- Sorenstam talks to CNN’s Dwelling Golf
- Tackles gender stereotypes in course design
- Swede continues to develop “Model ANNIKA”
- Largest lesson ‘studying to say no’
In Might 2003, not content material with being the perfect feminine golfer on the planet, the then 32-yr-previous Swede risked her status to tackle the other intercourse on the Colonial Invitational in Fort Value, Texas — the primary lady to compete on the PGA Tour in fifty eight years.
She missed the reduce that week however it stays one of many highlights of her profession and arguably did extra to catapult her into the general public consciousness than any of her ninety three profession victories.
Fourteen years later, Sorenstam is now retired, however is forging a profitable profession as a businesswoman and entrepreneur and continues to problem the established order in what she’s found is the equally male-dominated surroundings of golf course design.
‘I might play you anyplace, anytime’
“It has been harder than I assumed,” Sorenstam advised CNN Dwelling Golf’s Shane O’Donoghue.
“Being a feminine, once they throw my identify within the ring as a designer candidate loads of occasions they are saying, ‘oh, nicely then this course will probably be brief and straightforward.’
“I do not know the place it comes from. I feel they only have that predetermined notion of girls designing shorter programs, and that is not likely what involves my thoughts.
“I contemplate myself, in fact a feminine, however I am additionally a golfer and I really feel like I can play any golf course on the market and I assume perhaps my defensive mechanism is, ‘hey, I might play you anyplace, anytime after which we will go from there.”
Sorenstam has designed three programs in several elements of the world, and at first look, you would definitely not describe them as “brief and straightforward.” Mission Hills in Shenzhen, China is 6,703 yards in size and her Euphoria course in South Africa is greater than 7,000 yards.
Sorenstam says her programs are constructed in such a means that golfers of any capacity, age or gender can take pleasure in them.
“If we will develop this recreation it must be extra accessible for juniors and ladies,” says Sorenstam, who just lately captained Group Europe on the 2017 Solheim Cup.
“Meaning having various tees but in addition you need to be sure to have programs that may fulfill the champions and lengthy hitters.
“I feel for a very long time individuals simply needed championship programs, and to me I feel that is brief sighted. We will run out of land ultimately, you possibly can’t construct programs which are 7,600 or 7,800 yards, this isn’t going to work, we’ve got to seek out other ways to make this recreation enjoyable.
“I feel the sport is just too exhausting and it turns individuals away. It should not actually be a gender query.”
Course design is only one a part of Model ANNIKA, which acts as an umbrella for all elements of her thriving enterprise, together with Sorenstam’s clothes vary, basis work, golfing academy and a number of other junior tournaments.
‘I used to be decided to achieve success’
Her identify carries numerous weight and, on the finish of each season, the LPGA awards the Rolex ANNIKA Main Award to the participant with probably the most excellent report in all 5 majors.
The forty six-yr-previous is definitely the primary feminine golfer and arguably solely feminine athlete in any sport to rework their identify into a very international model after retiring.
“Once I was fascinated with the subsequent step in my profession, we determined to do that little survey,” stated Sorenstam who retired almost a decade in the past however say she is busier than ever.
“We requested individuals to call male athletes who constructed a model and all these individuals on the road might rattle off up 10 to fifteen names however they could not do it with the ladies as a result of a whole lot of time what involves thoughts is nice athletes however not essentially model builders.
“I stated, ‘why what is the distinction? Why cannot I do one thing like Greg Norman has finished? Why cannot I do one thing that Jack Nicklaus has accomplished or John Elway or Magic Johnson or whoever?’
“So, yeah, I assume it turned a problem for me and I used to be decided to achieve success.”
Whereas she will get a few of her enterprise acumen from her father Tom — a retired IBM government — Sorenstam revealed that she has acquired most of her information by merely emulating profitable those that she admired and surrounding herself with an advisory board to assist information her selections.
“I simply sort of appeared and discovered, identical to I did with golf,” stated Sorenstam, who gained 10 main championships in a sixteen-yr enjoying profession. The primary lady to shoot a spherical of fifty nine, she additionally accrued greater than $22 million in prize cash — nonetheless greater than any feminine participant in historical past.
“Lots has to do with the fifty nine, being a trailblazer in that sense after which additionally enjoying with the lads and never being afraid of a problem, so placing the model collectively was a mix of Annika the champion after which additionally the lady, the mom, the revolutionary individual and making an attempt to place all of them collectively.”