Annika Sorenstam's golf academy
“What’s your 59?” It’s a question often heard around the greens of Annika Academy at the Reunion Resort just outside of Orlando. “The 59” refers to the record-setting round shot by renowned golfer Annika Sorenstam, winner of 72 LPGA tournaments, 10 majors and eight Player of the Year awards. The question inspires attendees to share their life goals, which they can then pursue with the same degree of focus and determination that Sorenstam brought to the course on the day of her momentous accomplishment. The exercise is just one of many team-building options offered by Sorenstam and her dedicated staff of trainers at the academy.
“All of the programs that we offer originate from [Sorenstam’s] experiences on the course and in the boardrooms of the various businesses she has worked with,” says Gary Lorfano, senior director of sales and marketing at the academy. “She has been adept at seeing what people have done to be successful and what others need to replicate that success.”
The 5,400-square-foot academy, which opened in 2007, is a premier destination for golf enthusiasts of all skill levels and anyone else looking to learn something new in a team environment. It has state-of-the-art equipment and first-rate faculty members, many of whom worked with Sorenstam over the course of her career. Programs range from simple swing analyses to complete strength and conditioning regimens.
For groups less golf-oriented, the academy offers more traditional outings, such as luncheons, dinners and receptions. Cooking classes and wine pairing workshops are also available, as Sorenstam loves to display her culinary talents to receptive audiences. Group sizes range from four to 300, with the ideal size being 24–40 for an optimum experience.
The academy recently held an event for 30 members of the Florida-based publisher Bonnier Corporation. Attendees were broken up into teams and taught various swings; a handful of participants were even allowed to show off their swings in front of the group while Sorenstam personally critiqued them. Participants were later emailed a personal video of their swing with analysis from one of the coaches. Throughout the entire event, Sorenstam was present at all times, offering insight and conversation to receptive audience members.
“Annika loves to be involved with the events, as she is extremely personal and interactive. It’s the best way for her to share her everyday passion about life and fitness with the same intensity as when she played golf competitively,” Lorfano says.
Learning from the best in the world can be a truly inspiring experience, and the Annika Academy fully delivers thanks to Sorenstam herself. theannikaacademy.com