Golf Course Management

DEC 2013

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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Sorenstam's ANNIKA Academy is one of her many endeavors. Photo by Scott A. Miller "From the company's perspective, you've got to align yourself with people who aren't going to embarrass you, people who are going to walk the walk." — Gerri Willis 56 GCM December 2013 promote sun protection education and skin cancer awareness. It also has partnered with SPARK, a public health organization dedicated to creating, implementing and evaluating programs that promote lifelong wellness. "She gave a speech to a young professional group that brought tears to peoples' eyes," says Laurie Hobbs, director of public relations and marketing coordinator at Sandestin (Fla.) Golf and Beach Resort. "She was caring, compassionate, committed. She wants to do good for children." In October, a ringing endorsement arrived for Sorenstam. Fortune 500 company 3M announced it will sponsor the ANNIKA Award (presented to the most outstanding NCAA Division I female golfer), ANNIKA Intercollegiate (12-team college tournament) and a series of international ANNIKA Invitational junior tournaments. Fox News Business TV show host Gerri Willis took note when 3M hitched its label to Sorenstam. "It's great for her, great for her brand," says Willis, host of "The Willis Report." "3M is a massive company, a powerhouse. They're the Post-it note people, for goodness sakes. But I've got to tell you — this isn't bad for 3M either. From the company's perspective, you've got to align yourself with people who aren't going to embarrass you, people who are going to walk the walk. She is a great person who does great things and inspires a ton of people." The R word, retirement, never was uttered by Sorenstam when she departed the LPGA scene on a regular basis; it was not a suggestion, either, that she was leaving a door open for a return. Actually, it was a loud and clear signal that Sorenstam was nowhere near withdrawing to a life of leisure at her home (previously owned by golf swing guru David Leadbetter) adjacent to Lake Nona Golf Club in Orlando. In fact, Sorenstam's to-do list is loaded. She wouldn't have it any other way as she pursues her dreams in the same fashion she chased birdies. "I love working, creating and achieving," Sorenstam says. "I think we have something we can share. It's fun sharing." GCM Howard Richman (hrichman@gcsaa.org) is GCM's associate editor.

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