Q&A with Jenny Hagman – Daily Sports new ambassador
Hello Jenny Hagman, the new ambassador at Daily Sports! Can you tell us who you are in one sentence?
Hello! It’s always difficult to answer this question briefly, ha ha… But okay. Here comes my short answer. I am a former golf professional, golf coach, and personal trainer. Today, I work as a mental coach in sports and leadership for both golfers, athletes, and companies, and I try to balance my business with being a present mom to Gustav and Ludvig, a happy owner to Dino, and a stress-free wife to Jonas.
You will be providing Daily Sports’ followers with lots of golf tips in the future. What golf tip do you wish someone had given you when you started playing?
The tip I wish for the most is related to the mental aspect. That someone had told me that it’s possible to train one’s mental strength just as effectively as improving one’s technique.
You’ve seen 15,000 swings over the years, what is the most common piece of advice that most golfers need to hear?
To control their aim! Based on all the swings I’ve witnessed, over 80% aim incorrectly. If everyone were to learn to aim correctly, I believe that all of Sweden’s golfers would lower their handicaps by over 10 strokes (unfortunately, I don’t have any research on this, but I’m confident it would yield similar results).
A lot of people want to hit it longer. Is that the drive you would put the most practice hours into if you wanted to become a better golfer, or is there another shot you believe everyone should practice more?
I myself favor the driver and won the Long Drive Championship in 2006, but unfortunately, it didn’t just go long but also very wayward. When I got to college, my coach gave me one piece of advice: to spend a maximum of 30% of my practice time on the range and 70% on the short game area. My average score dropped from 80 strokes to 75 strokes in one semester. So, the conclusion is that distance is fun, but if you want to get better, it’s all about the short game.
You are passionate about mental training, why is it so important when it comes to golf?
Without mental training that supports your technique, especially when the pressure increases, you will struggle to reach your full potential. This was true for me when I was playing, and it applies to most of the golfers I work with today. They perform well in practice and without pressure, but in competition or when playing with someone they may get nervous around, their performance isn’t as strong. When you learn the basics of mental training, you will learn to better manage yourself while playing, and your game will improve significantly.
If you could give ONE mental tip to female golfers, what would it be?
To learn how to activate your calming system. You can do this, for example, through your breathing, and the most effective breathing exercise to calm down is to inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 2, and exhale for 6 (in seconds), alternatively, breathe in and out only through the left nostril. The effects come after just 1-3 minutes.
This weekend, the Solheim Cup begins, and Sweden has five players participating. What do you think about Europe’s chances of defeating the USA?
I think they are really good. Our team has a good mix of experience and new players, and from what I’ve seen of the players, they have what it takes when we face the USA – mental strength at the core and an attitude that holds up under pressure.
You have experienced the Solheim Cup in person. Can you briefly tell us about it? Did anything memorable happen?
It was in Halmstad when Sweden hosted it in 2007. What was memorable was seeing all the players up close, but what I remember most was how the USA secured victory by having their rookies win all their matches on the final day. Europe was leading before the last day, but the USA won. The energy and attitude that the USA showed on the final day made it clear from the start that they would emerge as winners this time.
The Solheim Cup is being played at Finca Cortesin, one of Spain’s finest courses on the Costa del Sol. What is your favorite course in Sweden and Europe?
My favorite course in Sweden is Torekov for its links-style feel, and Bro Hof Stadium because of its incredibly beautiful setting and the condition of the course.
Which Swedish player do you think will stand out and perform the best over the weekend, and why?
My favorite is Caroline Hedwall, whom I also interviewed in my podcast “Idrott- och ledarskapspodden” (episode 34) a few years ago. I believe she is in a very good place mentally today, and with her experience of having been in the Solheim Cup before, I have a lot of faith in her. I also have high hopes for Maja Stark this weekend. She has a strong mental foundation and is eager to show what she’s capable of.
Is there anything personal you can share about any of our Swedish players? Do you have any personal anecdotes you’d like to share?
The player I’ve met the most is Caroline Hedwall, and she taught me an incredibly important thing regarding a player and their swing. Before she went to college in the USA, her coach gave her advice to “own her swing,” which means understanding her swing better to be able to say yes or no to tips and advice that might come from other coaches. She also shared in my podcast how she started to focus on the balance between golf and private life, incorporating yoga and deep breathing into her training, and getting a dog. These are definitely keys to success.
What is your favorite item in Daily Sports’ new autumn collection?
Oh, there are so many, but right now, I’m mostly using the Olivet pullover in brown and the Lecce jacket, also in brown. They are incredibly comfortable and perfect for playing golf as it starts to get a little colder.