Midwinter sweat… Overseas training rush of golf stars forgotten during the Lunar New Year holiday
Suji Kim (27, Dongbu Engineering & Construction) feels that the new year is short. It is because he has been working on a tight schedule every day since he left the country in January and started training in Vietnam. His training location is the FLC Samsun Golf Resort in Thanh Hoa, a three-hour drive from Hanoi, Vietnam.
Kim Su-ji, who won the Grand Prize for the first time in the Korea Women’s Professional Golf Association (KLPGA) tour last year and emerged as a new ‘field trend’, wakes up before 5 am and warms up. After breakfast at 6:30 a.m. she tees off for her practice round. She has lunch, and from 1:00 PM she has practice and lessons, and has an early dinner at 5:30 PM. She ends the day with empty swings and circuit training before going to bed.
Domestic male and female professional golfers, who had a sweet break during the year-end and New Year holidays, started training in earnest to prepare for the 2023 season. Unlike the past two years, when they stayed in Korea due to the aftermath of Corona 19, most of them are heading overseas this time to avoid the cold. Last year’s training center was concentrated in the United States, but this year, it seems to be concentrated in Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand and Vietnam. Analysts in the golf industry say that while training conditions deteriorated as players gathered in California, the U.S., Southeast Asia is close and the quarantine measures for overseas arrivals were lifted.
Suji Kim set up camp in Hanoi, VietnamKim Su-ji is under the guidance of swing coach Lee Si-woo, director of the Big Fish Academy. Nearly 20 male and female seniors and juniors, including Ko Jin-young, who plays on the LPGA tour, and Park Hyeon-gyeong, the KLPGA signboard, have already participated in this camp or are planning to join. Director Lee Si-woo said, “In the morning, the temperature is around 17 degrees and the sunlight is not strong, so the weather and environment are better than other training areas. Meals, lodging, driving ranges, and courses are all within the resort, providing excellent training conditions. There is nothing to do but exercise,” he said. Director Lee visited the United States in 2022.
Suji Kim said, “As it is a long-term race, physical training is basic. Along with the short game, we are also intensively checking the swing.” He knows the importance of winter training better than anyone else. Last year, in order to increase the driving distance, he worked on strengthening his muscles 4 to 5 days a week throughout the winter, and his driver head speed increased by nearly 5 miles per hour.
Kim Su-ji, who ranked 87th with an average driving distance of 226 yards in 2020, took 243 yards (22nd) in 2021 and increased it to 246 yards (16th) in 2022. He sent the driver closer to 20 yards more, holding both clubs short and hitting the next shot, which made it easier to attack the course. In 2022, Kim Su-ji ranked first in average at-bats (70.47 strokes) and showed a steady pace in the top 10 17 times, including 2 wins in 27 competitions. Regarding Kim Su-ji, Director Lee explained, “I ordered a lot of practice to prevent pitches from sagging in the club face and turning the ball to the left,” and “I am focusing on the swing trajectory.” 스포츠토토
Large rookie Hae Ran trains in ThailandLarge rookie Yoo Hae-ran (22, Daol Financial Group) dreams of making a successful LPGA tour debut in Thailand. From January 16th to February 18th, at Mountain Creek Golf Course in Khao Yai, Thailand, he will be accompanied by coach Yeom Dong-hoon, who coached him from elementary school until he became a national representative in high school.
Yoo Hae-ran said, “I think I will fully experience the Bermuda grass, which is difficult to come across in Korea,” and “I plan to focus on short games and putts.” Coach Yeom Dong-hoon said, “Hae-Ran Yoo’s strength is long hits, so he plans to focus on wedge games and putts within 100 yards.
Yoo Hae-ran also emphasized his physical strength. He said, “If you go to the LPGA Tour, the number of competitions is greater than in Korea, and the distance traveled is long and there is even a time difference, so it is important to manage your condition. I want to prioritize improving my stamina.” Yoo Hae-ran passed the LPGA Tour Qualifying Series in December of last year with a proud first place, and during the year-end and New Year holidays, she conducted a strength training program six times a week with a professional trainer.
Yoo Hae-ran trains with Lee Jeong-min (31, Hanwha Q Cells) and Park Ji-young (27, Korea Land Trust), who shared the championship in two overseas KLPGA tour tournaments in the 2023 season last December. Lee Jung-min, who enjoyed the joy of being a champion in his 30s, plans to make up for the shortcoming of his backswing shortening as his upper body sways when taking a takeback with a longer club. Lee Jung-min, who recently went on a long-awaited ski trip to Japan, said, “I think stretching training and rest before and after rounds are important for golf performance. I try to balance well to prevent injury.”