Korda's changes have immediate impact
BY Bruce Young | ALPG Tour | 2014 Volvik RACV Ladies Masters | Preview | 05 Feb 2014
The Volvik RACV Ladies Masters begins Thursday at RACV Royal Pines on the Gold Coast, the venue playing host to the event for the 23rd occasion and the event being staged for the 25th time since its inaugural appearance in Australian golf at Palm Meadows on 1990.
Yesterday two of the more fancied candidates for this week’s title, Karrie Webb and Jessica Korda faced the media.
Webb (see link) is of course the eight time winner of the event but the 2012 Australian Women’s Open Champion, Korda, comes off the back off a win in the Bahamas two weeks ago and having also finished 5th in this event last year she lays claim to being a genuine chance to challenge Webb and others for the title.
The 20 year old’s win in The Bahamas was her second on the LPGA Tour following her multiple playoff victory at Royal Melbourne in February of 2012.
Korda arrives on the Gold Coast in good spirits and full of confidence, suggesting a switch to lighter shafts in her irons towards the end of last year has made a significant difference to her game.
“Huge, especially on my body,” said Korda when asked the difference a seemingly small change has made both in terms of her game and physically. "I didn’t have to be taped up and I wasn’t so tired after each round and my swing didn’t leave me after the second round.
“Because my first two rounds were really solid and then the third and fourth, well they were alright but you know the consistency in my body has changed a lot. I don’t feel sore all the time and the best part is my wrist and my shoulders do not hurt.”
When asked how the change came about Korda responded; "Well I changed coach’s as well so I went through a lot of changes this off-season. I actually came up with it with my dad because I spent a lot of time on tour and I was talking to Paula Creamer & Suzanne Petterson and they are all solid ball strikers and I was kind of going through their golf bags because my bag didn’t show up until the end of the tournament and I was like oh, what are you using, oh, what are you using, man my shafts are so heavy – I don’t understand why.
“Both my sister and I have heavy irons and we first tried it on her which was a nice change because everything is usually tried on me first, but she had really good feedback with it and so when I changed everything I felt a lot better. Nothing hurt and then I went to Taiwan with the same irons and I felt really good again so you know, it’s a learning process.
“That’s what you are doing the first couple of years out there, you just have to find something that suits you. I thought that I’d like heavier clubs but then it affected my swing, my health and it’s just not something that will work for me, so you always try and find something better.”
Korda’s career is full of changes at present. Not only are the shafts new but she has changed coaches and has a new caddie on the bag.
“My coach’s name is Grant Price, he is a Golf Coach at the IMG Academy at Bradenton in Florida which is near my home. I’ve known him since I was 15 years old when he came over on about a five month trial session from Austria, he’s a good guy, I have all the respect for him in the world. He’s motivating me to be not only a better golfer but a better person and I couldn’t find a more positive person.
“My caddy is Kyle Bradley he’s from Augusta, I’d never met him before and we were on the phone and I really liked his southern accent. I was like man, I like that and so I asked him to come and caddy for me in the Bahamas for just like a week trial and we got on really well. I think we have very similar golf games, he’s also a really good golfer so we always agreed on the lines and feel it out the same way. I had a blast with him, he’s not here with me for these two weeks but he will join me in Thailand.”
The working relationship is clearly going well having won their first event together in the Bahamas.
Korda’s name, especially here in Australia, will be forever linked with her famous father Peter, a former Australian Open tennis champion.
“I feel like it’s more every time I come to Australia, but no it’s starting to slowly wear off, but yeah it’s nice to talk about him.” She perhaps best summed it up when she added; “He is part of who I am but not who I am.”
This week the profile she herself owns might become even greater if she was to improve on her good placing in the event twelve months ago and claim the Volvik RACV Ladies Masters.
Two years ago she was ill and was unable to show her best but with an impressive 5th placing in 2013 this is a golf course that suits her game and in the confident mood she is in her chances appear good.