Here’s Michelle Wie West’s brilliant advice for aspiring pros and female golfers
Michelle Wie West is gearing up for just her second (and last) event of 2022, so when she met with the media on Tuesday at Pine Needles in Southern Pines, N.C., in advance of the U.S. Women’s Open, she was repeatedly asked to reflect.
As a refresher, Wie West said last week that the U.S. Women’s Open — which she won in 2014 at nearby Pinehurst No. 2 — will be her last event of the season as she plans to step away from the LPGA. She confirmed on Tuesday that her only event for 2023 will be the U.S. Women’s Open at Pebble Beach, although she did leave that somewhat open. (“But I’ve changed my mind before,” she said.)
One of the handful of questions the 32 year old was asked was what advice she’d give to successful amateurs turning pro or LPGA rookies.
“I guess just the advice I always give them, it’s a grind,” she said. “I think a lot of times people just glamorize being a professional athlete, and I just think you have to know and accept and love the grind that it is and just go out there and be resilient and work hard and just be grateful for every small win. I think a lot of times you go out there and you’re like, ‘Oh, I want to win a major, I want to win a tournament,’ and you have these big goals, but it’s also really important to celebrate the small wins, as well.”
Wie West, of course, is the perfect athlete to answer these types of questions. At 13, she became the youngest to win an adult USGA event, and she played in a PGA Tour event at 14.
She also asked about marketing herself and how other stars could learn from it. That’s even more important these days with NIL deals for top collegiate and amateur players.
“As female athletes, a lot of times we get told, ‘Oh, your sponsorship is only worth this much. You should only ask for this much,'” said Wie West, who turned pro at age 15 in 2005 and signed multimillion dollar contracts with Nike and Sony. “We’re kind of in that mindset, and I would encourage female younger athletes coming up to say, ‘No, I know my worth, I know what I deserve,’ and ask for more.”
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