Grace Kim rising star of Australian women's golf

13 Sep 2017By Mike Tomalaris

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SBS World News Radio: Australian women's golf is pinning its immediate future on the hopes of Sydney-born Grace Kim.

 

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Grace Kim is considered to have the perfect golf swing, can chip better than most, and, as for her putting, the green is her domain.

By all appearances, she is golf's complete package.

But she did not originally see golf as her game.

"At first, I really didn't want to do it. But after seeing Dad play and me actually hitting the ball quite nicely -- and I fitted in well -- I decided to pick up a club."

Born in Sydney's western suburbs, Kim's Korean heritage fits right in, too, with the best female players in the game.

More than half of the 10 top-ranked women golfers in the world are of Korean origin.

Kim is still only 16 years old, but she has won a number of junior titles, including the national crown.

For now, she has to rely on her coach for not just golfing expertise but to juggle her high-school commitments with 25 hours of practice every week.

But coach Khan Pullen says his student is committed to the cause.

"I guess the strength of her game is she's a very accurate hitter. She's also a good putter. More recently, she's really developed her mental toughness."

Kim is already looking at golf's bigger picture.

She says she draws inspiration from modern-day trailblazer Minjee Lee, a professional golfer out of Perth.

"She is a bit of my role model. She is a Korean-background Australian as well, and I really look up to her, because she's really built in the physical side and the golf side."

There is more to golf than simply driving and putting.

Kim also relies on online technology to improve her game.

She uses a device called the Trackman, a valuable piece of technology that produces refined data to help her define her strengths and weaknesses.

Some analysts have projected Kim to join that long list of Korean-heritage players on the pro circuit.

But she says, while she is proud of her heritage, she is focused on the future as an Australian.

She has qualified to play at next year's Australian Open and has high hopes of wearing Australia's colours at the Tokyo Olympics.

 

 

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