The shocking age Michelle Wie West realized she was destined for fame

Michelle Wie West wasn't even a teenager when she realized she was destined for golf fame.

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The crazy thing about child prodigies is, often they’re the last people to know they’re prodigies.

Such was the case for Michelle Wie West, whose ascension into the ranks of global golf fame came at the tender age of 10 years old. Wie West was a toddler when she first earned notoriety for her golf game — a Pre-K student with a sweet swing.

Soon, she was traveling the world to compete in golf tournaments, becoming the youngest player ever to make the cut at the U.S. Women’s Open at age 13, and turning professional at the age of 16.

But when did Wie West know she was destined for stardom? On this week’s episode of GOLF’s Subpar, she offered a stunning answer.

“It was pretty fast to be honest,” Wie West told hosts Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz. “You know from when I was 4 I really could get the ball airborne. But as you know, I got really big, really fast. So at age 10 I was 5’7 and weighed a whopping 175 pounds. I hit the ball 250, 275 and quickly realized that other 10-year-old girls weren’t doing that.”

That’s right. By the time she was a preteen, Wie West knew that golf was going to play a major factor in her life.

“Yeah, it just happened really fast,” she said. “It was something I just always knew that I was good at. I beat my dad when I was 7. I qualified for my first national event when I was 10.”

But perhaps the strangest part of it all, Wie West admits, is that it wasn’t strange. Her earth-shattering abilities from a young age were shocking to those around her, but she’d never known any other reality.

“That to me just felt normal,” she said. “I know people always said, ‘That’s not normal, that’s not normal.’ But it was like, my life I was seeing me hit the ball that far every day. To me, I was like, ‘Okay, this is what I’m good at.'”

To hear the rest of Wie West’s Subpar interview, including her thoughts on how to grow women’s golf, check out the video below.

James Colgan

Golf.com Editor

James Colgan is an assistant editor at GOLF, contributing stories for the website and magazine on a broad range of topics. He writes the Hot Mic, GOLF’s weekly media column, and utilizes his broadcast experience across the brand’s social media and video platforms. A 2019 graduate of Syracuse University, James — and evidently, his golf game — is still defrosting from four years in the snow, during which time he cut his teeth at NFL Films, CBS News and Fox Sports. Prior to joining GOLF, James was a caddie scholarship recipient (and astute looper) on Long Island, where he is from.