Ice Princess, grapefruit, field fairy, golf idol, ulzzang pro…
These are the modifiers used to catch up with Kim Ja-young (32), the most popular star on the Korean Women’s Professional Golf (KLPGA) tour. Kim Ja-young, who enjoyed the greatest popularity for her idol-level appearance along with her outstanding skills, who won 4 wins in her tour career, suddenly disappeared from the field in the 2021 season. With only an announcement from her agency that she would “take a break”. There was no fancy retirement ceremony that would have been held if it was her Kim Ja-young’s career and popularity, and she did not leave a single piece of that common retirement announcement.
Ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, she met Kim Ja-young, who had ‘disappeared’ at a cafe in Bangbae-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul. Nicknamed the ‘Ice Princess’ for her laughless expression, off her field he was a lady of her age who laughed a lot. When Ice Princess asked why she laughed so much, Jayoung Kim replied, “I didn’t laugh because I was concentrating on the game, but I laugh a lot.”
Kim Ja-young was a star golfer representing the KLPGA tour in her 2010 debut. He won the first win in his life at the Woori Investment & Securities Ladies Championship in 2012, and then won three victories during the year, including the Doosan Match Play Championship, and became the most victorious champion. The following year, she became the first female professional athlete in Korea to sign a main sponsorship contract with LG Group. She won the Doosan Match Play Championships once again in 2017, but announced her break as she lost her tour seed to 66th on the money list for the 2020 season.
Did Jayoung Kim retire? He said, “Compared to active duty, I have already lost a lot of muscle, so it is not easy to do it again. She is retired.” Kim Ja-young, who said, “I must have been very tired because I did not get results even though I put in a lot of effort,” explained, “At that time, I thought, ‘Why am I not so happy when I play golf that I like?’”
Corona 19 also fueled his retirement. Kim Ja-young said, “I didn’t know the difference between having and not having galleries, but since you didn’t come in, it had a big impact.” He continued, “I don’t think I can tell you that I don’t have any regrets in my career as a player. I’ve lived only for golf, but it’s actually still strange to quit what was my everything and do something else.”
Kim Ja-young said that the period of ‘retirement ceremony’ was delayed because it felt more sad than lightheartedness at the time. Then I missed the time and now I don’t even have a plan. He even considered a small mid-season retirement ceremony for his fans, but he gave up even this, thinking that if he won a spot as an invited player, chances for his juniors to play would inevitably be reduced. Kim Ja-young said, “I think I’ll be upset about something called a retirement ceremony. My former agency and others are still talking about it, but I haven’t thought about a separate retirement ceremony.” 메이저놀이터
He said that he had never thought about his life after retirement because he had only looked ahead during his 11-year career as a player. So Jayoung Kim is still looking for a ‘second life’. He said, “It’s a bit vague, and I’m not in a state where I have a clear desire to do something,” he said.
Kim Ja-young, who took a break for a while, is teaching young players who dream of becoming tour pros. In the meantime, he helped tour players, took general amateur lessons, and was offered broadcasting lessons, but none of them suited his aptitude. But he enjoys teaching junior players. He said, “I don’t know yet, but teaching suits my aptitude. Teaching young players is especially fun,” he explained.
The search for a ‘second life’ is still in progress, but there is one thing you must have. It means “I will become a person who can have a good influence on someone.” Kim Ja-young said, “I want to become a person who can have a good influence no matter what I do.”
The time has come when I want to find half of my life. Kim Ja-young said, “(Oh) Ji-hyun is also getting married and people around me are getting married one by one, so I get impatient. Please find my mate.” He smiled brightly.