Why World No. 1 Nelly Korda has no interest in chasing distance

Nelly Korda watches her drive

Nelly Korda is ranked in the top 8 in driving distance on the LPGA Tour.

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World No. 1 Nelly Korda is certainly no slouch off the tee: The 23-year-old ranks in the top 8 for driving distance on the LPGA Tour, averaging over 273 yards.

But at a time when every player seems focused on maximizing their output with the driver, Korda, who is currently two shots off the lead through two rounds of the Pelican Women’s Championship in Florida, says she has no interest in bombing it out there any farther.

“I don’t chase distance at all,” Korda said, after posting a second-round 67. “I actually try not to hit it out of my shoes. Usually that leads to injuries for me. I actually think a lot about tempo, trying to swing easy.

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“If my swing or my game is kind of put side by side you’ll see a lot of swings that are half shots,” she continued. “I don’t really like to rip at golf shots. That’s not my game. I like to control it, and that’s just how David taught me. Since a young age that’s kind of what we built my game around.”

Tournament co-leader Lexi Thompson is ranked third in driving distance, averaging over 278 yards — about five yards farther than Korda. In the event that Korda plays alongside someone who has Thompson’s prowess off the tee, asked one media member, how difficult is it to avoid the inclination to swing out of her shoes?

Korda says she’s never tempted.

“I don’t get peer pressured,” she said. “I feel like I control myself a good bit.”

She, however, enjoys a wide-open par-5 fairway just as much as rest of us.

“That’s kind of where I do try to step it up a notch,” she said.

Korda is hoping to further cement her standing at the top of the ranking with a win this week, which would mark her fourth of the year, and the seventh of her career.

Jessica Marksbury
Golf.com

As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of female varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everyone on the masthead. She can out-hustle them in the office, too, where she’s primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s inaugural Style Is­sue, which debuted in February 2018. Her origi­nal interview series, “A Round With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in both in the magazine and in video form on GOLF.com.