Linn Grant said she will be forever grateful for the opportunities and life experiences presented to her because of golf.
The Swedish star has been making a name for herself on both the Ladies European Tour [LET] and the LPGA Tour despite only turning professional less than two years ago.
Named Rookie of the Year in 2022, Grant has won five times on the LET and recently picked up her first title across the pond when she triumphed at the Dana Open last month.
Despite her rapid ascent, the 24-year-old likes to keep herself grounded and believes she would still enjoy golf even if silverware wasn’t as forthcoming.
Grant said: “I feel like it’s given me a fuller life, even if I hadn’t succeeded and be where I am today, or hadn’t turned pro. I would never regret getting into sport.
“I don’t think any athlete would regret all the hours they put in, whether that’s playing sport or just hanging out with their team-mates.
“I think sport is very important in today’s society. It does so much for you in so many different ways.
“My experiences with golf, and sport in general, are experiences that people who don’t [play] sports will never get – emotionally, but also experiences with tournaments, people, being in certain situations. You get to experience so much that most people do not.
“Even though you have to sacrifice a lot, you get to meet a lot of people, make a lot of friends.
“People who haven’t played sport don’t realise that it’s so similar to life itself. They don’t realise how much you learn, especially when you get to a certain level, in terms of the decisions you have to make in certain moments.”
Grant first came to prominence by winning the Scandinavian Mixed last June. A co-sanctioned event, the field was made up of both male and female players.
When Grant finished an incredible nine shots clear of compatriot, and the 2016 Champion Golfer, Henrik Stenson, she became the first female golfer to win a DP World Tour event. This created headlines and thrust women’s golf into the limelight.
An initially reluctant, but ideal, role model for any young girl wanting to get into sport, Grant now understands the bigger picture and is more than happy to spend time with and chat to young fans both on and off the course.
She said: “It has been quite hard to understand exactly how important it is, because I didn’t have that as a kid.
“But seeing young girls coming up and wanting a picture or an autograph made me realise how important my role is and everybody else who plays.
“It’s important that we give them a certain picture of what it’s like [to be a golfer] and the responsibility that comes with that. It’s huge.
“I still don’t think we realise how big an impact it has. I had a bunch of girls come up to me in Halmstad last year saying ‘I saw you on TV and I wanna play golf too’ or that I’d inspired them in so many ways. For me that’s crazy because I didn’t have that.
“But I think we realise how important our decisions are, what we say in the media, what we post on Instagram, all these little things that we think nobody cares about, but it could have a huge impact on some 14-year-old somewhere, so it’s a huge responsibility.
“We have to be very careful, but we should also take it as a huge honour.”
After climbing to 19th in the Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings, Grant is now dreaming of landing her first major title, an achievement she admits she has dreamt about on more than one occasion.
She explained: “I try to visualise myself standing on the last green holing a putt for the win.
“The more I can trick myself that it’s actually happening, I feel like there’s a bigger chance of it happening.
“Maybe when I’m playing I’ll tell myself to be more present, but coming up to that moment I think you need to believe that it’s going to happen, otherwise you’re never going to get there.”