Originally Published at SCOREGolf.com
Article by Rick Young
When she walked away from her Hall of Fame playing career in 2008 Annika Sorenstam never believed that her life would slow down; that she would not remain the same focused individual, the same fiery competitor she was while amassing 89 worldwide victories, including 10 LPGA major championships, during 15 years on tour. What really happened, as she points out, is quite simple: her priorities changed.
Granted, the changes Sorenstam made were of a sweeping nature. Take a look at how she describes herself on Facebook these days: “After a successful career on the LPGA Tour I’m living life to the fullest as a mother, wife and entrepreneur.” In that order too.
The inside-the-ropes goals that once defined her have become subsequently altered outside the ropes. That being said if you want to “share Annika Sorenstam’s passion” you better get in line. You should expect to fall on the docket somewhere behind her two most important life accomplishments, daughter Ava and son Will; then husband and ANNIKA brand business manager Mike McGee, followed by an impressive list of global clients, endorsers and business partners whose long-term relationships with Sorenstam, while forged on business interests, appear nurtured more through mutual respect and admiration. Her close personal ties with Callaway Golf provide no better example. Despite ownership re-tooling and CEO changes since Ely Callaway’s passing in 2001, Sorenstam has remained a constant. Even six years removed from her playing days she is still the longest serving member of the Carlsbad, Calif., OEM’s tour staff.
“I’m lucky. I stepped away all those years ago and I still have some of the same partners as when I was playing,” Sorenstam explained in a recent interview. “They don’t necessarily ask me to go play or do outings all the time. They know my role and what I want to do. What’s great is how engaged they all are with my initiatives. They support the junior girls’ things we have going on, they also support the things I have going on in Europe, Asia and the U.S. and now there are college tournaments. I mean we’re literally involved with kids from six years old up to college seniors when they’re 21.”