Wie Would Benefit From New Caddie


Every time I think of Michelle Wie I am reminded of the conversation I had with a very senior official at the USGA. We were exchanging thoughts about the firestorm of controversy that followed the 13-year-old Wies unintentional dust-up with LPGA pro Danielle Ammaccapane at the Womens Open in July.
Ammaccapane was unhappy with what she thought was a lack of knowledge of golf course etiquette on Wies part. Nor was Ammaccapane happy with the on-course behavior of B.J. Wie, Michelles father and caddie.
To be sure, there were two sides to the story. But the incident gave pause.
I think, said the USGA official, juniors and parents who aspire to be Tiger-like should take a page from Earl Woods. Earl never got within 100 yards of Tiger while he was playing. Theres plenty to be said for a kid learning to figure things out for himself or herself, including how to play the game. And if the kid doesnt like the counsel that the parent/caddie is providing, I dont see how he or she can fire dad or mom. Awkward all around.
Bringing that back to the Nationwide Tours Albertsons Boise Open, there were no reported incidents between Wies father and any other players in the field. But it was clear that his daughter was starved for local knowledge on a course that begged players to keep their drivers in the bag and insisted that they plan run-up shots to many of the firmer open greens.
B.J. Wie is not sophisticated enough to know these things. In jock parlance, he didnt play the game.
Picture Mozarts father showing up at his sons recital with a kazoo to help provide the proper pitch for his child prodigy. This is not to say B. J. Wie doesnt love his daughter nor to suggest he doesnt know her game.
Its to opine that a local caddie with local knowledge would have been more beneficial to Michelles Wies chances to do better than the 78-76 she fired that missed the cut by 12 shots.
Putting takes a lot of experience, the father said. Its hard to find that kind of green in Hawaii.
Heres a flash Mr. Wie: As your daughter makes her predicted ascent to the top of the ladder of womens golf (maybe even as early as 17) she will play many courses that dont resemble Hawaii in the foggiest.
Having said that, it is my hope that Wie and her father continue to dream what right now is the almost impossible dream: To play in the Masters.
I would love to see that one day. As a father of a daughter, I dont think girls shouldnt aspire to reach golfs highest levels if their games merit it.
Truth be told, what Im really wondering is this: Are there any 13-year-old boys right now who can hit the ball farther than Michelle Wie?
Michelle Wie is not a freak. That adjective is a pejorative. What she is is a wonder of nature. It will be fun to watch her golf development continue every stop of the way.
Lets get her a good caddie.
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