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Annika Sorenstam isn’t just one of the greatest golfers of all time — she’s a parent, too. Here’s her best advice for junior golf parents.
Annika Sörenstam might not play a full competitive schedule any longer, but that doesn’t mean she’s out of the spotlight. Her schedule now includes some senior events, celebrity pro-ams, and, of course, the PNC Championship.
Sörenstam has recently taken to playing the annual parent-child competition with her son, Will McGee. And although she’s won 72 events and 10 majors, you’d be hard pressed to see a bigger smile on Sörenstam’s face than when she was walking down the fairways with Will.
“Walking the fairway and holding hands on 18 just kind of summarized the whole week,” Sörenstam said. “He was smiling from ear to ear the whole week.”
Sörenstam’s joy that week was only exceeded by the enjoyment of Will. As Sörenstam explained, Will made sure they arrived at the course three hours early each day so he could explore and hang out around the likes of Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas.
“That to me, as a parent, it really warms my heart to see him be in an environment that he loves so much,” she said.
Sörenstam is obviously doing the right things when it comes to introducing her son to golf, and there’s little doubt that Will is growing to love the game. But what’s the secret to being a great junior golf parent? It’s all about keeping it fun.
“I think the key for anything, which I’m obviously learning being a parent to a golfer, is having fun playing a lot with his buddies,” she said. “Just going out there and experimenting. He likes to go out there and have little challenges. He likes to hit little trick shots. But I just want him to have a good time. So I think that’s the key. Let him roam around and explore and learn a little bit, and then when you get a chance give him a little more serious rules or etiquette information. But other than that, just let him enjoy it.”
It’s all about the fun. If you can keep the game fun for your junior, there’s a good chance they’ll fall in love with the game for life.
Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for GOLF.com where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with the Texas Golf Association, Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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