SEOUL, Aug. 31 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korean golfer Inbee Park became the first woman to win the Olympic gold medal since 1900 in the women’s individual tournament. She is now the only female golfer with an Olympic gold medal, on top of a career Grand Slam (winner of four major championships in the same calendar year).
The 28-year-old golfer is often recognized for her magical putting skills, and during Monday’s press conference at The K-Hotel Seoul she shared some of her expertise on an aspect of the sport that requires the utmost precision and delicacy.
She recalled a junior golfer who asked her once whether she looks at the ball or the club when she putts.
“When I putt, I see neither the ball nor the club,” was her answer.
According to Park, although she does look at the ball and the club when fixing her address, she goes into a state of near-unconsciousness right before the stroke. She further said that she doesn’t pay too much attention to her sensation on her feet to determine the subtle slopes on her line of putt.
“Putting is about feeling”, she said, and less about the techniques that many golf coaches tend to emphasize.
“When your entire body becomes golf, then your entire body becomes the putt,” she added, and said that there is no real secret in her putting. “I feel it with my entire body in my backswing. And that feeling came to me at the Olympics.”
Park had to overcome her thumb injury prior to and during the Olympics, and she is still recovering. In fact, she showed up at Monday’s press meeting with a cast on her left thumb, which she will have to endure for the next three weeks. According to Park, she gained knowledge of her injury’s seriousness only after returning from Rio.
The injury had once restrained her from making her usual swings, and she was not able to play with her entire body, said Park, but she overcame the problem with advice from her coach (Kim Eung-jin).
“My coach told me not to swing if I couldn’t do it with soul,” said Park. “Fortunately, I did have a lot of time to practice before the Olympics, and I was able to compete with my usual feelings back; and was even able to get the gold medal.”
During the press conference she also announced that she will sit out the Evian Championship, and focus on treatment of her back and thumb ailments for the time being.
“I wanted to push myself to play the Evian Championship, being the last major of the season. But I decided my long-term health was more important.
By Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)