Inbee Park is Hall of Fame great in the women’s game, but she will tell you her glaring weakness is how her game seems to go into a fall and winter hibernation.
Park says she isn’t expecting a lot from herself in this week’s LPGA season opener at the Pure Silk Bahamas Classic because she’s such a historically slow starter.
“Fall and winter, I’m horrible,” Park cracked Wednesday at the Ocean Club on Paradise Island. “Sometimes, in winter time when I play, I’m like, `You’re so bad.’”
Of course, Park’s not. She’s one of the game’s all-time greats. She’s on her way to Hall of Fame induction. She met the 27-point LPGA Hall of Fame requirement winning the Vare Trophy at last season’s end and will meet all the induction requirements in her 10th start this season, securing the active service requirement of 10 years.
Still, only two of Park’s 17 LPGA titles have come before April 1.
“The first couple tournaments [of the year], I feel like I’m a totally different player,” Park said. “I get disappointed in the first couple tournaments, always. All 10 years on tour, I’m thinking, `Am I really a professional golfer?’ . . . You’ve got to just keep trusting yourself, that you’re going to get in shape in a couple months. It’s hard. You’ve just got to get through that moment.”
With all the majors in spring and summer, Park’s competitive cycle’s well timed. Only six players in the history of the women’s game have won more than Park’s seven major championships.
“It's tough to get everything in shape in January, just trying to take these first two tournaments like I’m warming up,” Park said. “The really important thing this year is just to get your momentum going in the summer, really important.”
In a 10-week summer stretch this year, LPGA pros will compete in three majors, the Olympics and the UL International Crown.
“Everything is just so bunched up,” Park said.