Lydia Ko is in full change mode. She’s changed caddies and is in the process of perfecting a swing change. Now, Global Golf Post has confirmed that she is also changing equipment. After three successful seasons with Callaway, Ko will be playing PXG next year. In fact, she flew directly from Naples to Phoenix where she is expected to test and be fitted for new equipment at the company’s headquarters.
This comes after a near record-setting year when Ko won four times, including a major, and finished the season ranked No.1 in the Rolex World Rankings, second in the Race to the CME Globe, second on the money list with $2,492,994 and second in scoring with an average of 69.60.
But Ko failed to win after July 14 and posted only one top-10 in her final six starts, a tie for 10th at the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship, a tournament she led by three shots going into the weekend after a career-low 62.
The problem has been her ball-striking. She ranked 126th in driving distance, 68th in driving accuracy and 31st in greens in regulation. Her brilliant short-game saved her. Averaging only 28.31 putts per round, Ko remained in the running for the Vare Trophy for low stroke average until the final green of the LPGA’s final event, losing by a fraction of a stroke to In Gee Chun after Chun made a nine-foot birdie putt on the 18th green at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples.
It shouldn’t have been that close. Ko’s putting was almost a full shot per round better than a year ago when she won Player of the Year and the Race to the CME Globe but her scoring average was almost exactly the same as last year. That means that she lost one shot per round in ball-striking.
Ko would not comment on the equipment change, nor would her agency, IMG or PXG, which will not formally announce its player list until the beginning of next year.