Blog
21
October
Should Lydia Ko turn professional?
By: Ross Starkey

The LPGA's current age limit is 18, but it is widely expected that they will allow the golfer, ranked 5th on the Rolex World Golf Rankings, entry into the LPGA. It's not a question of whether Lydia Ko will be able to turn professional or not, if Ko wants, she can become a professional at any time, but it is whether they will allow Ko to be a member of the LPGA Tour.

At the heart of the matter is the glaring fact that Ko is beating the pros with such regularity that perhaps she should begin to cash in on her golfing talent, which is ultimately every talented golfer's aim. But is 16 too young to become a professional?

Reasons to turn pro:

1.) Because she's good enough, anyone ranked number 5 in the world, who has won four professional tournaments, including two on the LPGA and one on the LET, is more than capable of handling themselves in the professional game.

2.) She cannot enjoy a normal adolescence because she is not a normal 16 year old. Every 'normal' adolescent would swap lifestyles with her in a heartbeat. Her parents are clearly going to do what is best for their child, and that is surely letting her becoming a professional.

3.) Cash in on her talent. Every event she plays in without becoming a professional is a missed opportunity to start providing financial security. Her goal, whether she completes her studies or not, is to become a professional golfer. A professional is a golfer who plays for money, she gains little by waiting any longer.

4.) Going to college might be a disadvantage. The finest players in the world are on the LPGA Tour, playing a full time college schedule would put her talents against substantially lesser opponents, resulting in a degree which may cost her a competitive golfing edge.

5.) She already has two more professional event victories than has Lexi Thompson, who set a precedent by being allowed (by LPGA Tour commissioner Mike Whan) to join the LPGA at just 17 years old after winning an LPGA Tour event at 16. As an amateur Ko has already doubled Lexi's winning tally.

6.) She has nothing left to prove in amateur golf.

Reasons to remain amateur:

1.) Its different when you start playing for real money. When dollars start counting on every shot, somehow it's not quite the same game.

2.) She should enjoy her youth. By travelling the world to play in the biggest professional golf tournaments against the very best golfers, she will miss out on the next Twilight phenomena or her high school prom.

3.) She won't get to enjoy college. By not going college, not joining a Sorority and not getting drunk every Friday night, she'll be missing out on one of the greatest institutions of Americana, one that she'll possibly regret for the rest of her life whilst sipping Crystal in her private jet.

4.) There's no guarantees in pro golf. Look at Michelle Wie, Morgan Pressel and Lexi Thompson. All turned pro before they were 18 and between them they have only won $9,615,733 in LPGA prize money.

5.) There are no other reasons!