Dreamy and flowery… we are the national team

I met two golfers who would suit me best in the greenest season of the year. They are 18-year-old Hyun-jo Yoo ( left ) and 17-year-old Kyo-rim Seo ( right ). Standing in front of the white wall of the studio, the two laughed and made memories just by looking into each other’s eyes. Looking at their faces, they are ordinary high school girls, but the Taegeuk mark is clearly visible on their clothes. It is the national team selected at the end of last year. Since she was young, she has achieved brilliant results and is already sponsored by a company (Samchully). What kind of 크크크벳 thoughts do the national players of the most powerful country in women’s golf have and what kind of life is they living? Their team’s coach Kwon Ki-taek, who spends about 200 days a year with them, also participated in the ‘talk’.

How is the life of a national team member?>>>

Yoo (Yoo Hyeon-jo): “I am proud to be one of the top female amateur golfers in Korea. It’s amazing and fun for her to compete and train with the best players wearing the Taegeuk mark.”

Seo (Seo Kyo-rim): “The title I’ve always dreamed of is the national team. She competes fiercely with her five older sisters and friends, but she is having fun training as much as possible.”

Specifically good points.>>>

Yu: “The training camp is 100 days a year. As I intensively compete and practice with my peers who are the best in Korea, I can compare my strengths and weaknesses and learn a lot. It is also great to be able to play free rounds at golf courses such as Woojeong Hills and Namseoul.”

Suh: “Before I became a national representative, I had no chance to compete in international competitions, but wearing the Taegeuk mark gave me the opportunity to compete in international competitions, giving me many benefits in terms of experience.”

How was the national team selection process?>>>

Kwon (Kwon Ki-taek): “There are selection points for each competition, and the overall ranking determines the representative. The decision was made after the KB Financial Group ship in September last year. (Seo) Kyo-rim won the Kakao VX competition in August and (Yu) Hyeon-jo won the KB competition, so the two were selected together. There were times when things didn’t work out at the beginning of the season, but we pushed each other while saying ‘sweet’. More than anything, I wanted to talk a lot.”

Suh: “The coach tightens the screw well if it is loose. Then, at some point, my mind goes blank.”

Yu: “When we talk about it, there are times when we shed tears for no reason. After pouring out like that, the thoughts that were blocked are somewhat pierced.”

Kwon: “Communication with parents as well as players is really important. In my case, I asked a trainer who has been with female players for a long time for advice on how to establish relationships and communicate.”

I am also curious about your experience in international competitions.>>>

Yu: “I participated in the Asia-Pacific Women’s Amateur Championship (WAAP) held in Singapore in March and the Quincy Kit Cup held in the Philippines in February.” (In the WAAP, Kyo-rim Seo tied for 10th place and Hyeon-jo Yoo tied for 22nd place. In the Quincy Kit Cup, Hyun-jo Yoo tied for 3rd place and Gyo-rim Seo tied for 20th place.) Winning the team competition in the Quincy Ricket Cup must have been particularly meaningful.

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Yu: “It was our first team match, but (Kim) Min-sol, another member of the national team, and the three of us kept talking to each other saying, ‘Let’s play for the team’, and we got together. I heard that 2019 was the last year Korea won the team event, so I wanted to do better.”

Suh: “It is also a memory that I went to a talent show after the awards ceremony. It is said that it is a competition tradition for each team to go out and show something, but we sang and danced to Orange Caramel’s ‘Catallena’.”

Catalena? Isn’t it a song from about 10 years ago?>>>

Yu: “I was going to do ‘High Mouth Boy’ by New Jeans, but I couldn’t do it because I was physically weak.”

Suh: “I heard that no matter what you do, if it’s fun, you’ll get a high score, so Catalena was ‘perfect’ and we eventually won. They said it was the first time a Korean team had won.”

Kwon: “Wow, that’s a double crown.”

I am also looking forward to the results of future international competitions.>>>

Kwon: “In September, there will be the Asian Games in Hangzhou, and in October there will be the World Championships in Dubai. Asian Games entries selected through the Korea Golf Association ranking system will be decided around June. You have to diligently perform in competitions where the ranking system is applied.”

