Ko and Callaway, Could It Be Calamitous.

Lydia Ko, the exceptionally talented Kiwi golfer has allegedly signed a new contract with Callaway Golf, could this move prove to be calamitous.

Will the winning now stop ?

Will the winning now stop ?

Lydia Ko / Getty Images

Not long after ditching her longtime coach, Guy Wilson, 16-year-old Lydia has now reportedly signed a deal with the  American manufacturer Callaway Golf, securing the Kiwi teenager on a probably highly lucrative deal.  A Callaway 2014-season staff bag has been seen with Lydia’s name embroidered on the front panel, a very strong indicator that she has joined the company’s professional roster.

Lydia recently visited a Callaway fitting center in the United States where she met world men’s # 5 and Callaway’s star asset, five-time major champion Phil Mickelson.

On parting with her coach and mentor Guy Wilson, Lydia said;

“I’m going to be away from home and I’m not a player that likes to not have my coach out at tournaments, so it doesn’t really work, him being here and him coming on the weeks that I’m not playing a tournament. That means I’d only see him like ten times a year and to me that kind of situation didn’t work out so that’s why I thought it might be better to have a coach based somewhere in the States.

“It’s obviously sad to stop with Guy, because he’s been a great coach and a great friend as well. But it’s just important to know that we still are good friends, which is quite good because sometimes it might not end well in both ways. I’m just lucky that we can still be friends.”

Guy issued this statement;

It’s been an honour to help develop Lydia into the number four golfer in the world. When I first met her the golf clubs were taller than she was and she didn’t know the first thing about a driver or a putter but now she has one of the most envied swings of the women’s golf world.

“We’ve spent a lot of time together over the past decade and during that time I’ve become very close to Lydia and her family. While I’m incredibly disappointed that our 11 year partnership is over, I respect Lydia and her team’s decision.

Lydia’s consistent and outstanding performance is the ultimate payback for any coach and it has been truly wonderful working with someone with her talent, dedication and focus.

I wish Lydia all the best and will watch proudly as she embarks on what I’m sure will be a hugely successful golfing career.

The Institute of Golf team and I will continue to work with other young golfers keen to follow in Lydia’s footsteps and professionals like NZ number one Michael Hendry in the future.”

I wonder who has been advising her, a new coach, new equipment and a new love interest, sounds like a repeat of Rory McIlroy’s rocky last year.

Another young Kiwi golfer, Danny Lee,  joined the company in a deal reportedly worth about $1.2 million, in 2009, after also agreeing management terms, supposedly worth about $12.2m, with IMG, and he has not reached his potential yet. Lydia also signed with IMG six days ago.

I just hope that history does not repeat itself and we witness the collapse of a great talent, Rory was the world number one, was a bit older and more experienced, and he could not handle the pressure.

Lydia Ko, 2013 Season Starts at Australia Amateur Championships.

Lydia Ko / Canadian Open Trophy with Royal Canadian Mounties /cbssports.com

Lydia Ko the New Zealand World Number One Amateur player, and winner of last years LPGA Tour Canadian Open, starts her 2013 season off at the Australia Amateur Championships, in Melbourne tomorrow. Lydia is the defending Champion.

The 15-year-old New Zealand sportswoman of the year candidate, and world’s leading female amateur, has not played a tournament since the Swinging Skirts Ladies World Masters in Taipei early last December. But according to her coach, Guy Wilson, the director of instruction at the New Zealand Institute of Golf, Lydia has been hard at it and not relaxing too much;

” The only reason she got a day off on Christmas Day was because the courses were closed. She had New Year’s Day off as well, otherwise there’s been no real relaxing, it’s been eight hours a day, seven days a week.”

Lydia has received funding from High Performance Sport New Zealand, it amounts to $230,000 NZ over the next two years. This cash injection makes it easier for her to participate in some of the  prestigious tournaments in the United States and Europe. Coach Wilson is delighted;

“She will play in all the Majors this year.”

He also stated that Lydia was looking forward to the challenges this year, and remaining the Ladies World Number One Amateur, but importantly continuing her education at her chosen college in the United States;

“It’s all important for her to continue to be the world No.1 amateur and have really good finishes so when she does turn pro she is as marketable as she is now. The good thing is she’s playing in a lot more events with real profile, which should help her as well.” 

Good Luck Lydia, we will be watching you !!!