Lydia Ko, ranked No. 3 in the world,
signs contract with PROTO-CONCEPT!

As already reported, women’s professional golf superstar Lydia Ko has been playing PROTO-CONCEPT irons since the U.S. Women's LPGA Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions (*January 2022).

There is no golf fan who does not know Lydia Ko. She has swept titles since she was an amateur, and became the youngest player of either gender to be ranked No. 1 in professional golf at 17 years and 9 months of age. Ko is truly a golf prodigy. She won the silver medal in the golf competition at the Rio Olympic Games. And still fresh in our minds, in the Tokyo Olympic Games, she became bronze medalist after a playoff against Mone Inami.

At the prime of her career, Ko changed clubs and coaches at once in 2017. This move was intended to further improve, but her scores slumped and her former power appeared to have weakened. She finally recovered from around the 2021 season and began to show her genius play.

Given her equipment contract would expire, Ko has tested an astounding number of clubs from last year. For irons, three models from Japanese manufacturers were shortlisted, and PROTO-CONCEPT’s C05 and C07 irons made the final cut. Both models feature a pocket cavity with high-strength clubface welded.

Ko is the type of player who does not carry distance. Rather, her strengths are her accurate iron shots and impressive short game. She would need irons that provide a sense of distance and can hit different ball trajectories, but seeking only those features would end up with a difficult model like a muscleback made of a single material. We believe PROTO-CONCEPT was able to meet her exacting standards because the irons provide the feel and maneuverability demanded by professionals, while at the same time providing advantage in terms of distance and forgiveness.

Ko had not signed an endorsement contract this season, and our irons were chosen on a contract-free basis. We believe she chose PROTO-CONCEPT, which no player had signed contracts with nor is not well-known, because it possessed the performance she was truly looking for. It was very delightful to have an extraordinary player like her recognize the performance we have pursued.

Lydia Ko

And later, we have signed an endorsement agreement with Ko. It is highly unusual for a prominent player like her, who is currently ranked No. 3 in the world and is only 24 years old yet boasts 17 tour wins already, to sign such contract with a small manufacturer like us.
We truly wish this contract will further extend her remarkable career.

PROTO-CONCEPT Brand Producer
Yasufumi Kawasaki