The Greatest Female Golfer of All Time

June 25, 2018

The Greatest Female Golfer of All Time

(Annika Sorenstam)

Swedish star Annika Sorenstam is one of the best players, male or female, in the history of golf. This hard-working young woman has shattered numerous records in the course of her career; in 2001 alone she tied or broke thirty of them. Yet even though her dominance in the sport of golf seems nearly unchallenged, she still continues to push herself to work harder and to further improve her game.

Early Influences:

Sorenstam grew up in a golfing family-her mother and father are both good recreational players, and her younger sister Charlotta is also on the Ladies Professional Golf Association(LPGA) Tour-but Annika's first sports love was tennis. Swedish tennis star of the late 1970s and early 1980s Bjorn Borg was her hero, and for seven years, starting at age five, Sorenstam tried to learn how to emulate him. 

She only turned to golf as a potential career when she was 12, but by age 14 she had joined the Swedish junior golfprogram. Sorenstam's father worked for IBM when she was a child, and from him she acquired another enduring love: computers. She combines this passion with her golf by keeping detailed statistics of her rounds, as she has done since she was 14. By examining the charts and graphs that she created from her statistics, Sorenstam can easily see where the flaws in her playing are and work to improve them.

Sorenstam joined the Swedish national golfteam in 1987, when she was still a teenager. There she fell under the influence of the team's coach, Pia Nilsson. Nilsson taught her players to think about golf with "54-vision": golfers should think that it is possible to birdie (shoot a score of one less stroke than par on a hole) every hole of a golf courseand then should visualize themselves doing just that.

No one has ever actually scored a 54, of course, but still, it was the goal her team was to shoot for. IF you are looking for amazing golf equipment’s just visit here: golfgearsdirect.com.au.

Becoming A Professional

Sorenstam played golf for the University of Arizona for two years, from 1990 until 1992. She was the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) champion in 1991, but after the 1992 college season she quit school to become a professional. Sorenstam joined the LPGA Tour in 1993, and by the end of the 1994 season she had finished in the top ten at LPGA events five times. She got her first victory ever on the tour in 1995, at the U.S.

Women's Open, and after that she seemed to be unstoppable. By the end of the 1996 season Sorenstam had won four more tournaments, two Vare Trophies, and one Player of the Year award.

Sorenstam's dominance, however, was slowly being challenged by a phenomenal young Australian named Karrie Webb.

Although Sorenstam continued to improve, Webb had a better seasonal scoring average than Sorenstam did in three years, was named player of the year twice, and won seven tournaments to Sorenstam's five in 2000.

But Webb's presence actually encouraged Sorenstam to be a better player. "If Karrie wins five tournaments, it makes for tougher expectations and makes me think, 'What else do I have to do?' I really want to reach my goals and I have the extra desire now to play.

I wake up every morning wanting to practice," she told Tom Spousta of Golf World early in 2001. Sorenstam concentrated particularly on improving her putting, but she also worked to increase her strength. As a result she added 15 yards to her drives.

Two Historic Seasons

Sorenstam's hard work paid off in the 2001 and 2002 seasons, as she became a breathtakingly consistent golfing machine. In 2001 Sorenstam reclaimed the Vare Trophy with a 69.42 scoring average, only one one-hundredth of a point below Webb's record-breaking 1999 average, and then in 2002 Sorenstam shattered her own record with a 68.70.

She hit the fairway from the tee and the green from the fairway 80 percent of the time, which made her the most accurate golfer, male or female, in the world.

Armed with her new strength and her consistency, Sorenstam shot the best single round of golf ever by a woman on the LPGA Tour at the Standard. Check out Annika Sorenstam PGA Tour and know more about Annika Sörenstam.

Register Ping in 2001. She scored a 59, something that only six male golfers have done. Had she not missed a 9-foot putt on the last hole, Sorenstam could have claimed the scoring record all for herself:

No one on the Professional Golfers' Association or LPGA Tour has ever scored a 58 in competition. Nilsson was in the gallery at that event, watching her former pupil put the "54-vision" into practice.|

Chronology

1970

Born October 9 in Stockholm, Sweden, to Tom and Gunilla Sorenstam

1987

Joins the Swedish national golf team

1990

Enrolls at the University of Arizona

1992

Quits college to become a professional

1993

Joins the LPGA Tour

1997

Marries David Esch January 4


In 2002 Sorenstam tied another longstanding record by winning 13 tournaments in a single season, something that had been done only once before, by Mickey Wright. Sorenstam's achievement was even more impressive because she compiled her 13 wins in only 25 tournaments, while Wright played in 33 in 1963.

Sorenstam added two competitions to her schedule in October in order to give herself a better chance at reaching 13, but it still came down to her last tournament of the year, the ADT Championship, which Sorenstam won with a score of 13 under par. For more amazing golf equipment’s just click here: golfgearsdirect.com.au.

Inducted into Hall of Fame

Sorenstam long ago acquired all of the points she needed to be inducted into the LPGA Hall of Fame; she merely needed to complete ten seasons on the tour to be eligible.

This means that, barring any disasters, Sorenstam would be inducted into the Hall of Fame after the 2003 season.

She was not sure yet what she would do after that. "I want to play 2004 as a Hall of Famer," she told Sports Illustrator’s Michael Bamberger after the 2002 season, but after that, I don't know.

I want to be a mother. I don't think I can be a mother and devote myself to golf the way I need to. I'm too competitive." That competitiveness means that, even though she is already one of the best golfers in history, she continues to work on improving her strength.

Her hard work should ensure at least two more phenomenal seasons from Sorenstam, and perhaps a few more records to remember her by when she is gone.

