Annika Sorenstam battling gender stereotypes in golf course design

Annika Sorenstam

Annika Sorenstam has spoken of the challenges she has faced when dipping her toes into the male-dominated world of golf course design.

The ten-time major champion, one of the most successful players in the history of the women’s game, has designed nine courses in different parts of the globe to date but says she is often overlooked for projects due to a generalisation that her courses will be ‘short and easy’.

“It's been tougher than I thought,” Sorenstam told CNN Living Golf's Shane O'Donoghue about her venture into course design. “Being a female, when they throw my name in the ring as a designer candidate a lot of times they say, ‘Oh, well then this course will be short and easy’.

“I don't know where it comes from. I think they just have that predetermined notion of women designing shorter courses, and that's not really what comes to my mind.

“I consider myself, of course a female, but I'm also a golfer and I feel like I can play any golf course out there and I guess maybe my defensive mechanism is, 'Hey, I'd play you anywhere, anytime and then we can go from there’.”

Annika Sorenstam1

However, a look at a couple of Sorenstam’s courses – Mission Hills in Shenzhen, China, at 6,703 yards and Euphoria in South Africa stretching to more than 7,000 yards – would say that they’re anything but ‘short and easy’.

Instead, Sorenstam’s primary goal is to design courses that golfers of any age, gender, or skill level can enjoy equally, with a variety of tees and generous landing areas to give each individual the opportunity to be challenged based on their skill level.

“I think for a long time people just wanted championship courses, and to me I think that's short sighted. We're going to run out of land eventually. You can't build courses that are 7,600 or 7,800 yards, this is not going to work, we have to find alternative ways to make this game fun.

“I think the game is too hard and it turns people away. It shouldn't really be a gender question.”

Share this Article

share-logo
twitter-logo facebook-logo

Latest Videos See all videos right arrow

play button
HOW DO THE NEW TITLEIST T-SERIES IRONS PERFORM?
Titleist
play button
HAS TITLEIST MADE BIG IMPROVEMENTS? | T-Series irons review
Titleist
play button
PLAYING THE OLD COURSE AT ST ANDREWS | AN EPIC EXPERIENCE
Callaway Golf
play button
DRIVING TIPS FROM A TOUR PRO | with Ewen Ferguson
Ewen Ferguson
See all videos right arrow

Golf News

American Golf to design Open-inspired apparel range
PGA Tour caddie blasts US athletes taking the knee
Report: PGA Tour to ban players from playing Saudi International
WATCH: Unlucky golfer smashes moving car with tee shot
Paige Spiranac: “Players would send me nasty messages”

Other Top Stories

Tiger Woods: Inside his $41million Florida mansion
The very best pubs in St Andrews
The Scottish Golf Course Emoji Quiz!
24 lies every bad golfer tells
Doug Sanders: The extraordinary life of golf's original playboy

Quick Fault 'n' Fixes See all videos right arrow

play button
Denis Pugh says, ‘Turn, don’t slide’
Watch
play button
Make your swing arc wider
Watch
play button
Stop hooking the ball with a weaker grip
Watch
play button
Transitioning your weight
Watch
See all videos right arrow