Danielle Kang: "This week doesn't feel like work to me, and I think that's what I've missed."

Home > 19th Hole > Interview > Danielle Kang: "This week doesn't feel like work to me, and I think that's what I've missed."
Golf Today caught up with PGA Championship winner and Solheim Cup stalwart Danielle Kang ahead of the Aramco Team Series in Seoul.
Posted on
May 8, 2024
by
Jack Lumb in , , ,
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

The second leg of the Aramco Team Series sets up in sunny Seoul this week, as some of the top female golfers in the world prepare to battle it out at the idyllic New Korea Country Club.

Joining the stellar lineup is Solheim Cup stalwart and 2017 PGA Championship winner, Danielle Kang, who took the time to chat with Golf Today about the upcoming week and her mindset going into it.

You played the course in a practice round earlier today, what do you think of it?

“I actually didn't have much expectation. I didn't think much of it. However, when I played it, it was a very good track.

The 10th hole at New Korea Country Club
The 10th hole at New Korea Country Club

LET set it up pretty well. I believe it fits the women's game, and the greens are in good shape. I think it's going to be tricky around the greens because conditions are... the grass is a bit more different than what we're used to.

So, you're going to get a lot of fire lies, all of a sudden, it's going to catch your club, you might hit some hooks. I think you're just going to have to play and feel through the grass and around the golf course. I think that's what makes it fun.”

You mentioned briefly in the press conference about feeling a bit lighter coming into the event. How are you feeling going into this week?

“I'm actually very content and happy this week. I haven't been happy playing golf in probably, actually, I haven't been happy competing in a long, long time. And I fight my way through it, I play every week, because it is what it is, right?

We’ve still got to work, even if we don't want to. But for me, I never looked at it as work until recently. However, this week doesn't feel like work to me, and I think that's what I've missed.

Danielle Kang at speaking at the press conference
Danielle Kang speaking at Wednesday's press conference

And it might be the vibe of the LET, it might be Aramco, but I knew that when I played here I wasn't going to feel heavy. Because I've been here, I know how they interact with players, and I know how we're treated, and I know how the golf course is, and I know how the players are, so it's just a little bit less stress, even if I don't know a lot about the LET.

And I'm a newbie, right? I even asked a couple of players, do I have to sign up for practice rounds? And they’re like, yeah, but someone dropped out, so just join us. It's just very, very easy for me, it's pleasant. I think the word that I’m looking for is pleasant”

This isn't the standard format that you'd usually play. How does it change the dynamic in comparison to normal competitive play when you're out on the course?

“So I know that it might sound a bit different or weird, but I've just been doing it for so long, right? And I know that there are a lot of players that are so passionate, right? I've lost a little bit of that passion.

And I don't know why, I can't quite explain. I can give you reasons, but it might not apply to other people. But with that said, I would never lose my passion playing team games.

Danielle Kang teeing off in her practice round
Danielle Kang is excited by the week ahead

I love team games. And there's a reason why I thrive at Solheim. There's a reason why.

I mean, I know that my records aren't all wins, but players that I've played against play out of their minds. The European girls play out of their minds. Like Carlota shot, I'm pretty sure, like 8, 9-under playing against me.

Things like that, it's just like we bring out the best in each other. I think it's just so much more fun. And golf has never been something that I've dreamt of, I guess, being a golfer.

So when there's a team aspect that I've been exposed to, I think I lean towards that a bit more. I know I don't play many of them because I know there's a lot of conflicting events going on, but I hope that it kicks off, like I'm jealous of LIV because they have a team event. I don't care about the money necessarily.”

[Golf Today] It's a lonely game, isn't it, week in, week out?

“Yeah, like I want a teammate. You know, like, you've got each other, right?”

[Golf Today] High-five each other, rip into each other if it's a bad one.

“It's fun, isn't it? I'm so jealous that they just have a bond, you know? It's like a teammate bond.

I don't know, you can always change teams, but then you have a new bond, right? You always have a new relationship, new experiences, and I feel like when you do the same thing over and over by yourself, it just gets a little bit old for me. I think I'm just, maybe I'm bored, I don't know.

But I knew that coming to play the Aramco series, and so maybe hoping selfishly that it might give me a little bit more motivation, more passion to be, okay, like, alright, you can do this, like on your own, come on.

(Hopefully) it’ll give me a little bit more fuel, until another team event gives me fuel. I'm hoping it gives me a bit more, (because) my gas tank's empty.

Pauline Roussin, Bronte Law, Danielle Kang and Hyo-Joo Kim pose with the ATS trophy
Pauline Roussin-Bouchard, Bronte Law, Danielle Kang and Hyo-Joo Kim will all be teeing it up this week

I met some great people playing this event (last year). Like Kim Metraux and Carmen Alonso, I had one of the greatest teams. And I didn't even know them.

I was just picked, right? I left it up to fate. And I still think about the putt that I missed, we got second.

I was just like, I don't even dwell on the seconds that I get. That team event, I'm still dwelling. I know Carmen's captain now, and I'm really happy for her, but I'm bummed. I hope she can pick me.

I don't mind who gets picked, but I'm hoping that I get to make new relationships this week, have good experiences and make memories like before. More so than just keep running on an empty tank of gas, you know?

So I think that's what I'm looking for a little bit. Searching for something.”

About Jack Lumb

Jack is the editor of Golf Today. Having spent ten years playing competitively at a high amateur level and five years at county, he has carried his knowledge of the game into the world of journalism. He once set the course record at his home club, only for it to be beaten a month later.

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