LPGA Tour star Annika Sorenstam opened her first "Annika Academy" golf school yesterday at the Ginn Reunion Resort just outside Orlando, Fla.
The 5,400-square-foot teaching facility is modeled after the golf and fitness programs that have led her to 10 majors and more than 80 victories across the globe.
"Our goal is to inspire our guests," she said in a press release. "I will get a chance to share my passion for golf and for fitness with all golfers, of all ages, of all skill levels, all around the world."
The day included a tour of the facility by the world No. 1 ranked woman golfer. Sorenstam also gave a clinic to children from the Make-A-Wish Foundation and rocker Darius Rucker, lead singer of Hootie & the Blowfish.
The opening comes at a time when Sorenstam's playing career is on hold. Sorenstam pulled out of last week's LPGA Tour event, the Ginn Open, with a herniated disk in her back. It is the first major injury of Sorenstam's career and will keep her off the golf course for at least a month.
Mark Steinberg, Sorenstam's agent, said doctors told Sorenstam surgery is probably unnecessary, and that she'll have a better idea of when she can return to the LPGA Tour after about two weeks of rehabilitation.
The injury didn't stop Sorenstam from making a strong appearance yesterday
"Nothing stops me, and that's the problem," she said. "I'm just go, go, go. I need somebody to tell me to stop. And here I am."
Sorenstam said she will visit the academy at least 12 times a year, including five times as part of the "Soren-Slam Package," which includes a round of golf with her. The three-day program costs $12,000 and is already sold out.
The "Annika Academy" has a driving range, putting green and short-game area. It also boasts a fitness room with free weights and state-of-the-art cardio machines and two large hitting booths with video analysis and Callaway Golf club fitting.
April 18, 2007
Anyone looking back at the final scores of the 2009 Ricoh Women's British Open at Royal Lytham and St. Anne's will almost certainly come to the wrong conclusion that this was a comfortable three-shot win for Catriona Matthew. It was anything but as the seemingly imperturbable Scot struggled to hit a fairway throughout the final round and was only rescued by some superb recovery shots and a bunch of astonishing long putts.
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