As one of GolfWeek’s Top 100 Instructors, Kevin Smeltz, undoubtedly knows the game of golf. The IJGA Director of Instruction has coached individuals ranging from beginners to professionals, including LPGA legend, Yani Tseng.
In the years that Smeltz has been coaching Tseng, one of the world’s greatest female golfers, her game has developed in ways that keep her at the top of competition. As she continues to compete and improve for her 2014 year, Tseng took the time to visit not only with her coach but also the IJGA in Hilton Head, S.C. at the IJGA Performance Center.
The guest appearance was a surprise for the IJGA students and an opportunity for the students to ask questions about her life as a professional and to watch swing demos conducted on the HD Golf Simulator. The students welcomed Tseng with eager ears, ready to heed the advice of a golf great.
Excited to understand what a “day in the life of Yani Tseng” was like, the students asked her about what her schedule entails when she was not competing. “I like to workout in the morning so that I feel more energetic at practice and I also practice my short game for three hours in the morning since I need to focus on that part of my game,” she explained. “Every day is different. I focus on something different. I am here today because I want to work on my swing with Kevin, but you also need to focus on different things at different times.”
Tseng also discussed her road to greatness, including the moment she realized just how difficult golf is and would continue to be. After failing to qualify for the U.S. Open at the age of 14, Tseng committed herself to hard work and dedication so that she could come back even better. “If you don’t have a goal, it’s really tiring,” she explained. “Think about what you really want and you’ll enjoy it along the way.”
In closing her discussion with the students, Tseng emphasized the importance of a good coach by drawing attention to her level of trust in Smeltz. “Trust the people you work with,” she said, “your coach will know the way you play and mold you to be better.”
After speaking, Tseng happily posed for photos with many of the students and answered additional questions.
The IJGA thanks Tseng for taking the time to visit and offer her advice on becoming the best. We wish her luck as she finishes at the Kraft Nabisco Championship that will conclude on April 6, 2014!