LORENA Ochoa considers the short game as key to churning out a good score and stresses the need to work on a variety of shots to develop ball control.
“The short game is the most important part of scoring well. But there should be a variety in shot selection and one should work on it to achieve ball control and feel for the shot,” said the former world No. 1 after conducting a two-hour clinic at The Country Club over the weekend.
The two-time LPGA major winner, who made it to the Hall of Fame at a young age after dominating women’s golf for several years, was in town for an exclusive clinic with members of the ICTSI ladies pro and amateur teams where she also shared her drills in putting, pitching and chipping.
She is also set to grace the first Everest Academy Golf Cup set at Wack Wack on Monday.
“It’s a big honor to get some tips and learn something from a Hall of Famer,” said Dottie Ardina, set to see action on the Symetra Tour in the US and in some events on the LPGA Tour.
From the short game to the long game to building confidence and handling the pressure, the ace Mexican shotmaker shared her knowledge and technique, including on how she warms up for a tournament and how she practices for the next one.
“You have to analyze the whole round after the game to identify what needs to be worked on during practice. Not all practices are the same, so one must identify if the bad game or score is due to a mental or technical error. Then proceed from there,” she said.
In practice, she advises not to just hit balls over and over again. “Three balls at a time for a specific shot to a specific target will do. Every shot is different, especially on the golf course, so there’s no point in practicing just one shot,” she added. “Practice from all types of lies and all types of positions because the worst possible spot could make the shot from the perfect position very easy.”
She also mentioned the need to stay focused, saying: “Always think of positive things – those that make you smile, past putts, shots that made you win tournaments. Keep these positive thoughts to pump up your adrenalin.”
“Your routine will differ for different situations, so be ready to be dynamic and adjust right away. If you need to change to improve technique, it must happen right away since there’s no point in practicing the wrong technique for even one more second,” she added.
Ochoa also talked about pressure, saying that “since everybody feels it (pressure), try to turn it to produce positive results.”
In the end, the former LPGA Tour top rookie in 2003 who retired at age 28 to focus on starting a family and spearhead a number of charity works, told the country’s top lady pros and amateurs to take advantage of the ICTSI golf program at the TCC and what ICTSI chairman and CEO Ricky Razon has given them.
“It’s a perfect place to practice, just being given the chance to play golf in a very structured system,” said Ochoa.