Golfing greatness according to Lorena Ochoa

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MANILA, Philippines — Lorena Ochoa, the Mexican who occupied the world’s No. 1 ranking from April 2007 until her retirement in May 2010, quietly flew into the country over the weekend to conduct clinics for members of the ICTSI stable, revealing everything from how she prepares mentally to how and what she practices before tournaments.

Despite retiring at the relatively young age of 28 to concentrate on building a family, Ochoa easily earned a place in the golf’s Hall of Fame with a well-rounded game that gave her two major championships among 27 victories in the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA).

She stressed the need to develop the short game, saying one should not be robotic in practice.

“The short game is the most important part of scoring well,” said the winner of the 2007 Women’s British Open and the 2008 Kraft Nabisco Championships during the two-hour clinic at The Country Club in Laguna.

“But there should be variety in shot selection and one should work on it to achieve ball control and feel for the shot.”

Ochoa also emphasized on practicing specific shots and not just hitting balls, even telling the Filipino players that hitting three balls for one particular shot is enough.

“You have to analyze the whole round after the game to identify what needs to be worked on during practice,” said Ochoa, who started playing the game at age five in her native Guadalajara under the tutelage of Mexican golf great Rafael Alarcon.

“Not all practices are the same, so one must identify if the bad game or score is due to a mental or technical error.”

Among those who attended the clinic sponsored by International Container Terminal Services Inc. chair and president Ricky Razon was Dottie Ardina, the many-time amateur champion who will try her luck as a pro in the lucrative LPGA Tour in the United States.

“It was a big honor to get some tips and learn something from a Hall of Famer,” said Ardina.

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