‘I hate slow play’: Annika Sorenstam shares pace-of-play suggestions
Annika Sorenstam has been a fixture in the game for decades. Not only has she competed at the highest level with incredible success — she won 72 LPGA events including 10 majors — but she also continues to serve as an ambassador for the sport, helping a new generation understand the game and teaching them how to play it well.
Twenty years ago this week, Sorenstam also became the first woman in more than 50 years to play in a PGA Tour event. Competing at the Colonial, she was paired with Dean Wilson and Aaron Barber for the opening rounds, providing another great chapter in golf’s rich history.
This week, Sorenstam and Wilson reconnected at the Invited Celebrity Classic, and are playing together once again as she competes in the celebrity portion of the three-day event.
While talking to the media, the two covered a number of topics, with Sorenstam reminiscing about her experience from two decades ago alongside Wilson.
“I think the bond that [Wilson and I] created during that tournament was so special,” Sorenstam said. “It was just — because it was so new to both of us, scary.
“We felt like we were in this bubble and together. We would talk, how are we going to do this. What’s going to happen. I felt like the bond was a lot more than just players. I think it’s neat, and I still feel that way.”
With the way the game has changed since the two played together, naturally, pace of play was something I had to get Sorenstam’s opinion on. Her reply was as candid as it gets.
“Yeah, well, I hate slow play,” she said. “I think I’m a believer in ready golf. I really am.
“There are things you can do to prepare while somebody else is playing and to be ready when it’s your turn. There are a lot of distractions out there with cell phones, people doing other stuff.”
So what does the greatest women’s golfer ever suggest to help improve the pace-of-play issue? Sorenstam stressed the importance of sticking to a preparation plan that starts before even setting up for a shot.
“I have a pre-shot routine, so I do my routine and it’s 24 seconds. If everybody had somewhat of a pre-shot routine, it should go pretty fast.
“Just be ready when it’s your turn, and hit when you’re ready. You know, pick up if you’re out of the hole. I think it’s more — people get mad if you’re putting for 8 or 9, so pick it up and move on.”
It may sound simple, but imagine if everyone in your group followed Sorenstam’s advice; your next round would be guaranteed not to drag on.