Aditi Ashok: my golf is evolving from my LPGA experience

With three top tens and career earnings in excess of half a million dollars, Aditi Ashok is working hard on laying a strong foundation for a promising career

Aditi Ashok_Kenya_Ladies_Open

25 December 2019: Aditi Ashok is blazing a new trail for Indian golf. She is set to play her fourth straight season on the LPGA, clearly building a substantive international career with plenty of time on her side. Though 2019 would not have measured up to her own high standards, these are the lessons that should help build a solid foundation as she continues the quest for a maiden victory on the LPGA. Meanwhile, the Ladies European Tour continues to be a remarkably fertile hunting ground for Aditi, who rounded off the season with second place finishes in Spain and Kenya.

In this end of season conversation with us, Aditi discusses some of the aspects that stood out during the 2019 season and the experience she is gaining from playing on the demanding international circuit. The new partnership between the European and American tours also opens a new door of opportunities for Aditi and perhaps enable the young golfer to draw on her experience across the pond to gain more success in 2020 and beyond.

Aditi Ashok - Ladies European Tour
Aditi Ashok – Ladies European Tour Image

What is your perspective on the 2019 season and how have you seen your game progress through your three full seasons on the LPGA?

2019 was different. I didn’t get off to the best of starts on LPGA as I had missed 5 cuts in a row and that kind of set me back and I spent the whole season trying to make up for it every week. I had to play 14 weeks out of 16 weeks during the summer and so my ability to recover and keep performing without much time to feel ready was tested. I am happy that I managed to keep my card on the LPGA and finished the LET season with a couple runner ups.2019 was nothing like what I expected and been the toughest season since I turned pro in 2016, but I learnt more about my resilience and overall it was more like proving to myself that even if I was struggling I can make it on the LPGA. 
2020 will be my 4th season on the LPGA and 5th season on the LET and I am looking forward to it.
Going back to July, when you shot 63 and 64 at the Great Lakes Bay Invitational – can you reflect on your game that week and how days like that may help you gain affirmation of your bright prospects in the game?
Good rounds specially those low rounds in the 60s help with confidence especially when you’re dealing with a few set backs, some weeks like Arkansas and Canada kind of help during the grind.
Now that you have spent a few years already in the USA, can you share how you have adapted your game to the demands of the LPGA?
To be competing with the world’s best players week after week demands a lot out of a player and I have had a few good stretches and some not so good weeks but over the last three seasons on LPGA, I have learnt more about my swing and my game has evolved, I have greater understanding of the courses we play and on the whole I have seen growth and improvements more than regress. I can hardly wait for 2020.
Can you elaborate on your reflections about the improvements in your swing and the evolution of your game through three demanding seasons on the LPGA?
I think the main thing I have learnt is how to play a variety of courses in different weather conditions. I have also learnt to make a good game plan that suits me and the level of scoring on the LPGA. A lot of the international playing experience especially during my last year as an amateur in UK, Europe and USA was a planned effort and it helped me in getting ready to play professionally but of course playing on tour with the best in the world week after week is completely different. Another thing I have subconsciously done is work on knowing my swing and how to manage it over consecutive weeks of golf, something I didn’t have a lot of experience doing four years ago.
Europe remains a very happy hunting ground for you. Four top tens in seven starts again this year, what are the key differences between the LET and LPGA?
Although I don’t get to play as much as I’d like to on the LET, I really enjoy some of the courses we get to play and have had good finishes every year. 
One of the key differences between LET and LPGA is the way the courses are set up. On LPGA the courses are longer and tougher unlike the LET. Also the strength of field, because one stroke lost/gained on the LPGA is usually worth 15-20 positions.

How do you see the integration between the two tours play out and how do you think it might influence schedules in 2020?
I think the LET will benefit a lot in the next couple years and gain a fuller schedule which is what all the players want and need right now. As a player on both tours, I think it will be easier to schedule the season compared to previous seasons.

With the Olympics on the horizon, what are the kind of inputs you are absorbing about the venue and the course for the competition next year?

I am trying to find out as much as I can about the venue.