Swing and a miss
July 04, 2020

You're not going to believe this complete whiff by tour pro Ho-sung Choi

ho-sung-choi-2018-swing.jpg

Arep Kulal/Asian Tour

Ho-sung Choi takes his unorthodox swing during a 2018 event in South Korea.

To completely whiff on a golf swing is an embarrassment to anybody at any level. A rank beginner on the range usually makes contact. To have it happen in a professional tour event—well, we had never seen it, until Saturday.

Ho-sung Choi, whose wild, “Happy Gilmore” swing made him an internet sensation and got him three sponsor’s exemptions on the PGA Tour in 2019, took his usual mighty cut on the final hole at Aramir Country Club in South Korea.

He missed. By a lot. Hit the big ball first, as they say.

Choi’s driver head ricocheted off the ground at least a foot behind the ball, which eventually toppled off the tee because of the breeze the whiff produced.

Once Choi completed his 360-degree pivot, he looked down in disbelief. Horror, maybe. Others might have been thinking, “How has this not happened before to him?”

Probably has, but not in front of the world.

Making the whiff all the more incredible is that Choi was playing in the day’s final group of the Korean Professional Golf Tour’s Busan Gyeongnam Open. He was 12 under for the tournament at the time and among those chasing leader Joohyung Kim. Choi had to play the ball from where it fell off the tee, and he managed to make a bogey and is six shots off the pace going into the final round.

With the game’s craziest swing, the 45-year-old Choi has four professional wins, including a victory in November in the Heiwa PGM Championship. He’s making his first start this week since January, when he suffered another moment of ignominy. His driver slipped out of his hand on his finish and slammed into the leg of a competitor, who was not happy.

The swing is comical to some and an outright joke to others.

Choi, ranked 218th in the world, told the Straits Times earlier this year, “At first when we looked at the replies from fans, a lot of them thought I was doing it on purpose to be funny. But people realized, after I got some results, that I am serious, and I am doing it to survive on the tour and cope with the competition.”

Due mostly to fans' fascination with the swing, Choi got exemptions into last year’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, John Deere Classic and Barracuda Championship. He missed the cut in all three, scoring no better than 70.

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