Press Release - 


New Zealander Wins Vare Trophy for Lowest Scoring Average

IRVINE, Calif. (Nov. 21, 2022) – Lydia Ko used Proto Concept irons to help her win the CME Group Tour Championship Sunday (Nov. 20) in a wire-to-wire victory that led to her clinching the Race to the CME Globe, LPGA Tour Player of the Year honors, and the Vare Trophy for lowest season-long scoring average (68.988).

The 25-year-old New Zealander shot 17-under par with rounds of 65-66-70-70—271 at the Tiburon Golf Club’s Gold course in Naples, Florida for a two-shot victory, her third of the season and 19th on the LPGA Tour. She is now just two points shy of the 27 needed for LPGA Hall of Fame induction.

"Proto Concept Golf and Golf Partner USA would like to congratulate Lydia Ko for her dominant victory at the CME Group Tour Championship," said Yasufumi Kawasaki, Brand Producer of Proto Concept. "Lydia has had a tremendous season this year using Proto Concept irons and we are honored that she has trusted our products to help her in her quest to play her best."

Ko plays a C07 6-iron and Proto Concept’s C05 irons in Nos. 7-9. MyGolfSpy ranked the C05 irons its Most Wanted among Player’s Distance Irons for Best Distance and recognized the C07 irons as its Most Wanted Game Improvement Irons for 2022, ranking them No. 1 in Forgiveness and No. 2 in Accuracy.

The Kiwi won $2 million for the victory, which elevated her to No. 1 on this year’s LPGA money list with $4.364 million. In addition to having the No. 1 scoring average, Ko also was No. 1 in Top 10 finishes at 64 percent, Rounds Under Par, Rounds in the 60s, Putts Per Green in Regulation, and Rounds in the 60s. It was her second consecutive Vare Trophy win and her second Player of the Year award.

 Ko began playing Proto Concept irons early this year at the suggestion of her personal club fitter. She made the change and immediately won the 2022 Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio (Jan. 30); shortly thereafter she signed an endorsement agreement with Proto Concept and Golf Partner USA, an affiliated brand. Ko features the Golf Partner logo on her bag, umbrella and headcovers.

 Ko is the winner of 32 tournaments worldwide, including 19 on the LPGA Tour, two of which were major championships. She won most of those events as a teenage superstar, who has resurrected her game in recent years.

Earlier this year, Proto Concept, a ultra-luxury Japanese golf club designer/manufacturer, burst onto the scene by having three of its products named to the Golf Digest's 2022 Hot List for the first time. The Hot List was released Jan. 25. 

Proto Concept is a collaboration between Japanese-owned Golf Partner Japan - the largest golf retailer in the world with some 400 locations - and fellow Japanese golf behemoth Endo Manufacturing, the industry standard in precision club manufacturing that is used by many of the world’s best-known OEMs. Kawasaki also is a managing executive officer of Golf Partner (

"When it comes to Proto Concept Golf, the goal of our design team at Golf Partner is to produce the highest quality golf clubs for avid golfers of all handicaps,” Kawasaki said. “The name Proto Concept is derived from the prototype-quality clubs that are developed for tour professionals."

 Proto Concept products may be ordered online at and through designated green grass club fitters nationally, which can found at

Proto Concept was established in 2019 in Tokyo, Japan and is a part of Golf Partner Co. Ltd. Yasufumi Kawasaki is Brand Producer for Proto Concept and is a managing executive officer of Golf Partner Japan.



Barry Cronin
Cronin Communications, Inc.