Annika Sorenstam - April 19, 2012


National Golf Day is very important in the effort of promoting the game to lawmakers who can pass legislation and direct money towards the growth of the game of golf in the United States. It is wonderful to see such an organized effort to give the game of golf a better profile in the eyes of people who can really improve the state of the game at least on a financial level.

Yani Tseng is part of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People and Annika was honored to write about Yani for that issue of the magazine. It is truly inspiring to see what Yani has been able to accomplish on the golf course and she has so much potential to inspire young women and really make an impact on the game of golf.

Annika said that she was unsure if she was ready to win when she first joined the LPGA Tour in the early 1990’s. When she won the U.S. Women’s Open in 1995 for her first LPGA Tour win, she was caught a bit off guard because although she had practiced many times with the goal of winning the U.S. Women’s Open, she did not know when or if it would happen and then once it did happen, she was unsure if she would ever win again.

There are a number of players in both men’s and women’s golf who are very talented but have never won. She has played with a number of the women players in this category and she would watch them and be very surprised that they were unable to go the distance and win. When she looks back at her career, she acknowledged that the ones that got away from her have as much prominence as the ones where she was able to win.

Kevin Na made a 16 in the 2011 Valero Texas Open on the 9th hole but he has been able to exact some revenge this year as he took a chainsaw to some branches on that hole. Annika said that when it comes to revenge that she would want to exact, she said that the revenge would not involve cutting down branches but rather filling in a pond where she has had problems hitting the ball in the water.

Ian Poulter posted a number of old pictures from when he was a kid on Twitter on Thursday morning from China where he is playing in the Volvo China Open. Annika, Jason, and Gary all thought that the pictures were very amusing.

Annika said that she likes the Wednesday start to the LPGA LOTTE Championship this week in Hawaii. It is great for the LPGA Tour to have their rounds shown in prime time in the United States and the Saturday finish is helpful as well. She is very impressed with the strong attitude of I.K. Kim after her missed putt to win the Kraft Nabisco Championship and was also impressed with her first round 71 in Hawaii.

Scoring conditions were not easy in the first round in Hawaii due to a lot of wind but a lot of big names started with very solid rounds although some including Michelle Wie did not get off to a good start as she shot 78 on her home course. When comparing Wie with Lexi Thompson, Annika acknowledged that she agrees with many people right now that Lexi will end up having a bigger impact on women’s golf over the next five years than Wie will.

Michelle Wie continues to struggle with her putting and as a result she is putting a lot of pressure on her long game. Annika struggled with her putting early in her career and as a result she spent months working only on her putting and she went on to have one of her best seasons following that training.

You have to find balance in the game of golf and that involves still feeling nervous on the first tee and having the butterflies in your stomach while maintaining confidence that you can play well. If you do not have the nerves on the first tee, you begin to wonder if you still have the passion to play the game.

People handle success differently and what she likes about Graeme McDowell is that he is honest about his feelings and about what he wants to do. She was so proud to see him have so much success in 2010 because she is a fan of his and knows him from Lake Nona. It is one thing to work on your golf game and it is another thing to work on what to do after you hoist the big trophy.