Emma Henrikson, a Swedish National Golf Team player combines her golfing career with studies in Finance at San Diego State University (SDSU). We got the chance to meet her and talk a little about how it is to be a professional golfer and a Swede in San Diego.
Emma was just 4 years old when she started playing golf with her family. Her brothers inspired her the most but the interest really took off when she began competing. What she likes about the sport is that it is an individual sport and her performance is all up to herself. She also likes that she can be outdoors and practice all day surrounded by beautiful nature, which is perfect here in San Diego.
In high school, she was selected for the future girls national team (up and coming girls national team).
It was encouraging to me. Those who were in the “real” girls national team could go to a lot of camps and competitions and it was a spur for me to become even better.
Her enthusiasm and hard work paid off and when Emma turned 18, she was drafted directly from the future girls team to the women's national team. Since then she has played the European Championships and other international competitions such as the British Amateur every summer.
Nearly four years ago, after high school, Emma chose to move to the US to pursue her golfing career. "Competition is better in the United States, which is very good for my development", she says. Since she also wanted an education, a collage education in the US combined with golf training was the perfect choice for her. Emma visited different schools, but when she came to San Diego, she immediately fell in love with the city.
San Diego has everything; the weather, the nature, the sea, but also I really liked the coach at the school. “Everything just clicked when I came here.
She is currently studying Business Finance, perhaps one of the most demanding business majors at SDSU and she really enjoys it. However, golf is her main focus and she spends about 4-7 hours a day on the golf course.
I'm a bit of an all or nothing kind of person. I find it hard to just drop school and just let it be a passing thing, so I really want to do everything I can.
All of the players in the current Swedish women's national team go to different colleges, which is a huge support for Emma. She is grateful that she can go playing games and travel the world together with them. The national team also supports her financially, for example, by sending her Swedish coach to San Diego when needed.
In addition to the national team Emma has great support from her team here in San Diego. The team consists of people from all over the world, which she appreciates. She felt a little unsure before she moved here because the American culture is so different from the Swedish. However, she feels that San Diego is very multicultural. She says that it is as easy to find Swedes to socialize with, as it is to live the American life. Personally, she thinks it's nice to be able to mix with other international people and whenever she wears her San Diego State Golf clothes people see her as a San Diego State player and not some “Swedish player".
She explains that in Sweden golf is a common sport, but here in the US it is more perceived as a bit of an upper class sport, which she thinks is a pity. The reason for this is that it is considerably more expensive to be a member of a private club here. "But really, golf is golf, so it is actually very similar," she says.
Now Emma has two semesters left at SDSU. She sees a future ahead of her as a pro but will continue as an amateur and playing for the Swedish national team this summer. When she is back after the summer, her goal is to play in the World Cup and going pro. Swedish golf player Pernilla Lindberg inspires Emma, because she has had a similar development curve as Emma. So after collage Emma will look to Pernillas carrier path to find guidance to achieve her dream of getting to the LPGA Tour.
Another dream scenario for Emma is to continue to live in San Diego, but there is a chance that she will be moving to Florida because many competitions are held there. However, in any case she will stay in the US as long as her golf career lasts. “The best tours and most of the money are in the US and also the best training opportunities”, Emma explains.
We hope to see a lot more of Emma, both on the golf course and in San Diego in the future, and we wish her all the luck in her carrier and life here in San Diego.
Are you interested in golf? Want to play a round?
The Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce San Diego and Meyer Law Group would like to invite you to the annual SACC & Meyer Law Group Invitational Golf Tournament on the May 21st. Tee off together with the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce for a great day of golf! We are proud to present the 2016 edition of our annual golf tournament. This year we will be at Riverwalk Golf Club located in central San Diego. We will rise early, play 18 holes of scramble and finish with a lunch together with a prize-giving ceremony where players have the chance to win great prizes. Take this chance to extend your business network and at the same time having a great time!
Bring a smile, some clubs and we will see you on the course!