Founder, World Golf Hall of Famer, and LPGA Legend
Annika is the greatest female golfer of our generation, and often regarded as the best of all-time. During her 15 year Hall of Fame career, she rewrote the LPGA and Ladies European Tour record books, won countless awards, and changed the way women’s golf was played, viewed, and covered. S
he amassed 89 worldwide victories, including 72 on the LPGA, ten of which are Major Championships. She has a record eight Rolex Player of the Year awards and holds the record for the lowest scoring average in a season (68.6969 in 2004). She has a record six Vare Trophies for the year’s lowest scoring average. She represented Europe in eight Solheim Cups. She is the only female to break 60 in an official event, which garnered her the nickname, “Ms. 59.” Annika was the first and only female to cross the $20 Million mark for LPGA career earnings and her total of over $22 million is nearly $5 Million more than the next closest competitor despite not competing since the 2008 season. Annika was the recipient of the Patty Berg award in 2003 for her contributions to women’s golf. She was the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year from 2003-2005, and the Golf Writers Association of America Female Athlete of the Year in 1995, 1997, and from 2000-2005.
Annika stepped away from professional golf after the 2008 season to focus on her family and the ANNIKA brand of businesses, including the ANNIKA Academy, ANNIKA Financial Group, ANNIKA Course Design, the ANNIKA Collection of apparel with Cutter & Buck, and signature high-end wines. In 2007, Annika created the ANNIKA Foundation as a way to teach children the importance of living a healthy, active lifestyle through fitness and nutrition, and offer aspiring junior golfers opportunities to pursue their dreams. The Foundation has partnered with key organizations to promote healthy, active lifestyles for children, including SPARK, Florida Hospital for Children in support of its Healthy 100 Kids initiative and The First Tee in development of the Nine Healthy Habits curriculum for children. The Foundation annually conducts four major golf events for aspiring junior girls, including an award-winning AJGA tournament, ANNIKA Invitational at Reunion Resort in Orlando, Fla.; the ANNIKA Invitational at Mission Hills, the first all-girls junior tournament in China; the ANNIKA Invitational in Europe; and the ANNIKA Cup, a team event for the top juniors in Sweden. With the support of 3M, the Haskins Commission and Golfweek, the Foundation created the ANNIKA Award Presented By 3M, which is given annually to the best collegiate female golfer. In concert with the award, the Foundation launched the ANNIKA Intercollegiate Presented By 3M, a college tournament featuring 12 of the top Division I schools, held annually on the Watson Course at Reunion Resort.
In 2008, Annika joined Arnold Palmer as only the second Ambassador of the United States Golf Association, and in 2009, along with Jack Nicklaus, she was named a Global Ambassador by the International Golf Federation and aided in the successful bid for golf in the 2016 Olympic Games. In 2011 Annika was named the winner of the USGA’s prestigious Bob Jones Award, given annually to someone with distinct character on and off the course. In 2013, she was named the First Lady of Golf by the PGA of America. Annika served as a vice-captain for the victorious 2011 and 2013 European Solheim Cup Teams in Ireland and the United States, and will serve in that same capacity in 2015 in Germany. Annika also appears regularly as a guest analyst on the Golf Channel’s popular Morning Drive show and as an Analyst for NBC Golf’s broadcast of LPGA Major Championships. Annika was recently named the top female athlete of all-time in her home country of Sweden.
In addition to expanding her brand and growing the game, Annika and her husband Mike McGee have two children, Ava (9/1/09) and Will (3/21/11). Annika represents world class companies that include 3M, ADP, AHEAD, Callaway, Cutter & Buck, Golfing World, Lexus, Oakley, Pacific Links International and Rolex. Annika’s Twitter handle is @Annika59 and more information can be found at www.annikasorenstam.com.
Golf & Fitness Instructors
The ANNIKA Academy has recruited a group of incredible instructors. The team boasts more than 75 years combined of professional golf and fitness experience. They are experts in their fields, working with many notable LPGA and PGA TOUR athletes. Our instructors apply the “Winning Approach” to golf, fitness and nutrition. It is a holistic philosophy founded upon mental toughness that Annika used during her competitive golf career. Their proven methods and emphasis on fundamentals allow them to effectively teach golfers of all ages, skill levels, and abilities. Each instructor participates in our core golf programs, and is also available for adult and junior private lessons.
Henri Reis – Director of Golf Instruction and Annika’s only Swing Coach
Henri Reis is an internationally renowned PGA golf instructor and has been Annika’s only swing coach for over 20 years. A member of the Swedish PGA since 1980, Henri has taught over 25 years and has over 100 wins as a coach. As the top Swedish teacher, his clients range from beginners at the club level to the best in the world. He has passion for the game, and it shows in his unique ability to adjust his teaching methods to each individual. Henri’s simple approach focuses on basic fundamentals, which have been recognized over the years through his work with the Swedish National teams.
- Internationally renowned PGA Golf Instructor
- Over 25 years of golf instruction experience
- Member of Swedish PGA since 1980
- Annika’s only swing coach for 20 years
- Notable pupils include Annika Sorenstam, Jonas Blixt, Anna Nordqvist, the Swedish National Team and more!
