Orlando, United States: The ANNIKA Foundation – golf Hall-of-Famer Annika Sorenstam’s charitable organisation – and the Mission Hills Group have announced a five-year extension to host the ANNIKA Invitational at Mission Hills through 2023.
The first all girls international event to come to China, the ANNIKA Invitational at Mission Hills was first hosted in 2011 and has established itself as a pre-eminent female junior event in Asia.
Since its inception, the event has hosted over 1,000 players, many of whom have gone on to play Division I collegiate golf in the United States, and succeeded at the professional level.
“The ANNIKA Invitational is one of the highlights of our annual junior golf programme at Mission Hills, which features more than 50 tournaments for tens of thousands of young Chinese golfers each year,” said Tenniel Chu, Group Vice-Chairman of Mission Hills. “We look forward to continuing our mission together with Annika to grow girls’ golf in China and across the region for many more years to come.”
Sorenstam, who designed the host Annika Course and annually attends the tournament, said: “I’m so proud of what this event has become over the years and I’m always so inspired by the talent that we see each year. The ANNIKA Foundation is proud of its partnership with Mission Hills and looks forward to a bright future with this event.”
The Mission Hills Junior Golf Programme provides access to golf for tens of thousands of juniors each year, from beginners through to elite amateurs, through 50-plus junior tournaments plus coaching, camps and clinics, schools’ initiative, free access for juniors to three courses and free entry into China’s first golf museum.
Since 2005, Mission Hills has invested more than US$6 million into its junior programming, and more than 100,000 competitive rounds have been played by juniors at Mission Hills. It was voted Best Youth Development Programme in Asia in 2018 and EFG Bank was recently unveiled as an Official Partner.
year, the ANNIKA Foundation conducts five other major golf events for juniors:
the ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex, ANNIKA Invitational Europe,
ANNIKA Cup, ANNIKA Invitational Latin America and ANNIKA Invitational
Australasia. They are complemented by the ANNIKA Inter-collegiate presented by
3M and the ANNIKA Award presented by 3M, which is annually bestowed to the most
outstanding female Division I golfer.
Since the inaugural Foundation tournament – the 2009 ANNIKA Invitational USA – 45 ANNIKA event alumnae have earned LPGA cards, with more than 600 playing golf at the collegiate level.