Annika Sorenstam Reflects on Her Career

Annika Sorenstam was among the best golfers of her technology when she retired from aggressive golf in 2008 at age 38. She had gained 94 instances around the globe, together with 10 main championships, and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2003.

She gave little thought to golf in retirement. But whereas caught at residence along with her husband and two kids in the course of the pandemic, Soresnstam, now 50, started enjoying golf along with her son, William, and that reignited her aggressive spirit. In February, she performed within the Gainbridge L.P.G.A. at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club in Orlando, Fla., the place she lives.

Later this month, she is going to play within the U.S. Senior Women’s Open in Fairfield, Conn. It is her first United States Golf Association occasion because the 2008 U.S. Women’s Open, when she made her third shot on the ultimate gap for an eagle for a storybook finish to her profession enjoying in main championships.

Recently, she mirrored on her profession and the state of ladies’s golf. The following interview has been edited and condensed.

What’s retirement been like?

Time flies, being a mom of two. I’ve been busy with quite a lot of various things. We’ve began a basis, the place we’ve helped 6,000 ladies, and a few have gone on to Symetra and L.P.G.A. Tours. We’ve given $7 million to junior golf.

What obtained you again enjoying golf?

Covid is among the causes, and residing in Florida. Our son is absolutely into golf. He’s 10. He’s my apply buddy. I didn’t apply in any respect in retirement. If I had a charity occasion or a company outing, I’d hit a bucket of balls. Then with Covid, there was nothing to do. I began to hit balls. One factor led to a different. I used to apply all day; now I’ve three hours a day for understanding and golf. I’m not going to succeed in the extent I used to be at. But I can get slightly bit higher.

Ms. Sorenstam on the Gainbridge L.P.G.A. She retired in 2008 however started enjoying golf along with her son in the course of the pandemic. This month, she is going to play within the U.S. Senior Women’s Open.Credit…Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

What has your comeback been like?

Early on, it was irritating. If you don’t have anything to play for, what are you going to do? After 2008, there was no motivation. You do one thing effectively, after which you’ll be able to’t do it. It’s no enjoyable. My golf has gone downhill. But I’ve achieved different issues on the aspect. I’m additionally 50. There are different priorities. The physique is totally different. Before I had the mind-set of a 35-year-old. I can’t make it up in power and distance, however I’ve maturity.

You performed within the Gainbridge L.P.G.A. at Lake Nona with ladies who regarded as much as you once they have been ladies. What was that like as a competitor?

It was actually cool. I reside on the 16th tee. And I assumed: “I can’t wake up in the morning and see L.P.G.A. tee markers and not be part of it. I’ve just got to play. What a cool thing to be able to do.” I’ve mentored some gamers. I assumed: “Now I can see them inside the ropes. We can do some practice rounds.” I obtained to play with Anna Norqvist, who was one in all my first scholarship award winners. I performed with Maria Fassi. It allowed me to narrate extra with at present’s gamers. I regarded exterior the ropes, and I had pals, household there. But I made my children lunch earlier than enjoying. I used to be exhausted. I have a look at all these younger ladies on the market. It’s all you have got. You have to offer your self a break.

What’s totally different in regards to the ladies’s recreation at present?

Just have a look at school golf — they’re so nice. They’re mature. They’re strong. They’ve completed much more. They’re extra well-rounded gamers. Coaching at present may be very organized. They know what to do.

When you have been 12, your first handicap was a whopping 63. There are 12-year-olds now who’re zero handicaps and enjoying in U.S.G.A. occasions. What do you make of this?

It’s not good to specialize. Then you have got 12-year-olds solely enjoying golf. I’d fear about that. You should be good. But you want the social half. They’re not children anymore. You have to discover a steadiness. Those are the gamers who do effectively long run.