“First time standing alone without a father… I will jump with the energy of the rabbit”

Last year, it was Park Hyeon-kyung (23) who ranked first in the total number of views (81,872 times) on ‘Kelpie TV’, the official Naver NOW channel of the Korea Women’s Professional Golf (KLPGA) Tour. The second place video was also taken by Park Hyeon-kyung (75,911 episodes) under the theme of ‘A female celebrity I want to play golf with’. Considering that the number of views of ‘most viewed golf videos’ on Naver is usually 2,000 to 3,000 times, the number of ‘clicks’ is dozens of times higher than usual. Last year, he did not win the championship, and the prize money ranking also stayed at 13th place (539.59 million won), making it difficult to receive such a spotlight.

It is not enough to explain the secret of popularity only with ‘likable appearance’. Park Hyun-kyung, whom I met a while ago at Galaxia SM in Nonhyeon-dong, Seoul, where his management company is located, said, “Even if the game doesn’t work out, I always try to say hello to the fans.” . It means that she actively works to maintain a close relationship with her fans.

He found the background of her courteous manners in her father’s education in ‘Spartan’ etiquette. His father, Park Se-soo, 스포츠토토 who is his caddy and spiritual supporter, is from the Korea Professional Golf (KPGA) tour. Hyunkyung Park learned to play golf at a driving range her father ran in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province. Her father emphasized the importance of greeting above all else.

“I went to school and entered the practice range, but my father scolded me if I didn’t say hello to the customers in a loud voice. He said he didn’t say hello, and he once stood in front of the air conditioner for over an hour. He has always emphasized character and etiquette as much as his golf skills, and now he seems to have reached the point where he greets everyone he sees ‘unconsciously’. haha.”

Of course, greetings alone did not gain popularity. It was possible because of the solid grades that supported it. Park Hyun-kyung, who debuted in 2019, won three tours, and was strong enough to win two of them in major tournaments. In 2021, she achieved the feat of winning her second consecutive KLPGA Championship in a major tournament after 39 years following the late Ok-hee Koo. Even then, her father was by her side. Park Hyun-kyung said, “My father played a decisive role in all championships.” So she was able to get her grades up until now,” she looked back.

Park Hyun-kyung is now going to ‘stand alone’. Starting this year, she hired caddy Kim Dong-yong instead of her father. It was Park Hyun-kyung who first brought up the story of her father’s caddy retirement. She said, “(My father) said that after the game, her knees and back hurt. But more than anything, the reason I thought I had to do it alone was because I felt that I depended too much on my father more often. When the game doesn’t go well, I have to overcome it myself, but it’s not like my father can be a caddy forever.”

Park Hyun-kyung, who has been in the top 10 of the prize money rankings for two consecutive years from the year after her debut, plans to sweat in Vietnam this winter to shake off last year’s sluggish performance. Right now, it is urgent to raise her fairway landing rate. The fairway settling rate, which was 78.17% (21st) in 2021, dropped to 73.16% (34th) last year. Park Hyun-kyung said, “I’ve never been worried about the driver until now, but last year, there were many cases of ‘dropping’ after receiving a penalty stroke.”

She was sluggish in the first half of last year, but it is encouraging that she was in the ‘Top 10’ five times, including two runner-ups in the second half. Although she was born in 2000, her birthday is on January 7th, so her ‘rabbit’, Park Hyeon-kyung, is determined to continue her rising trend in the second half of last year in the year of her stepmother. He said, “I was in 5th grade in elementary school in 2011, the year of the rabbit, and I remember hitting a single on the white tee for the first time with good energy at that time.” . She will definitely get out of ‘nothing’,” she vowed.