20 Things You Didn’t Know About Lydia Ko

Get to know the multiple-time LPGA Tour and Major winner, Lydia Ko, a little bit better with these 20 facts

Lydia Ko strikes her tee shot with a driver and watches the flight
(Image credit: Getty Images)

New Zealand's Lydia Ko is one of the biggest stars in the women’s game with over 25 professional wins worldwide, including two Major Championships. She has also enjoyed multiple spells as the World No. 1, most recently reclaiming that status following victory at the 2022 CME Group Tour Championship.

There's no doubt that Ko is a future Hall of Famer and, in this piece, we have found 20 facts about her...

Lydia Ko holds the Tournament of Champions trophy

(Image credit: Getty Images)

20 Things You Didn't Know About Lydia Ko

1. Bo-Gyung “Lydia” Ko was born 24th April 1997 in Seoul, South Korea.

2. Ko emigrated to New Zealand when she was just an infant and studied at Pinehurst School in Albany.

3. When she was five years old, Ko was taken to the pro shop at Pupuke Golf Club by her mother and, from there, she fell in love with the game.

4. Ko first received media attention in 2005 when, at only seven years old, she appeared at the New Zealand Amateur Championship.

Lydia Ko tees off on the 3rd hole during the 2009 New Zealand Men's & Women's Amateur Championship at Titirangi Golf Club

Ko during the 2009 New Zealand Men's & Women's Amateur Championship

(Image credit: Getty Images)

5. The New Zealander’s hobbies include tennis, rock climbing and reading.

6. In 2011, Ko became the first female to win the Mark H. McCormack Medal, an award given to the leading player in the World Amateur Golf Rankings by The R&A. Ko also retained it in 2012 and '13.

7. At the age of 14, the New Zealander became the then-youngest person ever to win a professional golf tour event, tasting success at the Women's New South Wales Open on the ALPG Tour.

8. Ko was named as one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people when she was only 16 years old.

9. Before turning pro, Ko spent 130 weeks as the top-ranked women's amateur in the world, during which time she won the LPGA’s Canadian Open twice. This made her the first amateur to win an LPGA Tour event in over 43 years and the youngest to ever do it, beating the previous record set by Lexi Thompson.

10. In her first full season as a pro (2014), she won three LPGA events and was awarded Rookie of the Year.

11. Ko has been voted New Zealand’s Sportswoman of the Year three times: 2013, 2014 and 2015.

12. In 2015 and '16, Ko dominated the women’s game, winning nine times on the LPGA Tour and three times on the Ladies European Tour. This included two Major Championships and an Olympic silver medal. She added a bronze medal to her roll of honour at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

New Zealand's Lydia Ko holds her bronze medal during the victory ceremony for the women's individual strokeplay competition at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Ko claimed bronze at the Olympics in 2021, finishing behind Mone Inami and Nelly Korda

(Image credit: Getty Images)

13. In 2015, the New Zealander became the youngest player, male or female, to reach No. 1 in the world.

14. Ko has twice been named in the ESPNW Impact 25 list of 25 athletes and influencers who have made the greatest impact for women in sport.

15. Ko was coached by David Leadbetter in the early part of her pro career before the pair controversially split in 2016. In an interview with New Zealand’s Radio Sport, Leadbetter said: "Her parents have a lot to answer for. They tell her when to go to bed, what to eat, what to wear, when to practice and what to practice. And they expect her to win every tournament."

16. Her sponsors include ECCO and Lexus, while Ko's what's in the bag now features predominantly Titleist clubs after her five-year PXG deal came to an end in the early part of 2022.

17. Although Ko didn't win on the LPGA Tour in 2019 and '20, she returned to winning ways at the 2021 Lotte Championship.

18. Returning to form, Ko won the CME Group Tour Championship in 2022, picking up the record $2 million first prize. With the win, Ko won the season's money title, Vare Trophy for lowest scoring average and the LPGA Player of the Year.

19. In December 2022, Ko married Chung Jun, the son of the Hyundai Card Vice Chairman Chung Tae-young, at the Myeondong Cathedral in Seoul.

20. At the end of 2023, Ko became the inaugural winner of the Grant Thornton Invitational alongside Jason Day. The pair fired rounds of 58, 66 and 66 to win by one stroke.


To date, Ko has amassed over $17.1m in career earnings on the LPGA Tour. 


Lydia Ko is 5'5" tall.


According to the LPGA Tour, Ko's average driving distance in 2023 stands at 251.71 yards (ranked 114). That's around 30 yards less than the leading player.

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x