Kai Fusser – Director of Fitness, and Annika’s Personal Trainer
German born Kai Fusser, a certified personal trainer and sport nutritionist, brings a lifetime of experience to the ANNIKA Academy. From his many years of working with beginners to world champion athletes, Kai has the skill and expertise to create optimal personal fitness programs for guests enrolled in the Academy. His client base includes aspiring collegiate athletes, as well as professionals in the sports of swimming, wake boarding, water skiing, basketball, tennis and golf. Kai has served as Annika’s personal trainer for nearly a decade.
- Certified personal trainer and sports nutritionist
- Clients range from beginners, to professional golfers, swimmers, wake boarders, basketball players, tennis players, and more
- Founder of Kai Fitness for Golf
- Author of Weight Training for Golf, and Weight Training for Women’s Golf
- Annika’s personal trainer for more than 11 years
Charlotta Sorenstam – Head Teaching Professional
Charlotta Sorenstam was a member of the Swedish National Team for seven years. She captured the 1993 European Team Championship title and won the 1992 Angso Ladies Open. In 1993, Charlotta competed for the University of Texas and won the NCAA Championship title, as well as All-American honors. In 1994 she turned pro, and played on the Ladies European Tour. She has one LPGA Tour win, the 2000 Standard Register PING. Charlotta is an LPGA Class ‘A’ Teaching Professional and works alongside Henri Reis as a main instructor at ANNIKA Academy.
- LPGA and LET Tour Professional
- 1998 European Solheim Cup Team member
- 2000 Standard Register Ping LPGA Champion
- 2005 European Junior Solheim Cup Team Captain
- Charlotta is a KVest, CPC, and TPI Certified Instructor
Mark Bereza – Academy Instructor
Mark Bereza was born in Ann Arbor and raised in East Grand Rapids, Michigan. His passion for sports began early including, downhill skiing, snowboarding, lacrosse, wind surfing and golfing, during Michigan’s long summer days. Over the past decade Mark has amassed an extensive set of skills working in the golf industry. From The Club at Cordillera in Vail, Troon North in Scottsdale, to Mystic Dunes and Hawk’s Landing in Orlando, Mark has a broad range of experience in Golf Instruction, Club Fitting, Event Management and Professional Golf Competition.
- 16 years of golf industry and instruction experience at high end courses in Colorado, Arizona and Florida
- Mark is a KVest Level 2 certified instructor
- Lead Callaway Performance Center Club Specialist for the ANNIKA Academy
- Competed in professional events from 1999-2002
David Wheeler – Academy Instructor
David attended Virginia Wesleyan College and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management. He grew up in Morton, New York and started golfing at the age of five with his parents. At age thirteen, on a family trip to Callaway Gardens in Georgia, he “found his swing” and golf instantly became his passion. David played college golf and was team captain for three years, receiving all-conference honors his senior year. He worked in golf operations at Kingsmill Resort and Spa in Williamsburg, VA which was the venue for Annika’s last LPGA win and at Reunion Resort in Orlando. David played professional golf from 2008-2011. His other passions are hockey, fishing, camping, traveling, fantasy football, and the beach.
- Professional golfer from 2008-2011
- Collegiate Men’s Golf Team Captain at Virgina Wesleyan College
- Began golfing at age five
- David is a CPC Certified Instructor
Emily Durham – Academy Fitness Instructor
- X Games Gold Medalist
- Won World Championship Wake Board Competition
- Former gymnast and professional wake boarder
- Began her training as a certified fitness instructor under Kai Fusser
Shawn Thorimbert – Director of Operations
Shawn Thorimbert was named the Director of Operations for the Annika Academy on March 9th 2015. Before then, Shawn was the Associate Athletic Director at Florida International University in Miami Florida. Shawn brings a wealth of sports management experience to the Academy having been in the sports industry for over 17 years. Shawn graduated from Loyola University in Baltimore, Maryland. Shawn is married to his wife Nery and has two children, Brian and Celine, both attend FIU. Aside from his passion for golf, Shawn likes photography, mountain bike riding and traveling.
Mark Bouw – Sales Professional
Mark grew up in Kalamazoo, MI. He started working at golf courses as a freshman in high school. Following his love for the game he worked his way up to Assistant Golf Professional. Teaching lessons to adults and juniors has always been his passion. Orlando has been home for the last 11 years and still travels back to Michigan every year for golf trips and to visit family and friends. Mark’s passions are golf, skiing, hockey and family.
Maru Martinez – ELITE Athlete Recruiter
Maru Martinez comes to the Annika Academy from the PGA Tour where she served as a Tournament Service Coordinator for the WGC Cadillac Championship. Originally from Caracas Venezuela, Maru came to the US to attend Auburn University on a golf scholarship, playing from 2002 – 2006. Upon graduation, Maru qualified and played on the LPGA Tour from 2006 – 2009. Aside from golf, Maru likes to work out, read and travel. She’s very close with her family in Venezuela and has one brother who is looking to come to the US to play college golf.
Lisa Troiano – Office Manager
Lisa Troiano was born in Johnston, RI. She moved to Citrus County Florida when she was 8 years old. She attended Florida Southern College and was a member of the FSC Lady Moc’s Women’s Golf team from 1999 through 2002. Upon graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science in Hospitality and Sports Management, Lisa worked for several private golf and country clubs. Lisa enjoys golf, time with her family, cooking and travel.