If it were up to Danielle Kang, the Rolex Rankings No. 5 player would move to the beautiful paradise of Hawaii. Like many of her fellow competitors, it’s one of her favorite spots on the LPGA Tour schedule every year it’s on the calendar. “I love it here. I've been here for over a week actually, so I had a little girls' trip out here and enjoyed every bit of Hawaii,” said Kang, who remarked it’s unusual for her to take the time away from a competitive mindset. “I feel like I belong here. I want to move here. So I just -- I come here and I just feel relaxed and I feel ready to go. It's kind of the serenity that you can't feel in certain places. I feel really calm and right where I need to be.”
But as she readies herself for Kapolei Golf Club, Kang opened up on how she’s been working to improve her mental game on the course as she embarks on her eighth appearance at the LOTTE Championship. “I been feeling a little anxious about certain things and there is nothing going on on the golf course. I have a putt for par I'm anxious for something. It's just creating an unrealistic fear, unrealistic doubts,” said Kang. “So those are the things I'm working on and trying to be the person that I am and figure out how I feel and the way I used to feel.”
Kang said the feelings of doubt have crept in since 2020, as she claimed they haven’t helped or hurt her performances but have become more magnified over the past couple of months.
“I've won a tournament feeling the way I felt and I've lost a tournament feeling the way I felt,” said the five-time LPGA Tour winner. “So I don't look at it as a positive or a negative, more so that it's making me - gives me that little twisted feel and I don't like that. I want to be able to be in control of how I feel.
While balancing any doubts within herself, she’s becoming more comfortable as she figures her way around a new course at Kapolei. Kang said she agrees it’s more of a second-shot golf course, but she’s up for the windy conditions the week is sure to bring.
“If the conditions are calm I believe that your second shots will be more controlled and there will be lower scores. The greens are really nice and pure and just rolling at a nice speed, not too aggressive, not too timid,” said Kang. “But we'll see. I mean, I don't know. I believe it is tougher than Ko Olina depending on how it plays though.”
Kang tees off alongside LPGA Tour winners Georgia Hall and Nasa Hataoka of No. 1 at 8:17 a.m. on Wednesday.