Tips for a better golf game from Annika Sorenstam

Being in shape can make a huge difference in your golf game. Just ask LPGA champion Annika Sorenstam, a mother of two who has a streak of wins and awards to her name. Discover the secrets to a better golf game during a live Web chat with Sorenstam at 11 a.m. Pacific on Monday.

We asked Sorenstam how she warms up before playing a round of golf.

“It depends on how much time I have,” she said. “If I have an early tee time, like 8 or 9, it’s hard to get a workout in before that. So I’ll jump rope for one or two minutes. Sometimes I’ll even do it in the parking lot. It’s all about getting the muscles warm and getting the blood pumping. So you could get on a stationary bike and do that for five minutes. If I have some time, I’ll also grab a few dumbbells and get my shoulders warmed up.”

The Swedish-born Sorenstam started playing golf at age 12. (As a girl, she also skiied and played tennis and soccer.) During her years as a professional golfer (she retired from competitive tournament play in 2008), workouts were a part of her routine: Golf games were augmented with regular strength and cardio training, including intervals.


The work must have paid off: Sorenstam won so many tournaments that she was the first LPGA player to earn $20 million. She has received eight Golf Writers Assn. of America Female Player of the Year awards and three Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year awards. In 2003, she was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Sorenstam’s Annika Academy in Florida incorporates fitness programs along with golf instruction, some with her own personal trainer Kai Fusser. She swears by workouts of an hour or longer before hitting the links, a luxury that comes with having a later tee time. When her muscles are warmed up, she said, “I swing a lot better, more efficiently. When I golf, I really want to do well, so sometimes I’d force it, and it just didn’t work. You have to let it happen-- that’s really when you play the’s a combination of being warmed up and having more control.”

She sometimes sees people stretching before a golf game when their muscles are cold--that’s a big no-no for pretty much any sport or activity, she said. “They’re cold and stiff and they take out a golf club and start stretching. It’s the worst thing you can do. Get the blood going first.”

Do you have a question for Annika Sorenstam? Email and join the chat to see the answer.