top of page

Nelly Korda's Obsession

An Article by PureGolf


Nelly Korda just finished in fourth place at the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions—the LPGA’s opening tournament of the season.  She fired ridiculous rounds of 68-69-68-72 for the entire tournament.  Fresh off her final round of 72 (which included hitting 10 fairways and 11 greens), Korda approached the microphone to answer a few questions from reporters.  While the reporter asks another question entirely, Korda ends up answering a question that I, a golf swing consultant, get asked every week: “What separates a professional golfer from an amateur golfer?”


There are multiple answers to that question (I’m serious.  I could write a 365 day calendar of different things that separate “them” from “us”), Korda hones in on something that bottles it all up quite nicely:

“Lots to work on. And, I’m pretty excited about it actually.”

-Nelly Korda

She says it with a sweet, innocent smile.  Then, she blinks.  And then, like this split second later, you realize she’s dead serious because she gets this stone cold look in her eyes, and you now know it’s not just a game to her.  Seriously, you should see this look she gets.  It's, honest to God, kind of intimidating.  Like, the more you watch it, the more intimidating it gets.  You can watch it here (the timeframe is 1:10-1:15).  And you start realizing that this is business! A top 5 finish means little to nothing to her.  It’s all about the wins.  It's all about the etching of the name into the trophy again and again.  And the look she possesses in that split second is a look of competitive fire that isn’t going to be happy or able to “look on the bright side” until she wins like 40 Majors. 


Did you even catch what subtle brilliance of what she said?  She’s actually excited to get out to grind and do the hard work it takes to sharpen up her game--probably for hours and hours a day, fully acknowledging that there's no shortcuts to greatness.  Many common golfers, heck many professional golfers, don’t feel that way.  And that’s truly why she’s consistently ranked as a top 5 golfer in the world.  Currently, she’s ranked #2 in the world! She's acting as if she's outside the top 100 in the world.  Yet, she’s a few, simple tournament event swings away from becoming #1 in the world again.


She’s excited.  She’s passionate.  She’s dedicated.  She’s consistent.  Above all, she won’t settle for excuses or measly finishes that are less than first place.  A W is a W and an L's an L.  


Golf is her life.  It’s her reason to wake up in the morning.  And where the average golfer thinks of as swing work, or short game, or putting as a “chore” to do in their golf games to better their scores, Nelly wakes up, full of excitement, all bright-eyed and giddy just thinking about getting out there and doing the work.  It's her fulfillment.  Her attitude towards the work alone makes her able to complete more healthy repetitions, keep her focus longer, and thus she achieves greatness quicker.


Tournament wins are her desire and the only thing worth settling for.  Major wins are her reward.  And all that stuff in between—the practice, the nutrition, the working out, the sleep, the literal lifestyle—it’s her obsession.  And becoming #1 in the world again is just a simple byproduct of all that. 


Again, to watch her full interview, go here

bottom of page