Annika Sorenstam - January 19, 2012


When she interviewed President Bill Clinton, she was very impressed at how he made her feel like she was the only one in the room. She really felt as though he was interested in what she had to say and that he was listening. This was the first interview that she had ever done so she was quite nervous and Clinton made her feel a lot more relaxed.

That day was very busy because before the interview, she was part of a panel discussion in the Health Matters forum. After the panel, she went to a room where there were about 35 people which was intimidating. There was no background check and she was just looking forward to asking the President questions about the tournament and she was not looking to ask anything controversial.

The main issue involving childhood obesity is that everyone knows that there is a problem but no one knows what the exact solution is. There are a lot of people who are passionate about curing this problem but something that is stunning to her is the fact that many people feel as though a cure for cancer will be found before there is a cure for childhood obesity.

She has enjoyed playing with celebrities and CEOs in the past when she is playing with them in an exhibition or a friendly round of golf although it is quite different during a golf tournament because she was always there to win and do her job. It is tough to play with a celebrity when she is trying to make a living and the celebrity is not necessarily as focused. One of her favorite celebrity partners is Bill Murray. They played together in a friendly round and she found that he was not as clownish as she expected.

After the interview in California, President Clinton asked Annika to stay out in La Quinta to play golf but unfortunately she had to decline because she was heading back to Florida. But since President Clinton spends a good deal of time in Orlando, he said that he hopes to play golf with her when he is next in town. She is very much looking forward to that round of golf.

Last week, she hosted the Annika Invitational for the AJGA out at Reunion Resort and this year, a girl named Alison Lee from California won the event. There were so many great young players out there in the fourth year of this event and it is inspiring to watch these young people who are so talented and so mature. Alison Lee is already committed to attend UCLA to play golf and it is fun to spend time with and get to know these young players who could be the stars of  the future in the world of women’s golf.

In May, she will be hosting the Annika & Friends event in Destin, Florida. This is one of the main fundraisers for her foundation and there will be a number of celebrities who will be attending and playing golf. It is a fun event and a great opportunity to raise money so her foundation can then go out and promote causes like healthy eating habits.

While at the Humana Challenge, she was able to talk to a number of players and she found that a main topic of discussion along with the desire to get the season going on the mainland was the fact that the field has changed and improved so much in just one year since Humana and Bill Clinton entered the scene. A lot of players are also very happy to see more pros and fewer amateurs as well as the reduction from 90 holes and 4 courses to 72 holes and 3 courses.

On desert courses, you have to hit the ball very straight because you are either in the fairway or out of bounds in the desert. Target golf is a big theme in the desert not only off the tee but also to the green so there is a large premium on iron shots. There are a lot of things to look at in the desert and there are also a lot of things to avoid in order to play well such as cacti.

She does not think that Johnson Wagner’s mustache is necessarily something she would be a fan of although she feels that it definitely works for him. Many professionals can be superstitious so she would not be surprised to see Wagner keep the mustache for a long time.

She is a big fan of Phil Mickelson and his family and she is hopeful that he will be able to have a better year in 2012 than in 2011. He has shown that he is capable of great years but she wonders how hungry he is for a big year considering he is 41 years old and he has health issues like arthritis.

In reference to Matt Every’s comments last week about his 2010 suspension from the PGA TOUR, Annika wondered where Every’s agent was. He said things that most people would not say and things that no one in this line of work would advise someone to say. She felt that what he said was inappropriate and unnecessary and hopes that some lessons will be learned from this. She also did not like that he seemed to throw a lot of other players under the bus in relation to their possible behavior. Every should be very happy  that he is returning to the PGA TOUR thanks to his great play and he should also be very happy that he played well last week.