger loft can lower the trajectory in iron shots. The one she is using has shorter head than normal irons, helping her to control the shot in various circumstances,” a golf expert said.

Jong-Seok Kim kjs0123@donga.com