Multitalented Cristie Kerr is not only one of the world’s top golfers, taking home the No. 1 title in the 2010 LPGA Championship, but she has also made a name for herself in the realms of philanthropy and wine. This Scottsdale resident and aspiring sommelier loves the Valley, which she shares when AFM chatted with her during the RR Donnelley LPGA Founder’s Cup in the spring.
AFM: How did you first get involved in golf?
CK: My parents were recreational players and when they went to the course, I would tag along and fish or play in the cart. One day, I went to the range and started whacking balls, and apparently I was doing so well that after a few hours, it drew a crowd.
AFM: Why is it so important to you to continue to thrive in the sport?
CK: I am pretty hard on myself, and I don’t like to settle for less than the best. Whether it is golf, winemaking or philanthropy work, I believe in giving everything I have, effort- and talent-wise. Many people sacrificed for me to be able to have a career in golf, I have sacrificed a lot, and I have a lot of people and partners who are part of what I do on tour. I am proud to say that I work as hard as anyone to be successful. Also, there is no better feeling in life than to reach the pinnacle of success. Winning golf tournaments is the greatest thrill I know.
AFM: Where are your favorite places in Arizona?
CK: There are so many. I live at Mirabel and love the club there. I love Carefree and Cave Creek. We eat at Carefree Station a lot. I love Kierland Commons and Scottsdale Quarter; iPic is the best way to see a movie. I like going to ArtWalk in Old Town Scottsdale and then going to Cowboy Ciao. Shopping at Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall is great for retail therapy. We also spend time in the DC Ranch area. We really like to shop at AJ’s Fine Foods and cook at home when we can because we spend so much time on the road.
AFM: What are your favorite courses to play in Arizona?
CK: I like Mirabel, Estancia, Whisper Rock and Silverleaf. I have gotten to play Grayhawk and Troon, and they are classic courses. I miss playing Superstition Mountain for tournament play, but they have done a great job getting Wildfire to tournament shape.
AFM: What accomplishments are you most proud of?
CK: From a golf standpoint, probably having won two majors and becoming the No. 1 player in the world in 2010. That was a lifelong dream of mine. Off the course, it’s raising money for breast cancer [through my charity, Birdies for Breast Cancer]. Last year, we opened our first dedicated women’s health center in Jersey City, NJ. We have treated thousands of women in our first year, and many of them without insurance. That’s pretty special. I am also proud of the wine project we started with Pride Mountain Vineyards. Our 2007 cabernet sauvignon, Curvature, was served in the recent White House State Dinner honoring Angela Merkel.
AFM: What do you see in your future?
CK: I have a lot of golf left in my future. I am studying for my Level 1 Sommelier Exam, and I would like to get into the Food and Beverage industry. I would like to continue to grow our breast cancer work, possibly expanding our current facility and maybe opening up a few more. I would also like to start my own family at some point.