Yu: “I will do my best in each game to qualify for the Asian Games. Of course, I want to be chosen, but on the other hand, I don’t want to hang on. I think this kind of flow is the best because I did my best. It was the same when I became a national representative. If I kept looking at it, there were many times when I just wanted to do it and couldn’t get the performance I wanted. I thought, ‘if I do it step by step, I won’t be able to get to where I want to be.’”

Suh: “Isn’t the Asian Games a rare opportunity that comes once every four years? I really want to go out as much as it is precious. The world championships are of the same mind. It doesn’t really touch me yet, but I think I want to be number one.”

When and how did you start playing golf?>>>

Yu: “I started as a hobby when I was in the third grade of elementary school at the recommendation of my mother. But at some point, I looked back and saw that I was on the path to becoming an athlete. It really seems to have happened naturally like water flowing.”

Seo: “His dad gave him a golf club as a birthday present. He was in the 5th grade of elementary school then and has been playing golf ever since.”

How much did you train to become a national representative? I think it will help junior golfers who dream of national team.>>>

Yoo: “It was common to run 10 to 11km outdoors even in the middle of the cold winter. Training starts at 6:30 in the morning, but it always starts with running.”

Suh: “Even in the middle of the competition schedule, I went to the track and ran in my spare time.”

Kwon: “Anyway, the most important thing is to develop physical strength before technology. I did a lot of lifting and jumping and a lot of jumping training. Among them, running was the most important. Even if I did a practice round, I had to run again when it was over.”

What is good about learning at a facility run by a company (Samchully Golf Academy)?>>>

Yu: “I came in after seeing a test. It is convenient to have a system that allows you to receive coaching, training, and mental management all in one building. During the winter, I was able to receive intense training for about two months in California, USA. The environment and support are supported so that you can focus only on golf.”

Suh: “I entered the 1st round of the Samchully Tournament. The support for the practice round is good, so I can do enough practice training. It is very helpful to be able to make customized preparations with the coach before the competition, and to accompany the athlete to the competition site and carefully take care of what the athlete wants.”

I heard that there is a Ph.D. in psychology. What kind of help do you get?>>>

Yu: “The two of you split into individual interviews and group interviews. It is said that it is important to set an attitude and a goal with which mindset to play golf. I said, ‘I’ll play with a growing mind’ and I’m doing it that way. I think it is a great thing to be able to experience so many things while representing the country. I will play golf without forgetting the mindset of growing little by little through these good times.”

Suh: “Advice such as taking a deep breath in a tense situation during a game or taking a sip of water and finding a way to relax is effective. Even if it doesn’t look special, the story through the mouth of an expert is definitely different.”

As a golfer, my ultimate goal is.>>>

Yu: “To be in the top 10 in the world rankings. Now that I’ve started playing golf, maybe I should try that much.

Suh: “I want to go on the LPGA tour and do a career grand slam.”

Who is your role model?>>>

Seo: “Nellie Koda. I’m on the tall side (173cm) like Koda, so I think there are similarities. I want to be pretty and play golf well. And Mr. Hong Ran (Samchully Academy mentor), who has been doing well on tour for a long time, is also a role model.”

Yu: “I am Hongran teacher too. And Jinyoung Ko. He seems to have extraordinary spirit and has great perseverance. There is such an image that makes it possible even if it doesn’t work. I think he is a player with a lot to learn from.”

Suh: “I’m also curious about who was the coach’s role model when he was young.”

Kwon: “Me? I am Fred Couples. I liked the softness. I felt relaxed not only in my swing but also in my strategy for unraveling the game.”

What does the coach usually emphasize the most?>>>

Yu: “He emphasizes physical strength as number one, but I guess it comes from his experience as a player. When it comes to swing, a lot of people tell me that ‘it’s enough to have your own’. Koreans pay a lot of attention to the standard swing, but it’s okay to hit well with a unique swing.”

Seo: “You often say that if you have only your own, you will not be shaken.”

Yu: “When I first saw Coach, it was a scary image. He has a strong dialect accent and a loud voice. Later, he asked me to understand that there were things like that because he was a Busan man. What is clear is that the more you know, the warmer you are. I am the coach of ‘outside and inside touch’.”

