Since Lydia Ko joined the LPGA Tour five years ago, she’s been trying to get more Kiwis to follow in her footsteps. Ko is the only player from New Zealand on the LPGA Tour and one of only six New Zealanders in the Rolex Rankings.
For three days this week, the former world No. 1 mentored three female amateurs from New Zealand as part of the Lydia Ko Scholarship. Juliana Hung, Carmen Lim and Michelle Lee were selected as recipients for 2018. They made the trip from New Zealand to Orlando to spend three days learning from Ko and her team at Lake Nona Golf and Country Club. Christina Kim also played alongside the promising young golfers during the camp.
Beginning in 2015, Ko partnered with New Zealand Golf, the equivalent of the USGA in the United States, to help attract more juniors to the game. The Lydia Ko Scholarship was created in a similar model to what Karrie Webb has done in mentoring young golfers in her home country of Australia in which they get to shadow Webb at a major championship in the United States. Each year, female amateurs in New Zealand apply to spend several days attending a training camp in Orlando with Ko and her team. All expenses are covered by the scholarship.