Awards and Accomplishmentsfrom 1991 to 2002

1991

Becomes NCAA Champion

1991

Named NCAA Co-College Player of the Year

1991-92

Named an NCAA All-American

1992

Named World Amateur Champion

1992

Named PAC-10 Champion

1994

Named Rolex Rookie of the Year

1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002

Wins Solheim Cup

1995

Wins Athlete of the Year Award in Sweden

1995-96

Wins U.S. Women's Open

1995, 1997-98, 2001-02

Named Rolex Player of the Year

1995-96, 1998, 2001-02

Wins Vare Trophy for lowest scoring average

2001

Standard Register Ping (LPGA record-low score of 59 in the second round)

2001

Wins Nabisco Championship

2001

Set or tied 30 different LPGA records

2002

Wins Kraft Nabisco Championship


Retirement

On 13 May 2008, Sörenstam announced at a press conference at the Sybase Classic that she would "step away" from competitive golf at the conclusion of the 2008 season. That night, she threw out the first pitch of the Washington Nationals/New York Mets baseball game at Shea Stadium in New York and the following day read the Top Ten on the Late Show with David Letterman.

Her last tournament victory came in a playoff at the Suzhou Taihu Ladies Open, an event co-sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour and the Ladies Asian Golf tour. Her last scheduled tournament on the LPGA Tour was the season-ending ADT Championship in November, where she failed to make the weekend play in the event's unique playoff structure. 

Her final sanctioned LPGA appearance was as the winning captain of Team International at the 2008 Lexus Cup in Singapore. Her last professional tournament was the Dubai Ladies Masters on the Ladies European Tour in December 2008, where she finished tied for 7th. For more golf equipment’s just visit here: golfgearsdirect.com.au.

Business career

Sörenstam began the transition from professional golfer to entrepreneur during the later years of her career, attempting to combine golf, fitness and charitable works into various businesses under the ANNIKA brand with the brand statement "Share my Passion".

They are all promoted by her website on which there is a blog to which she and her staff regularly contribute

Golf Course Design

Sörenstam has undertaken a number of golf coursedesign projects. More golf equipment’shere: golfgearsdirect.com.au.

Her first, the Annika Course, was completed at Mission Hills Golf Club in Shenzen, China, in 2003; the second was officially launched in January 2006 and opened in 2008 at Euphoria Golf Estate & Hydro in South Africa.

She recently announced a new project at Mines Golf City, near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Projects closer to home include a redesign of the Patriots Point Links Course near Charleston, South Carolina and a course at Red Mountain Resort, British Columbia.

She and Jack Nicklaus lost out on their bid to build the Olympic golf course in Rio to Gil Hanse and his consultant Amy Alcott.] In 2010, a golf course at Golden Bay Resort was opened in South Korea. She designed this golf course, and Hanhwa Hotels & Resorts Corporation developed. This was the first project for her after-retirement golf coursedesign.

In an interview with CNN in October 2017, Sorenstam spoke about the difficulties of being a woman in the golf course design industry, saying that a common stereotype is that courses she designs will be 'short and easy'.

The ANNIKA Academy

The ANNIKA Academy at Ginn Reunion Resort in Reunion, Florida began construction in 2006 and opened in April 2007 with Sörenstam's longtime coach Henri Reis serving as head instructor, her sister Charlotta an instructor and club fitter, her personal trainer Kai Fusser focusing on overall fitness training, and with Sorenstam available for coaching on certain golfing packages.

The opening ceremony included a Make-A-Wish Foundation golf clinic conducted by Sörenstam who is a United States ambassador for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and it also hosted clinics for junior golfers during The Annika Invitational, an American Junior Golf Association invitation-only event featuring the top 60 girls from around the world hosted by The ANNIKA Foundation.

Other Business Ventures

Other branches of the ANNIKA business include a clothing line with Cutter & Buck, a limited label wine produced in partnership with Wente Vineyards, and a signature fragrance developed by SA Fragrances.

Sörenstam also hosted the Ginn Tribute Hosted by Annika, an event on the LPGA Tour in 2007 and 2008, and the Scandinavian TPC hosted by Annika on the Ladies European Tour during its last four years from 2005 through 2008. She won the latter tournament in 2005 and 2006. Both tournaments had their last event in 2008.

One of Sörenstam's hobbies is cooking. She has participated in cooking demonstrations during LPGA tournaments and has talked about enrolling in cooking school. Before the 2003 season Sörenstam took the opportunity to improve her culinary skills by working eight-hour shifts in the kitchens of the Lake Nona Country Club.

Sörenstam has had a serious interest in investments, real estate and the stock market since she earned her first LPGA check and in August 2006 was invited to ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange.

Personal Life

Sörenstam has been described as an atheist. She met her first husband David Esch in 1994 on the driving range at Moon Valley Country Club, Phoenix, Arizona, where she was an LPGA rookie practicing for a tournament and he worked for club manufacturer Ping. 

They were engaged at the 1995 Evian Masters, married in Lake Tahoe on 4 January 1997, and were divorced in 2005. In August 2007 she became engaged to Mike McGee, the managing director for the ANNIKA brand of businesses and son of former PGA Tour and Champions Tour player Jerry McGee. They married at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club in Orlando, Florida, on 10 January 2009.

Their daughter Ava Madelyn McGee was born 1 September 2009. On 21 March 2011, Sörenstam gave birth to a son, William Nicholas McGee, nine weeks premature.

Quotes:

I push myself to be the best I can be. I don't worry about what other people are doing, and I don't think about things I can't control.

- Annika Sorenstam -

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