Lydia Ko Parts Ways With Coach Sean Foley

The World No.3 has announced she has split with the coach after two years

Lydia Ko and Sean Foley during a practice round at the 2021 CME Group Tour Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images)

World No.3 Lydia Ko has announced that she has parted ways with coach Sean Foley after two years.

Ko revealed the news via Instagram, writing: “When I first met Sean, I was in a place where I didn’t have a lot of confidence in myself and in my game. Over the past two years he has helped me evolve as a better player and person. Our time together was full of so much learning, laughter.”

Ko, who cited "logistical reasons" for the split, initially turned to Tiger Woods' former coach in 2020 following a barren run of over two years without a win on the LPGA Tour. The New Zealander was also outside the world’s top 50 when the pair began working together. Ko rediscovered her winning touch on the Tour in the 2021 Lotte Championship, and has won twice more in 2022, including in the recent BMW Ladies Championship.

Lydia Ko with the trophy after winning the 2022 BMW Ladies Championship

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ko is no stranger to changing coaches having also worked with the likes of Jorge Parada, David Whelan and Gary Gilchrist. In 2019, another of her former coaches, David Leadbetter, blamed Ko’s parents for the slump in form that saw her drop out of the world’s top 50. Speaking to New Zealand’s Radio Sport, Leadbetter said: "Her parents have a lot to answer for – a case of unbelievable ignorance. I'm angry, I'm sad because to me I know what she's capable of doing. And to see her play like this, it's just very sad to see. I think her parents need to sort of let her go and do her thing.

“She's 21-22 years of age now. She could control her own career. She should know what's best for her. She's not a 12-year-old anymore. So they need to let her go, let her fly, let her leave the nest so to speak and find her own way. If she can do that, I mean, yeah, we could see Lydia back."

Now 25, Ko has undoubtedly recovered some of her best form under Foley. She is currently leading the Rolex Player of the Year race and finished in the top 10 in three of the year’s five Majors. However, it hasn't been enough for the relationship to continue. Following the announcement, Ko’s sister and manager Sura explained to Golfweek that she had been working with another former coach, Ted Oh, but only on an informal basis at the present time. 

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.