Annika Sorenstam: Life After Competition

Annika Sorenstam

When World Golf Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam stepped away from competitive golf at the end of the 2008 season there were many fans and sports writers who mused about her decision to forsake the life of the Touring pro for the comfort and stability of married life and motherhood.  In the seven years that have passed since Sorenstam made her decision, she’s never been far from the game, and she’s forged a dynamic career model other pro athletes, particularly women, can look to for guidance and inspiration.Sorenstam was arguably one of the most successful female golfers to ever tee it up in competition.  She won 90 international tournaments, won $22 million over the span of her competitive career, collected eight LPGA Player of the Year Awards and six Vare Trophies.  Only Dame Laura Davies has played in more Solheim Cups.

After her retirement from competition Sorenstam embarked on a business career that rivals that of Jack Nicklaus.  She has designed golf courses in China, South Africa and Luala Lumpur as well as Charleston, South Carolina and Red Mountain Resort, BC; and she and Nicklaus lost their collaborative bid to build the 2016 Rio Olympics course.

Sorenstam’s ANNIKA Academy, focusing on the development of young golfers, opened the year after she stepped away from competition, staffed by the team she had forged during her Tour career and the ANNIKA Foundation extended her efforts to support and develop junior golf to international venues.

As a parent with two young children, one of my greatest pleasures in golf has been enjoying and experiencing the game with them – Annika Sorenstam

Now Sorenstam’s taken another step in her post-competition business life, embracing the possibilities of digital golf training by joining the Board of Directors of Wee Golf, a digital platform dedicated to giving parents, guardians and golf facilities an easy and effective program to introduce children to the game.

Wee Golf is an  experiential system that introduces golf-swing fundamentals and the sport’s core values to kids ages 3-8.  Its Apple-compatible mobile technology “gamifies” lessons, with participants earning badges, points and rewards as they advance through the program, similar to the the structure used by the Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of the USA.

Never far from the game, Sorenstam remains one of golf’s most effective and savvy professionals, demonstrating by example that women athletes most certainly can enjoy long and prosperous careers as well rich and rewarding personal lives.