By: Amanda Herrington, AJGA Communications
“During that 24 seconds, nothing can bother me,” said Annika as she addressed a crowd of juniors, coaches, parents and AJGA staff during the ANNIKA Clinic sponsored by Rolex on Saturday.
One of the main topics during the clinic was how the former LPGA player, a 10-time major champion with 72 career LPGA victories, handled nerves and distractions on the golf course.
"When the Velcro on my glove was undone, I was not thinking about golf,” she said. “Once that Velcro was attached I was ready."
A huge proponent of having fun on the golf course, Annika stressed the importance of a pre-shot routine to get in the zone.
“Have fun, but when that routine starts, when I put my glove on, that’s my trigger to get ready.”
not often teenagers get direct advice from their heroes, which is one of the
main reasons the ANNIKA Invitational is such a special event. Players were
treated to a special look at the golf legend, and were even able to see her in
Some players joined her in front of the crowd. Casey Danielson picked up target advice as she practiced her short irons in front of Annika, while 2001 champion Simin Feng hit long irons and was recognized as the only player in the field to compete in all five ANNIKA Invitationals.
It was truly a dream come true as Sweden’s Linnea Ström practiced with Annika. The ANNIKA Invitational Europe champion hopes to emulate the career of her fellow Swede.
Bethany Wu joined Annika to demonstrate her drive. Wu, who did not show any nerves as she captured the first-round lead, fought a slippery grip when she had to use Annika’s driver.
“Of course I’m nervous,” Wu said to the crowd. “I’m using Annika’s driver in front of her.”
No topic was off limits as Annika encouraged questions among the clinic attendees. “What would you eat the night before a tournament?” “How do you deal with nerves?” “Did you ever go into a tournament thinking you were going to win?”
As the clinic came to an end, Annika asked, “Are you bored yet?”
The crowd answered loudly with a unanimous “no.”