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Past participants of The ANNIKA Foundation events share stories of their experiences and how the Foundation has impacted their lives through the game of golf. Leaders in the golf industry also express their thoughts.


Lydia Choi

LA Clippers Administration Coordinator, Operations | UCLA Golf Alum

“I played in many ANNIKA Foundation events, and a valuable lesson she taught me was the importance of nutrition. Annika changed the way women golfers viewed training. She emphasized that food is fuel and what we put into our bodies affects our mood and energy. The ANNIKA tournaments always provided healthier player meals than the others. I took a lot of what she taught to heart and made great strides in my fitness journey.”

Doris Chen

Golf Professional | USC Golf Alum

“I loved watching Annika on TV and was stunned when I saw her for the first time in person. She was so nice and approachable and didn’t act like I ‘expected’ the best player in the world to act. I really appreciated Annika speaking with us and sharing tips like how she went through her pre-shot routine; not a lot of golfers like to give away their secrets!”

Virginia Elena Carta

Ladies European Tour | Duke Golf Alum

“I’ve always admired Annika and I’m so lucky to have her as a mentor. I actually first saw her at the 2008 Women’s British Open when I walked by her, and I remember I couldn’t believe it was her. When I talk to her now, I still ask her so many questions. She has so much great advice to share and represents so many values that aren’t related to golf. And many of the tips I picked up from her during the skills clinics at the various Foundation events I played in I still use to this day.”

Jessica Vasilic

Senior Financial Analyst at PetSmart | Arizona Golf Alum

“Annika’s tournaments were an especially big deal to me. My family back in Sweden was so proud I was playing in events that had Annika’s name on them. She’s a national sports hero there, so it opened their eyes to how serious I was about golf.”

Ainhoa Olarra

Domingo Alonso Group Deputy Director of Mobility Division | South Carolina Golf Alum

“She’s always carried herself with humility and passion – it’s a tough balance to strike, but she does it. And even if I’d seen her do her clinic the previous year, there were always new things to learn.”

Somin Lee

Tonto Verde Golf Club Membership & Marketing Director | Pepperdine Golf Alum

“It was a ‘whoa’ moment; I was in awe listening to her clinic. I loved meeting her and getting to take pictures with a golf legend. I was so moved by the whole experience that I handmade her a thank you card after the tournament was over. It was an amazing experience.”

Avery Zweig

2021 Hilton Grand Vacations ANNIKA Invitational presented by Rolex Winner

“The ANNIKA Foundation is really good about obviously supporting junior golf and hosting tournaments, but also empowering women to lead a healthy and active lifestyle, which is really important and goes very well with Annika and being a very successful athlete and person. What they do is incredibly inspiring.”

Shannon Aubert

General Manager at Moxie | Stanford Golf Alum

“The clinics from Annika were always fun. I still remember her talking to us about the ‘think box’ and the ‘play box’ technique she used to help her focus on each and every shot.”

Yana Wilson

2022 Hilton Grand Vacations ANNIKA Invitational presented by Rolex Winner

“One of the things that I struggle with as a player is probably my mental game and I feel like Annika helps me a lot because I know she’s a very mentally strong player and she can keep her emotions even keel. I would like to be the best golfer in the world and the best female of all time, so that’s also how Annika inspires me.”

Gina Kim

LPGA Pro Golfer | Duke Golf Alum

“The ANNIKA Foundation events have been a huge tremendous influence in my golf career and also in my life in general. Being able to play with some of the best in the country and in the world really has tested my game and pushed it to its limits and I’ve learned a lot from that.”

Valentina Rossi

2022 Women's Amateur Latin America Winner | Michigan State Golf

“I have a lot of memories from that week. It was a very special week. I think the best one is the final hole. The final part was really special to me. All my family was there, all the team from Argentina, Annika was there. So I think it’s very cool, a cool memory.”

Agustina Gomez Cisterna

2016 Women's Amateur Latin America Winner | Louisville Golf

“I think that having the opportunity to be with such a legend like Annika is something great and getting advice that she gives during the clinics is just amazing. To feel like she’s just my friend like I can talk to her as if I’m talking to someone that I know for a long time.”

Abbey Carlson

Systems Engineer at Boeing | Vanderbilt Golf Alum

“Annika was pretty much the person I wanted to be when I grew up – in fact, in third grade, I did an entire school project on Annika and her life. I also loved the ‘More Than Golf’ aspect of her events – the clinics with Annika, the gala dinners and social events. It was a much more well-rounded experience than other tournaments. And although I had some up and down results, finishing T-5 my senior year of high school was a definite highlight.”

Rachel Dai

Marketing Associate at BlackRock | Penn Golf Alum

“The range workshops were conducted in such an intimate setting. I remember Annika talking about the importance of practicing efficiently with purpose and sharing memories from her childhood about how her dad had told her that she needed to make every minute count when practicing. Here was one of golf’s greatest standing before me, just casually dishing out her secrets of success to a group of young teenage girls – her approachable, down-to-earth energy really stuck with me.”

Elizabeth Doty

Principal Consultant at NetSuite | USC Golf Alum

“It was so exciting to meet Annika. I remember her introducing herself to me and a group of other girls on the practice tee, saying ‘Hi, I’m Annika’ just like a regular person. She was so personable and down-to-earth. It was cold and windy at that event and I didn’t play so well, but it was still an awesome experience. The level of competition with all the international players was especially eye-opening.”
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