Two Golf Legends Talk About Balance and The Gifts of the Game
They were fierce competitors on the course, with both women battling is out in a healthy rivalry for the world number one ranking. And yet off the course, the two LPGA legends – one from Mexico and the other from Sweden – were good friends who had enormous respect and admiration for one another. Both women, now-retired, earned Hall of Fame honors and carved a path of purpose, leadership, passion and philanthropy for other young golfers to follow.
These days, the two golfing greats, Lorena Ochoa and Annika Sorenstam, are both busy, married, working moms who travel the globe promoting the game and their respective foundations and businesses.
They sat down in the fall in Seoul, Korea to talk about the gifts that golf brought to their lives and the lifelong friendships they forged with colleagues and each other on the course and beyond.
Some highlights of their conversation?
Annika asked Lorena: “What got you hooked on the game?” At first, it was her two older brothers, Lorena said. She begged them to tag along. They said she was too young, but she persisted and began playing at age 5. By 6 years old was competing. But what really solidified her love of the game was the fun times spent with friends – she maintains friendships with many women from her youth in Mexico today, and they still play golf and enjoy lunches together.
“I think when you become friends through golf, it’s going to be for the rest of your life,” Lorena says.
Lorena is now busy guiding her foundation, working on course design, raising her children and working to balance life as a businesswoman, wife and mother. While she was famous for her intense workouts during her LPGA days, she says she took a bit of a break after retirement, but is now enjoying getting back into a regular fitness routine.
She says the “balance” part can sometimes be difficult – nearly every mom knows the feeling of leaving their children to travel, especially when they don’t want you to go. But Lorena says the time spent talking with young golfers in her native Mexico and beyond, and helping them grow as athletes and people, is enormously rewarding and also sets a great example for her kids.
Her advice for young girls who are just taking up the game of golf?
“Don’t be afraid to try different sports,” Lorena says. “Enjoy it and don’t take it too seriously.” By playing and competing in many games , girls can build strength and learn teamwork. As they grow older, they can decide which sport they want to focus on. “And then go to college,” she says.
We hope you enjoy this video conversation between two of golf’s legends and great friends, Lorena Ochoa and Annika Sorenstam.