Nelly Korda has one of the smoothest swings in golf. But that doesn’t mean she isn’t working on it. Since turning pro in 2016, the 23-year-old has been tipped for greatness and fulfilled her destiny as a pending major champion when she won the 2021 PGA Women’s Championship. with an Olympic gold medal.

Golf Monthly contributor Garrett Johnston recently caught up with Korda to find out how she prepares for each game and what we can learn.

Read the full Q&A below…

What is the purpose of your pre-tour warm-up?

NK: It’s more than I’m working on my strike over there. It’s about finding my timing. I usually start about an hour and five minutes before my departure time. I want to make sure that my body and my muscles are relaxed. I start with pitch shots on the range, then work my way up through my bag.

I mainly work on impact. On the green, I do an exercise because your look and your sight change every day. You may see the ball and your line differently every day, so line drill is really important when you start your putt. Try it for five minutes to make sure you dial in your lineup. Once you’ve done that, you work on your distance.

What’s the best way for us recreational golfers to prepare for a game?

NK: I would say go to class with a routine. I feel like people are really bothered trying a bunch of different things. If you are consistent and have a routine and stick to it every day you play, you won’t improve right away, but over time you will. You can’t make changes and expect to see results right away. It’s all about consistency.

How can we improve the way we train and play out of the bunkers?

NK: Bunkers are all about the strike. My short game coach has me hitting shots out of the bunkers every day and just focusing on hitting the ball and sounding it. I would say one of my favorite practice drills is to draw a line in the sand one inch behind the ball. Try hitting it there.

A lot of recreational golfers either get it too big or they hit the ball first and go over it, so make sure you hit the ball an inch behind and focus on getting more sand, this is how you will get the right height on your shot.

Do you want to hit a number of practice bunker shots like this in order to gain pre-round confidence?

NK: It doesn’t matter the total number of times you hit it. It doesn’t matter how far you hit these shots, I would just focus on the hit, and then you can start focusing on the distance. You don’t want to focus on distance first. It’s like when you started playing golf as a kid, you didn’t go to the shooting range first. As for me, the first thing I did was to work on the fundamentals with a coach. At this point, the strike doesn’t matter, but once you get your fundamentals down, everything is so much easier.

Nelly Korda: My simple secrets to practice better

All about the strike. Draw a line in the sand an inch behind your ball and refine a consistent entry point

(Image credit: GETTY)

When it comes to bunkers, you have to get your shot and make sure you’re using the club’s bounce and opening up the clubface and hitting it well. Once you’ve done that, you can focus on the distance covered.

What specific fundamentals do we want to check during our range warm-up?

NK: The first thing you want to check is that if you grip it correctly it makes a huge difference in your swing. You could easily be too weak or too strong and it will affect the position of the club. So grip is important, as well as position and where your weight is. Once you master all of these fundamentals, it’s so much easier to work on consistency and easier to work on lower numbers.

Chipping before our turn, what do we need to work on there?

NK: What I work on before my turns on chipping is not to move my head too much. You need to be fairly still in the chipping and make sure you don’t lose your angles in your legs. A lot of people have straight legs when they hit it and they either cut it – they move their head too much – or they overtake it. I would say that being still with your body is very important for chipping.

What is a good swing rather than an iron shot?

NK: Obviously everyone has different tendencies and me and my coach try to keep my swing as simple as possible. One of my tendencies is that I move my legs a little too much on irons and woods, so I just try to keep my lower body a little more still.

What about a driver as we stand over the tee shots, what’s a good idea?

NK: You definitely put a different swing on driver shots versus iron shots. The irons you’re thinking of are hitting the ground more, and with the driver you’re trying to hit a bit more into it, so it’s a bit different. One thought I have with my driver is “left shoulder to chin”. It’s just a very simple thought and it really helps me with my path and everything.

Does it guide your swing?

NK: Yes. The driver is much longer than our irons so sometimes we tend to swing the driver a bit too long. When I have that shoulder-to-chin feeling, I’m more consistent with the length of my swing.