Surviving a Rookie Season

Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Jenny Shin of South Korea poses for a portrait during the Safeway Classic at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club on August 18, 2011 in North Plains, Oregon.

April 2 2012, Katie Ann Robinson
Surviving a Rookie Season
Jenny Shin turned her mistakes into opportunity 

For several rookies on the LPGA Tour the increased attention from fans, exhilarating atmosphere, tiresome travel schedule, loads of rookie meetings and initial shock of being on tour can be slightly overwhelming.

As a rookie in 2011, Jenny Shin didn’t know what to expect on tour. It was a season of making and learning from mistakes.

“I think everything was intimidating last year,” says Shin. “But I think that just comes with being new and being foreign to how everything works on tour.”

Shin spent the 2010 season on the Symetra Tour – The Road to the LPGA and posted a single victory at the International at Concord and finished fourth on the season money list. Although she felt confident after earning her card, she felt unprepared to meet the new responsibilities of being on the LPGA Tour.

“In the beginning of my rookie year I had a lot of trouble with caddies and I missed a lot of cuts because of simple mistakes,” says Shin. “I was really scared of interviews and didn’t have the confidence to walk up to someone and say ‘hey, how do you do this?’ I also missed rookie meetings and wasn’t aware of when and where things were. It took a while to get comfortable and gain some confidence.”

In efforts to gain her composure and self-confidence, Shin looked to some of the top players on tour to develop her own style and change the way she prepared for tournaments.

“I not only learned a lot by playing but I also learned by watching,” Shin said. “I watched how some of the top players handled situations like golf management and just general things like communication. Golf is a game and everyone plays it different so there’s something to learn about every single player. I watched how some of the top-20 players practiced and tried to use some of their strategies in my own game.”

Shin ended her rookie season with two top-10 finishes including a tie for sixth at the CN Canadian Women’s Open and a tie for eighth at the Navistar LPGA Classic. Now with a year under her belt, she has established a new approach to her game.

“I didn’t really change much during the off season, just my attitude towards golf,” says Shin. “Like the way that I approach when I go to the first tee. My attitude is definitely more relaxed.

“I also try not to be a perfectionist but I can’t help it. I really worked on my swing a lot and got to know it really well. I try to stay calm out there and try to prevent the mistakes that I made last year as a rookie. I’m more comfortable this year.”

With the 2012 season underway, Shin has put her name in the spotlight after three consecutive top-10 finishes including a solo seventh place at the ISPS Handa Australian Open, a tie for ninth at the Honda LPGA Thailand and a tie for second at the HSBC Women’s Champions.

Shin feels good about her new-found attitude, increased confidence and steady progression of her game. She hopes the 2012 will bring much more success as she continues to learn the ropes of becoming a top ranked LPGA player.

“I have no expectations for this year,” says Shin. “My goal is to continue learning and hopefully not miss any cuts and continue to stay in the top-10.”

Topics: Shin, Jenny

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