Nelly Korda is on legendary run. Here are 3 tips every golfer can learn from it

nelly korda swings during a practice round for the 2024 u.s. women's open

Nelly Korda has won six of her past eight tournaments.

Jack Hirsh /

Welcome to Play Smart, a regular game-improvement column that will help you play smarter, better golf.

LANCASTER, Pa. — The best women’s golfers on the planet have descended upon Lancaster Country Club this week, and each has the same goal — win the U.S. Women’s Open.

That goal will be easier said than done. Not only will the winner have to beat 155 of the world’s best, they’ll have to halt the hottest golfer in the world.

If you’ve been living under a rock for the past six months, here’s a refresher: Nelly Korda, long considered the next big thing in women’s golf, is having a moment. She’s played eight tournaments in 2024, and she’s won six of them. She claimed her second career major last month and then won in the shadow of Lady Liberty a few weeks later. Her grasp of the top spot in the Rolex Rankings is more of a stranglehold, with the gap between her and the second-ranked player (Lilia Vu) being the same as the gap between Vu and No. 1,620.

Korda has an uncanny ability to make the golf swing look easy. Like Adam Scott or Ernie Els or Fred Couples, when Korda swings, it makes everyone around gawk in envy.

But while her move may look effortless, getting it to this point has been a journey. Prior to this season, Korda was the player whose swing aesthetics didn’t match up with the results. It always seemed like she should be winning more.

Her legendary run over the first five months of 2024 has completely flipped that narrative. Here’s what everyone can learn from Korda’s swing during this legendary run.

Consistent coaching

What Korda said: “I’ve had Jamie [Mulligan] or Brett [Lederer] out here almost every single week. The only week that I haven’t had someone out was during Cognizant [Founders Cup], and I just didn’t really hit it that well that week. So making sure that my team is taking time for me as well and coming out and making sure that we’re all dedicated to each other has kind of really been the thing that has changed this year, because every event that I’ve been to and I’ve played in, I’ve had a coach there.”

What it means: Korda’s swing might look like a work of art each and every time she pulls back the club, but there are times when it’s not quite working. And with the margins being so thin in pro golf, it’s important to be as dialed in as possible each and every week. To get that consistency on a week-to-week basis, Korda has made sure to have her swing coach, GOLF Top 100 Teacher Jamie Mulligan, or his top lieutenant, Brett Lederer, on site with her each week. The commitment to early-week range work — even during tournament weeks — is working wonders.

What you can learn: Even when you’re playing well, don’t be afraid to continue working with your coach and taking lessons. Your swing can change on a round-to-round basis, so it’s important to have a second set of eyes on things to keep you in your good habits.

Know your feel vs. real

What Korda said: “Feel versus real is very, very different. What I think I’m doing is usually kind of the opposite, so having someone out here has really, really helped me.”

What it means: Feel vs. real is the act of exaggerating feelings in the swing in order to get the desired results. If you’re trying to make a swing change, feeling that your overdoing it is the best way to ingrain the proper new positions.

What you can learn: When you’re trying to ingrain a new feel in the swing, have a “feel” that feels like you’re exaggerating. Then, take a look at the video of what the “real” is. You’ll be surprised to see that the exaggerated feeling often gets you into perfect positions.

Focus on the process

What Korda said: “Obviously I go into every week wanting to win, but there is a sense that sometimes that’s not realistic. For me, I need to give 100 percent of myself every single day to, not just my golf, my family, my workouts, life outside of golf. For me, that’s the number one thing for me.”

What it means: There’s only one winner of each golf tournament, so measuring success in wins and losses is an unproductive exercise. The only thing golfers can control is how they approach the week and every shot they hit. That’s why so many golfers are so obsessed with their “process.” Many of them — Korda included — feel a week is successful if they stick to their process. A win is merely a bonus.

What you can learn: Take a page out of Korda’s book and focus on your process every time you play or practice. You’ll never be perfect on the course, so it’s important to control what you can control. And one of the easiest targets is the all-important process.

Zephyr Melton Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with the Texas Golf Association, Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf. He can be reached at