Suh: “Last year, I went to the Korean Women’s Professional Golf (KLPGA) regular tour as a recommended player. Even though it was a hot day, the coach gave me a bag as a caddy throughout the 3rd round. Thanks to the hard work that my toenails fell off, I was able to finish first in the amateur category (tied for 17th overall).”

“A child who believes in himself eventually succeeds, and the role of parents is also important.”

Coach Kwon Ki-taek (41, middle ) is a silver medalist in the men’s golf team event at the 2002 Asian Games in Busan. After graduating from high school, he went straight to Japan, where he played golf and was selected for the Asian Games, where he won a medal. Born in the Fuku era in Tohoku, one of the most prestigious golf universities in Japan, Hideki Matsuyama, Asia’s first masters champion, is an alumnus.

Coach Kwon, who won the Songam Cup as an amateur and finished third at the Korea Open, was active on the Japan Professional Golf Tour (JGTO). From the end of 2021, when he returned after arranging his 20 years of living in Japan, he is living a second life teaching junior golfers in Korea.

Looking back on his Asian Games experience, coach Kwon said, “There are military issues, and the burden was too great because the game was played in his hometown of Busan. It was an experience that made me realize that no matter how big a game is, it is just one of many games and I have to prepare hard.” It would be good for the disciples to take the attitude of steadily doing what is given in front of them rather than taking the approach of ‘going to the Asian Games no matter what’.”

A professional coach who treats junior players every day with a ‘hawk’s eye’ will be able to see at a glance who will become a successful tour pro in the future. Coach Kwon said, “Looking at the characteristics of so-called ‘becoming’ players, there seems to be a difference in mentality after all.” “I can see things like trust and confidence in myself. I know how to motivate myself.” “Even a workout that has always worked well always has times when it fails, and athletes with clear motivation make a comeback quickly at that time. It’s the same in other fields, but there are some players with good character who definitely improve after 1-2 years. Everyone learns a lot of good things about the swing and the technical part, so I don’t think there is any need to be impatient.”

What does coach Kwon think about the golf environment of ‘Latte’ and ‘Kids these days’? He said, “It is clear that there has been tremendous improvement in support from all walks of life, the practice environment, and the ability of coaching people.” These days, players, coaches, and trainers can immediately access the latest lessons and exercise methods that are popular abroad, so they can experience various ways to improve their skills in that respect.” At the same time, “It seems that our time was rather good for round support. If you passed the preliminaries for the tournament, you were given an athlete’s card, and if you brought it with you, you were treated as a member at the golf course. The approach shot practice range and academy system were lacking, but it was good to practice through rounds.”

How much do parents of junior golfers these days invest a year for their children’s dreams? According to coach Kwon, in many cases, it costs about 100 million won a year even for elementary school students. “There seems to be a strong perception among Korean parents that they have to do as much as others do.” how about japan “It doesn’t cost that much in Japan. First of all, most golf courses have excellent practice facilities and are friendly to junior players. With a little help with the golf course work, many places offer 9-hole rounds and practice opportunities. Even just reducing the cost of a round is huge.”

The nature of golf moms and dads will also be important in nurturing good players. There is a lot of talk that excessive parental interference is counterproductive, but coach Kwon said, “A certain level of management is absolutely required. It is a position that requires a high level of self-management, and at the same time, it is important for my mother and father to control me well so that I can only focus on golf because I am still young.” “I think the most important thing is to establish good habits, from the amount of exercise and practice to the time of waking up and eating habits. If you develop good habits as a junior, there won’t be much to change when you become a professional player.” Coach Kwon said, “In that respect, the role of parents is great. I have seen a lot of friends who grew up under active mothers and fathers grow into good players.”

Coach Kwon said, “The charm of junior coaches is that they learn and grow while thinking about their way of life and attitude toward life through golf.” What you think of as a weakness may actually be an advantage, so I try to discover possibilities through the process of sharing opinions and understanding.” He said, “I will not lose my mindset as an educator beyond a coach. He wants to be the closest to helping design his golf life in the right direction,” he said.

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