Golf Digest WomanFebruary 25, 2010

Northern Star

Q&A With Suzann Pettersen

Pettersen spends up to three hours a day in the gym.

Pettersen spends up to three hours a day in the gym.

*Suzann Pettersen has single-handedly put golf on the map in her home country of Norway. At No. 3 in the world ranking, her next goal is conquering the world. *

Congratulations on winning "Female Athlete of the Year" in Norway for the second time in three years. Thanks. It's always fun to be recognized and honored from that part of the sports world. There are obviously a lot of skiers in Norway, and it's kind of hard to out-do some of those other athletes. Golf hasn't exactly been the most popular sport in Norway. It's getting there, though -- it's getting the respect that it deserves. I think that it's great.

Aside from golf, you're a great skier and tennis player; is it true that you're now into go-cart racing?

I've always been very active. I'm a sports freak. If I don't play golf, I watch sports. Especially alpine and cross-country skiing, and I love the biathlon. It's just how I grew up; that's what's on TV in Norway. I love speed and I love cars, so go-cart racing is also a good match for me.

What kind of car do you drive in private?

I have two cars, but my dream car is hopefully coming within the near future. The new Porsche Panamera.

Are you saying you might buy yourself one of those this year?

Maybe. We'll see. It depends on if I deserve it (laughs).

The LPGA Tour just went through a tough season. Are you optimistic about the future?

I think the tour is in much better shape now than it was six months ago. Our new commissioner Mike Whan has connected some broken bridges and has established more solid ground all over, and we're just beginning to see some of those effects with a few more commitments from new sponsors. I think he's a good communicator and he cares about the tour, he cares about the players, and he wants us to be out and play.

You have six wins on tour in the last three years. What are your goals for 2010?

Every week I tee it up, I play to win. You don't become number one without winning tournaments. I've been working hard with David Leadbetter to get more consistent, and that started to pay off toward the end of last year. I'm mainly focusing on my putting and short game. If I can make more putts, I'll win more.

You're one of the fittest players on the LPGA Tour. How much time do you spend on your physical training?

I spend a lot. Probably three hours a day, seven days a week.

Excuse me? What about tournament weeks?

If I can get four good workouts in during tournament weeks, I'm very happy. The gym is my go-to place. It's what I love, the place where I can kind of turn my head off and just go into my own world. During the season, I do a lot of maintenance -- cardio, stretching; things like that. It's all about maintaining speed in your body. During the offseason, you can obviously focus more on weights, on getting stronger.

Do you have any time left to go to the driving range when all that working out is over?

Yeah, you just have to set your alarm clock a little bit earlier (laughs). It's all about scheduling. Even though I spend three hours in the gym morning and afternoon, I still have several hours in the middle of the day to get done what I need to get done with my game.

What do you miss the most from Norway when you're in the States?

I miss my friends and I miss the food. Proper bread. You're from Sweden so you know what I mean. I miss solid-grain, dark bread that doesn't last for three weeks. Here, the bread is full of preservatives.

What would surprise people about you?

That I smile a lot off the golf course. People seem to find me very serious, but I'm probably the one who jokes around and smiles the most off the course. I'm actually a very easy-going person.