ANNIKA: BEFORE AND AFTER
Annika Sorenstam sat in the dining room at
Broken Sound Club recently to address an audi-
ence – mostly women, mostly executives – on a
range of topics. She spoke for more than half-
an-hour and took questions on golf and busi-
ness, of course, but on motherhood and health
issues, too, and her decision to retire from the
game three years ago while still at or near the
top of the heap. She was glib and funny, serious
and informative, warm and entertaining. Difficult
to believe she once was the little girl in Sweden
who would lose junior tournaments intentionally
in order to avoid speaking after a victory.
The PGA Tour was quite different in those days.
When I arrived at the San Diego Open in the
winter of 1962, the Tour was still an arm of the
Professional Golfers’ Association of America, an
organization made up primarily of professionals
who ran the golf operations of private clubs and
WHAT’S UP, DOC?
Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus watch an Arnold Palmer tee shot in the 1970 British Open.
THE SCIENCE OF GOLF
Among the things I learned at the World
Scientific Congress of Golf last week: A swing
becomes automatic only once it’s safely lodged
in the brain’s basal ganglia. The Official World
Golf Rankings are significantly biased against
PGA Tour members. And researchers are divided
on the relative contribution to clubhead speed of
wrist flexion/extension and ulnar/radial devia-
tion. (If you don’t quite grasp that last one, don’t
worry. I won’t be coming back to it.) The WSCG is
something like the Olympics of golf research.