The ANNIKA Foundation Announces Inaugural Class of Ambassadors for New Golf Development Program
Four college golf standouts to receive training resources and accommodations at Old Barnwell Golf Club beginning in late 2023 to further pursue professional careers.
ORLANDO, Fla. (May 11, 2023) – The ANNIKA Foundation announced today the selection of its inaugural class of ambassadors for the ANNIKA Development Program at Old Barnwell Golf Club in Aiken, South Carolina. The program, announced in December 2022, furthers the foundation’s mission to provide opportunities for women to excel in both golf and life by providing an opportunity for a select group of up-and-coming golfers who are no longer NCAA eligible to continue their pursuit of a professional career.
The four ambassadors selected for the program’s first year are:
· Katherine Muzi, University of South Carolina
· Krista Junkkari, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
· Lauren Walsh, Wake Forest University
· Lois Kaye Go, University of South Carolina
All four women were selected not only for their golfing talent and skill, but they also have demonstrated exceptional leadership, personal character and dedication throughout their college careers. Each ambassador has proven to be an outstanding athlete, role model and leader.
"We are thrilled to welcome these four young women to the ANNIKA Development Program and are excited to see such talent as part of the program’s first year," said Annika Sorenstam, founder of the ANNIKA Foundation. "We believe they have the potential to become exceptional golfers and leaders in their communities, and we look forward to supporting them as they pursue their dreams."
Through the program, each ambassador will have access to practice and play at Old Barnwell while also receiving training from its professional staff. They also will receive housing for the first year of the program and a $10,000 per year stipend to cover tournament fees and travel. Annika will act as a mentor to each of the women throughout their time in the development program.
As part of their residency, the program ambassadors will play and interact with club members and participate in an ANNIKA Foundation “Share My Passion” clinic for young girls.
“At Old Barnwell, our mission is to bring people together through golf, and that includes creating programs that empower, invite, and celebrate people and communities historically underrepresented in the sport,” said Nick Schreiber, founder of Old Barnwell. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Annika and the ANNIKA Foundation and cannot wait to see what these four young women will achieve on and off the course.”
Here is what the ambassadors had to say about their selection for the program:
“Being selected as an inaugural ambassador for the ANNIKA Development Program at Old Barnwell means the world to me,” said Katherine Muzi. “I am inspired by the Old Barnwell philosophy of inclusion and helping the local community through the game of golf. I love how the ANNIKA Foundation is devoted to inspiring more people from all walks of life to play golf and I can’t wait to share my love for the game with others!”
“Being an ambassador for the ANNIKA Foundation is truly an honor. I’ve been inspired by Annika and the work of her foundation for many years now,” said Lauren Walsh. “The support that the foundation is providing me in these upcoming years will really help me kickstart my career and it is incredible to have the opportunity through the foundation to give back to the game that has already given me so much!”
“Getting into the program is a huge deal to me. It feels like the perfect next step in my career and a smoother transition toward a professional career than what I had imagined to be possible,” said Krista Junkkari. “Turning professional has always been described to me as a time of uncertainty, and getting into the program gave me a good sense of direction and a base on what I can start building on for the next couple of years.”
“I am extremely grateful for being selected into this great program,” said Lois Kaye Go. “It means a lot to me to have a prestigious organization such as the ANNIKA Foundation to support and believe in me. I look forward to achieving my dream of playing on the LPGA Tour with hopes of inspiring the next generation of golfers.”
For more information about the ANNIKA Development Program, visit: www.annikafoundation.org/annikadevelopmentprogram.