Ahead of the opening of the first major Masters Tournament in 2023, golf fans around the world paid attention to the practice round in which Tiger Woods (USA), the “golf emperor,” appeared. There was another player who caught the attention of the day. This is Kim Joo-hyung (21), who became the number one winner on the PGA Tour faster than Woods. Kim Joo-hyung prepared for the Masters with Woods, Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland), and Scotty Scheffler (USA), so he could feel his status changed from before.
The reason Kim Joo-hyung was able to play a practice round with top rankers was the invitation of Fred Couples (USA). It is known that Couples, who participated as vice-captains of the US team at the Presidents Cup last year, suggested to Kim Joo-hyung that they go round practice rounds together.
Professional golfers, such as the PGA Tour, the LPGA Tour, the Korean Professional Golf Association (KPGA) Korean Tour, and the Korean Ladies Professional Golf Association (KLPGA) Tour, take practice rounds in a different way from amateur golfers.
PGA Tour and LPGA Tour players generally play practice rounds at their own time. Unlike Korea, I can go out at any time I want, so I digest the practice round according to the schedule of the day planned in advance.
How are Korean players active on the PGA Tour, including Kim Joo-hyung, Lim Seong-jae (25), Lee Kyung-hun (32), Kim Si-woo (28), An Byeong-hun (32), and Kim Seong-hyun (25)? Depending on the group formation for the 1st and 2nd rounds, the starting time and the stone players will be decided. As players in the morning and afternoon groups have different sleeping and waking times, the starting time on the first day and second day has the greatest impact on forming the members of the practice round.
Korean Tour and KLPGA Tour players hold practice rounds in a slightly different way than players active in the United States. A typical example is close friends going around a practice round together. It is famous for preparing almost all Korean Tour tournaments with close senior-junior relations Park Sang-hyun and Ham Jung-woo, Moon Gyeong-jun and Lee Tae-hee. Just as Park Hyeon-kyung, Kim Su-ji, and Bae So-hyun, who are being guided by swing coach Lee Si-woo, are in one group, even if the leader is the same, they prepare for the tournament together.
There are also veterans who take care of new players separately. Park Sang-hyun of the Korean Tour and Shin Ji-ae of the Japan Ladies Professional Golf (JLPGA) Tour take special care of their juniors to the extent of suggesting that players who have just made their debut on the tour first go through a practice round together. Park Sang-hyun said, “When I first came on the tour, I still remember being upset because there was no player to practice with.” I don’t know how long he will be on tour, but I will continue to care so that he can become a helpful senior.”
There are times when players with the same sponsor prepare for a tournament together, as Seongjae Lim and Gyeonghoon Lee played a practice round together at The CJ Cup on the PGA Tour last year. At the time, Lim Seong-jae and Lee Gyeong-hoon explained, “It was nice to be able to prepare for the competition while sharing various stories.”안전놀이터
The players and caddies are busy as the only way to know the course where the competition is held is the practice round. The most important thing is to attack the course and identify the greens. Players and caddies have no choice but to thoroughly prepare because there is a high probability that the performance will be determined by the strategy. It is around the green that players spend most of their time. Put a tee in the expected pin position in rounds 1, 2, 3, and 4, and practice approach and bunker shots according to various situations.
Im Seong-jae, who has been active on the PGA Tour since the 2018-2019 season, said, “I focused on understanding the course until the second year of the PGA Tour, but now I practice the most around the green.” You have to invest as much time as possible. In the case of major tournaments held on high-difficulty golf courses, we prepare more carefully around the green.”
What caddies care most about is the slope of the green. “When players practice around the green, caddies check the green as a whole,” said Kim Joo-hyung’s caddy, Joe Scrubron. As my player’s performance is determined by my play on the green, I really concentrate on my practice rounds.”