Lydio Ko swaps coach, caddie and clubs
Women's World No 1 Lydia Ko says it was never the plan to change her coach, caddie and clubs in the off-season.
With three such significant changes on and off the course coming after a six-month winless streak at the end of 2016 – her first real slump of note – one would be forgiven for thinking that Ko set about purposefully overhauling her approach, but she insists that's not the case.
"It was a coincidence that it all happened at the same time. I obviously wasn't planning to say 'hey I want to change everything up'," Ko said in Adelaide on Monday.
"I felt like I needed some change.
"Even though I might be the No.1 ranked player in the world I still feel like there's a lot of aspects of my game that I can improve on.
"And I think no matter what ranking you are, you have got to have that mindset because there is always a position for you to get better."
Ko will debut her new-look team and her new equipment at this week's Australian Open.
Gone is former coach David Leadbetter, in comes South African Gary Gilchrist. Out goes long-time Australian caddie Jason Hamilton, enter another South African Gary Matthews.
Ko also parted ways with club manufacturer Callaway, and will now be using Parsons Xtreme Golf clubs.
"A lot of things have changed but it's a really exciting time," Ko said.
"I'm confident in the team that I have changed, equipment-wise too.
"I think it's more the excitement factor rather than worrying about 'hey' is this going to work out or not'."
Ko also said her new clubs were giving her some much needed extra distance off the tee,
"I have still got the same Callaway ball but the clubs have been great," she said.
"I'm not a really long hitter off the tee and I feel like I have gained a bit of distance with the new Parsons Xtreme Golf.
"And now obviously with Gary my caddie, this will be my third week working with him.
"We're still in the process of getting to know each other and I think the relationship will hopefully get better as we go on.
"But coach-wise I just wanted to simplify things. I got compliments from other players with the new swing so I think we're going down the right direction."
‘My best is ahead of me’ – Justin Rose motivated by winning majors, not rankings
The Englishman endured a first winless season since 2009 in 2020 and starts this week’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic ranked 38th in the world.
Justin Rose concerned about his chances of defending his Olympic title
Rose won gold in Rio in 2016 but the former world number one is currently outside the qualifying places.
Rory McIlroy on latest near-miss in Abu Dhabi: ‘I don’t feel like I played great’
McIlroy avoids mentioning final-round blues but admits he needs to get more consistent.
Tyrrell Hatton eyes Ryder Cup spot after winning Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship
Hatton carded a closing 66 to finish 18 under par.
Tyrrell Hatton wins Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship as Rory McIlroy misses out
Australia’s Jason Scrivener recorded an eagle and five birdies in a back nine of 29 to claim second place.
Rory McIlroy leads the way in Abu Dhabi as he eyes overdue victory
McIlroy will have to keep his Ryder Cup team-mates at bay if he is to claim the trophy.
Tyrrell Hatton dominant as Rory McIlroy falters in Abu Dhabi
Hatton led by five shots at the end of a second weather-affected day.
Phil Mickelson on Tiger’s latest surgery: ‘I feel bad because golf should be a game of a lifetime’
Mickelson admitted he was saddened by the news of Woods’ latest back surgery.
Rory McIlroy makes brilliant start to fog-affected Abu Dhabi Championship
McIlroy has a remarkable record in Abu Dhabi with four second-place finishes.
Rory McIlroy shines in Abu Dhabi to take first-round lead following flawless 64
McIlroy has a remarkable record in Abu Dhabi with four second-place finishes, three thirds and a fifth in his last nine starts, but has never won.