One of the greatest players of all time, former LPGA superstar Annika Sorenstam arrived in Taipei on May 3rd for a series of special golf events as a Pacific Links International ambassador.
57 TLPGA players and honorary members had a chance to learn a few tips from the golf legend as Sorenstam holds a coaching clinic today (May 4th) on the practice range at the Miramar Golf and Country Club.
In the coaching clinic event today, Sorenstam put on a swinging demonstration, on-the-fly lessons and a keynote address. Sorenstam emphasized the importance of a polished pre-shot routine for every golf player to maximize execution and minimize the effect of nerves.
“The Velcro straps on the gloves are like my trigger. The clock starts to tick once I tighten them up, and when I finish my pre-shot routine, the clock always says 24 seconds,” Sorenstam said. “It’s helpful when you take different approaches to practices and to tournaments; when in practice, you challenge yourself to take on the best shots you can achieve and rectify any tiny details that can make a difference, while all you have to do in real competition is to let go of those things go, free up the swing, and just focus on the next shot. Never look into the flaws or things you would like to change of your last shot.”
Sorenstam suggests drawing a distinctive line between “thinking” and “hitting” when stepping on a golf course. “Take into consideration all the outside factors, wind, distance, direction, clubs, and then when you decide to move into your hitting position, no more thinking.”
“It’s completely normal we feel nervous in competition, somewhat lose control of the muscles and cannot perform our best,” Sorenstam added. “When it happens, face it. Find a way you think is most effective to get rid of the nerves, either it’s taking a dip of water or slowing down the pace. And do it until you feel better.”
The one general principle for an elite golfer is to hold a positive mindset, in Sorenstam’s words, remembering the good from the day and leaving the bad behind, but knowing you can and working to improve the weaknesses you discover.
One of the most successful female golfers in the history of the game, Sorenstam has won 72 LPGA Tour titles and 10 major championships. She is one of the very few players to complete the career Grand Slam feat. The 45-year-old Swede is also known as the lone female player to record a 59 in official competition.
Sorenstam announced her retirement in 2008, and one year later, her daughter Ava was born. Now she is a mother of two and runs her “ANNIKA” branded business with her husband Mike McGee, turning her attention to coaching and growing the sport around the world.
Golf course management company Pacific Links International formed a partnership with Sorenstam, inviting her as a brand spokesperson with her iconic role in the game and a universal appeal. In an effort to grow the presence of the Pacific Links’ brand in the Asian market, the Pacific Links International and Sorenstam went from Wuhan and Guangzhou, China and now arrived in Taipei, Taiwan as the final stop of the three-city Asian Tour.
Pacific Links International and the TLPGA co-organized today’s coaching clinic event, which is Sorenstam’s second appearance in Taiwan.
The Asian Tour will come to an end today, but for all the TLPGA players participating, Sorenstam has given them some precious lifelong lessons that will never be forgotten. Wei Yun-Jye, a professional Taiwanese player, said she turned on the recorder in the whole event and hopefully she would listen a few more times and be able to incorporate what Sorenstam had taught them to her game.