The 38-year-old Swede, described by Tiger Woods as the greatest female player ever, is planning to step away from professional golf to pursue business interests and start a family.
But she insisted she had never used the word “retire”.
“This means I could make a comeback to competitive golf if I get the itch to come back,” she said here where she headlines the Suzhou Taihu Ladies Open this week, the first Ladies European Tour event hosted by China.
“But for the time being, I’ll be out of mainstream golf events as I look forward to my marriage in January and do the many things I plan to do — teaching golf, organizing golf tournaments, golf course designing and so forth.
“I’m all excited about the new chapter ahead of me beginning next year.”
Sörenstam has 90 career victories including 10 Major titles, earning $22 million along the way.
She said 15 years was a long time for anyone to be a professional golfer, but she had enjoyed the ride.
“I have mixed feelings, good times and bad. Too many good things to forget but there were times I made lots of mistakes and I learned from my mistakes,” she said.
“I met a lot of people and experienced many good things, shooting a 59 and winning the US Open. I’ll cherish these moments for the rest of my life.
“For 15 years I was working inside the ropes and now I want to do things outside the ropes
“Fifteen years on the Tour is a bit too long. I’ll still be involved in golf but in other ways and as I said if I get the itch to come back to competitive golf, I’ll do so but it may not be too soon.”
The Suzhou Taihu Ladies Open tournament is co-sanctioned by the China Golf Association and Ladies Asian Golf Tour.