Henrik Stenson gave me the best golf lesson ever — and he spoke only Swedish!
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Becca Litt is a Supervising Producer for Golf Digest/Condé Nast Entertainment.
Some things in golf are universal — the smell of dewy, freshly mown grass, the sound of a perfect drive, the taste of that first Transfusion. Some things are not — like the fast-spoken Swedish of pro golfer Henrik Stenson.
When Stenson is standing beside you critiquing your swing (and outfit) in his native tongue, you have two choices: learn Swedish or apply your own subtitles. I chose the latter. And while my internal Google translate might have been a bit forgiving, the golf gods were not; my shots meandered and scuttled, hooked and sliced. One of them frightened a twosome a few holes over. And yes, "FORE” translates the same in Swedish.
I’m married to a golf addict, but it wasn’t until a year ago that I started playing myself. Now, I'm completely hooked. I’m great at the walking, the talking and the outfits, but when it comes to my swing, I’m still very much a beginner. I’ve made a birdie, but it might take me 10 swings at the next hole to get out of a bunker.
So why was Henrik Stenson giving me a lesson in Swedish? Maybe to prove that golf is indeed a universal language, a link between cultures, a unifier of nations? Or maybe because my boss wanted to embarrass me — and save money by not hiring an actress.
Stenson was super friendly and a lot of fun. So was Martin Kaymer, the other tour star and Hugo Boss ambassador we spent time with at Crandon Golf in Key Biscayne, Fla.
What’s the quickest way for a beginning golfer like me to hit straighter shots?
Alignment! Alignment! Alignment!
I’ve got it, Henrik. I’ll be working on that all year, and I’ll see you for a follow-up next spring!