PGA/LPGA Professional and World Golf Hall of Fame member Annika Sorenstam, who followed one of the most decorated careers in women’s golf history by becoming a spokesperson for improving the health of the next generation, has been named the recipient of the 2013 PGA First Lady of Golf Award.
The PGA First Lady of Golf Award, inaugurated in 1998 and presented biennially since 2011, is bestowed upon a woman who has made significant contributions to the promotion of the game of golf.
Sörenstam, 43, will be honored at The PGA of America Awards, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, during the 61st PGA Merchandise Show at the Orange County Convention Center’s Chapin Theater in Orlando, Fla.
Born in Bro, Sweden, Sorenstam is the first internationally born golfer to be named PGA First Lady of Golf and is the third award recipient with dual PGA of America and LPGA membership, following Renee Powell (2003) and Carol Mann (2008). Sorenstam was elected to PGA membership on April 19, 2013, and is a member of the North Florida PGA Section.
“Annika’s impact upon women’s golf in the modern era has been remarkable, setting a standard that may never be touched,” said PGA of America President Ted Bishop. “Her commitment to fitness and excellence made her a legend on the course, but her legacy in the game also includes a sincere dedication to growing a healthy next generation and inspiring future young women through golf. The PGA is honored to now call her the 2013 PGA First Lady of Golf.”
The winner of 89 worldwide professional events on the LPGA and Ladies European Tour, including 10 major championships, Sorenstam owns 29 top-10 finishes in 57 lifetime major appearances. In 2003, she was inducted into the Hall of Fame and stepped away from competitive golf in May 2008. She remains the LPGA’s all-time money leader ($22 million).
Sorenstam has since devoted her off-course career to being a mother and building her ANNIKA-branded businesses. They include a teaching academy, golf course design firm, financial-planning group, apparel collection, signature wines and a charitable foundation, which teaches children how to live a healthy, active lifestyle through fitness and nutrition while also inspiring junior female golfers with playing opportunities.
“I have been so fortunate throughout my life to have people who helped pave the way for me to work hard and exceed my goals on and off the course,” said Sorenstam. “I truly feel like I am living a dream and want to help the next generation do the same. It’s gratifying that The PGA of America has taken notice of our programming that offers junior girls the opportunity to play first-class tournaments around the world, while also educating them about the importance of health and wellness. I’m flattered to be named the 2013 PGA First Lady of Golf.”