Since the day I met Annika Sorenstam, nothing in our world has
been traditional. Being brought up in the U.S., plagued by
gender stereotypes, I always figured that when I grew up, I
would make money and my wife would take care of our children. It
hasn't quite worked out that way.
Annika and I met on the driving range at Moon Valley Country
Club in Phoenix in 1994. She was an LPGA rookie and I was a few
weeks out of college, working for a club manufacturer. Looking
back, it's hard to believe how naive we were. Our relationship
has always been a learning experience, but it was the 1995 U.S.
Open that truly changed our lives. After Annika won the
Open--and attracted more attention than ever--it didn't seem
right for me to work for a rival of Callaway, her major sponsor.
Two months later, I took a job with Callaway. Soon, however, my
increasing responsibilities and her schedule, which kept her on
the road 35 weeks a year, made it hard to keep our relationship
growing. That's why I changed careers again after our marriage
in '97. I minimized my role at Callaway, becoming a consultant,
and took on a new role: I became "Annika's wife," as many people
I'm often asked by corporate executives, "David, what is it that
you do?" Having long since overcome any problem with machismo,
I'm not ashamed to say that I support my wife. I help with her
travel arrangements, handle much of her correspondence and take
care of the countless details of her career so she can focus on
her golf. (I hate laundry, though, and refuse to do it.) It's
Annika's golf, after all, that has allowed us to explore the
world together. It is Annika's golf that provides interesting,
rewarding careers for us. Someday she may decide to use the name
Annika Esch. If that never happens, though, it's all right with
Esch and Sorenstam's second anniversary is Jan. 4, 1999.
COLOR PHOTO: J.D. CUBAN HELPMATE Esch says he's glad to be Sorenstam's right-hand man. [David Esch and Annika Sorenstam]