Stephen Ellison

South Korean Pro Makes Pebble Beach Debut, With a Twist and a Twirl

PGA golfer Ho-Sung Choi, making his debut at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am this week, has quite the unique golf swing, to say the least. It may not be pretty, but it's certainly entertaining.

All the celebrities at Pebble Beach this weekend are sure to get a kick out of the South Korean pro ranked 194th in the world.

On Thursday, while making his way to the podium during a news conference, Choi decided to give everyone a glimpse of the move that has garnered him so much recent attention, as well as a sponsor’s exemption to this week’s pro-am.

"We have a tournament committee, and Ho-Sung, when he won the Casio Tokyo Open back in November, immediately jumped on the radar of everybody," said Steve John, CEO of the Monterey Peninsula Foundation. "I mean, he’s a social media phenomenon."

A YouTube video featuring Choi and his swing with a twisting, twirling follow through, has more than 130,000 views. The 45-year-old has become quite the international hit, and it’s all because of the way he finishes. With flare.

"I personally love my swing," Choi said. "I didn’t start golf until I was in my late 20s. So technically, I didn’t take any lessons growing up. But regarding flexibility or anything like that, I might not have as much compared to the other tour players. But I do what I can with what I have."

San Jose State alum, former Pebble Beach Pro-Am champion and current Golf Channel analyst Aaron Oberholser reviewed Choi's swing.

"At first, I’m like, 'What is this guy doing? He’s just doing it for attention?' And from what I understand, there’s a purpose for why he does that," Oberholser said. "I’ve heard it's to create more speed. But it also, at this point, just might be part of his personality and very idiosyncratic to who he is, which makes it even cooler."

Cool is exactly what Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers thinks of it. It’s why he successfully lobbied to have Choi play in his foursome this week.

"I thought it would be a fantastic pairing with my partner Jerry Kelly, who leans as much as anybody in the world that plays golf on every shot, and Ho-Sung, who obviously has a really interesting swing," Rodgers said.

"I think we hit this one right in the cross hairs," John said. "He really fits what we’re really all about, which is obviously great competition but also great fun."

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