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Lydia Ko goes high-tech with coach David Leadbetter

Lydia Ko benefits from David Leadbetter's coaching expertise even when she’s across the world in China.

Chung Sung-Jun

Lydia Ko may be half a world away from coach David Leadbetter while she plays the LPGA Asian swing, but distance and a few time zones are no hindrance to the 17-year-old receiving guidance from her swing guru.

When Ko, the globe-trotting, youngest winner of a tour event needs another pair of eyes from her instructor, she — like many golfers of her generation — just opens up her smartphone or tablet to a V1 Sports video analysis software application.

"I sent some swings to [Leadbetter] video-wise, and he gave me some tips with Sean [Hogan, a member of Leadbetter's staff]," Ko, who noted she did not want to "overcomplicate things," said on Wednesday ahead of this week’s Blue Bay LPGA tourney in Sanya, China. "So that is sort of like a good quick fix. I obviously haven’t seen him for a few weeks. I’d love for him to be onsite but it works for when he’s not here."

Technology like V1 was not available when Tiger Woods was coming up, but he certainly appreciated the flexibility it provided the "new generation" of golfers who grew up with such capabilities.

"Video cameras, slow-mo, the V1 — all these different things where kids can imitate and slow it down," Woods said during last year’s U.S. Open at Merion. "These kids are now bringing iPads to the range and watching their swing and breaking it down on the V1 … That's the new generation; the swings are going to look very similar and all these kids are going to have power."

Ko explained for the rest of us luddites how the system worked from her end.

"It’s a network where I take the video and put it on there and put it in Sean's 'locker’ and then text him and say ‘can you look at these?’" she said. "And [Sean] goes into his locker and checks it out with David. It’s a good app."

Hogan is a member of Leadbetter's instruction team whom the LPGA earlier misidentified as Woods' former coach, Sean Foley, and we, unfortunately, went with it. Thanks to an eagle-eyed reader for pointing out the error, which the LPGA has since corrected as well.