Gilchrist's students heating up


KOHLER, Wis. – Gary Gilchrist isn’t your typical swing coach.

He’s also part muse and sports psychologist.

And he’s very much in demand as a hot commodity in the women's game.

With Vicky Hurst opening the weekend at the U.S. Women’s Open just two shots off the lead, Gilchrist students are bidding to claim three of the last four major championships, four of the last six.

Gilchrist coaches Shanshan Feng, who won the Wegmans LPGA Championship last month. He also coaches Yani Tseng, who won the Ricoh Women’s British Open and Wegmans LPGA Championship last year.

Tseng spends almost as much time talking about attitude and perspective with Gilchrist as she does her swing.

“Gary is always so positive, he just gives me positive energy,” Tseng said on the eve of this U.S. Women’s Open.

Gilchrist can make his points in unusual ways.

In a practice round this week, Tseng confided to Gilchrist that the water along the right side of the 13th hole was in her head.

“OK,” Gilchrist told her on the tee box. “Let’s just hit one in the water here.”

So Tseng deliberately did.  

“He says `Now we just go and drop up here, no big deal,’” Tseng said.

Tseng says Gilchrist has a knack for helping her deal with burdensome pressure.

“Gary tells me `You have already done everything, won majors, won player of the year, become No. 1. Be thankful. You don’t need to try too hard.”