Rose Zhang is still coming to terms with her remarkable win in her first LPGA Tour event. The young golfer, coached by George Pinnell, has always been known for her unique approach to the game. Pinnell describes how Zhang takes time to process instructions before she gets into the swing of things. She contemplates the mechanics of her swing, visualizes the movements, and then executes flawlessly.
This ability to understand her swing and fix flaws on the fly has been instrumental in Zhang’s success. Despite being only 20 years old and in her rookie season on the LPGA Tour, she has already competed in 12 major championships, finishing in the top 10 three times. Her impressive performance earned her a spot on the U.S. team for the Solheim Cup, where she will be representing her country against Europe.
Zhang’s journey to professional golf has been nothing short of extraordinary. She turned pro on May 26, 2023, and won her first event, the Mizuho American Open, becoming the first woman since 1951 to win in her professional debut. This victory secured her a spot on the LPGA Tour and made her eligible for the Solheim Cup, fulfilling a dream she never thought possible so early in her career.
U.S. team captain Stacy Lewis is impressed with Zhang’s consistency and ability to handle everything that comes her way. Most rookies and first-time winners struggle to maintain their form after a big victory, but Zhang seamlessly transitioned into competing in major championships, recording top 10 finishes shortly after her win.
Zhang’s winning mentality is nothing new. She has a decorated amateur career, winning major events like the U.S. Women’s Amateur, U.S. Girls’ Junior, and the Augusta National Women’s Amateur. She held the No. 1 ranking in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking for a record 141 consecutive weeks. During her time at Stanford University, Zhang won 12 times in 20 starts and became the only woman to win back-to-back NCAA Division I individual national championships.
Zhang’s ability to understand and analyze her swing can be traced back to her partnership with coach George Pinnell. Pinnell was impressed with her knowledge and understanding of the golf swing from the moment he started working with her. She was able to identify flaws in her swing during tournaments and make adjustments on her own, without needing to consult her coach.
Pinnell has worked with top-level professional golfers in the past, but he has never seen anyone with Zhang’s level of understanding of their own swing mechanics. She can break down every aspect of her swing and analyze it in detail, from club path to hand and arm positions. Her ability to replicate her swing has come from hitting bottle caps in her backyard as a child, allowing her to shape shots and develop a deep understanding of her swing.
As Zhang prepares to represent the U.S. in the Solheim Cup, she continues to process her incredible win in her first professional event. Her unique approach to the game, coupled with her talent and understanding of her swing, make her a force to be reckoned with on the LPGA Tour. With her ongoing success, Zhang is proving that she is a star in the making and has the potential to achieve great things in her golf career.