Growing up next to a golf course, alongside a brother aiming to be the next Tiger Woods and being raised by golf-loving parents, the first club that was put in my hands was there to stay. I was only five years old at the time but I’ve been hooked ever since. It might seem unusual for a young girl to choose a sport such as golf, however in Sweden it is far more common than you think.
One of, if not the greatest female golfer of all time, Annika Sorenstam, has been an incredibly strong inspirational figure. I was fortunate enough to take part in a junior event where she was guest-starring and it was a great experience having her next to me debating which club to use for her next shot.
Having Annika representing Sweden has unquestionably helped the number of golfing girls and women in the country. Although she has offiially left the tour I really hope, and believe she continues to inspire people around the world with the work she does for the golf.
Knowing I wasn’t going to be the next female world number one golfer, aged 18 I left Sweden for the warmer, year-round golf climate of Gran Canaria. I got a job in the reception of a newly-opened golf resort outside Puerto Rico and it was here that I first experienced the different attitudes towards female golfers in different countries. Apart from the usual curiosity of how I decided to move to Spanish territory, I was also met by reactions of astonishment.
The infrequency of young girls with the strong passion for the game and relatively large backpack of golf experience I brought was not something my new colleagues were used to. The sterotype golfer was male, over 30 and wealthy. In some ways I felt a long way from home.
Three years later I find myself living in central London, perhaps one of the last places you think of living and playing as a keen golfer. However, I work for a golf marketing company and I am a lot closer to golf than I thought I would ever be.
Spending less time on the golf course means that I spend a lot more time watching, reading and talking about golf – and I love it. There is so much more to golf than the time spent strolling the fairways. It’s an entire lifestyle, which not only men can or should enjoy, but also women of all ages.