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Olympic golf venue should allow women: Ko

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 1/03/2017

Lydia Ko has made some major changes in the off-season, and the world No.1 is also hoping the golf venue for the next Olympics makes changes to its policy of barring female members.

The International Olympic Committee has urged the private Kasumigaseki Country Club to allow women full membership or the 2020 Tokyo Games organisers will be asked to find a new venue.

Ko, speaking in Singapore ahead of the HSBC Women's Champions event, said golf was gradually improving in terms of equality, and the standard of women's play on the major tours was helping speed up that process.

"I think especially in past generations, golf was a men's game. And I think especially on the LPGA, you see the amount of talent level in the women's game is immense," Ko said.

"Courses that in the past have been only men-only member ones have slowly changed, and you can see that not only in golf, but in everything that happens around us," the 19-year-old New Zealander said.

"The support and how popular women's golf is in Japan, I think maybe around the time of the Olympics or hopefully in the future, they will be able to change that rule."

Ko won five events in 2016, including her second major at the ANA Inspiration, but rather than rest on her laurels, she opted to change her coach, caddie and clubs.

So far, she is delighted with her new tools of trade, having finished eighth at last week's Honda LPGA Thailand event.

"Obviously changes are really big and when you like the clubs that you're trying, it's always nice I think to change it up a little bit," she said of her new PXG clubs after switching from Calloway.

"It gives your mind some, I guess, breath of fresh air."

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