It seems like nearly everyone in and around the game of golf has some piece of advice for Michelle Wie theses days.
Given her competitive record over the past year this is understandable. Actually ever since Michelle broke onto the national scene four or five years ago advice regarding her career direction has been pretty much free flowing from most of the pundits.
I for one have been reluctant during that time to offer Michelle or the Wie family any real advice. I guess primarily because thats not my nature. However, equally as important is that Ive never really felt like I have understood their situation well enough to be qualified to give advice. I guess that now I feel compelled to offer some. Im not sure why, maybe its peer pressure.
First, lets examine some of the theories surrounding Michelles recent poor play that are fueling the various advice strategies. Here is a sampling:
1. Michelles wrist injury is more severe than the Wie camp originally thought and simply needs rest to heal.
2. Michelle has lost her confidence on the course (people admit this could be related to the injury).
3. Michelles swing has changed over the past few years and it not as fundamentally sound as it once was.
4. Michelles parents are too overbearing and are attempting to exert too much control over her decision making.
5. Michelles management group and major sponsors (Nike and Sony) are pressuring her to continue playing through the injury.
I really dont subscribe to any of these individual theories. Maybe a combination of several of them is partially true. My theory is quite different from any of those five. Its quite simple Michelles performances have been impacted not by what is happening, but what is missing. So for Michelle Wie what is it right now that is missing? I think its the joy of playing golf.
So my advice to Michelle right now (and Im still a little apprehensive about offering it) would be this: take a little time off and while you do watch a few tapes . See if you can find a couple of you playing competitively a few years ago. You will see joy in nearly everything you did on the course. Think about how you can recapture that Michelle Wie spirit. And remember, spirit can heal many things.
Thats MY View.
Editors Note: Mark Rolfing, a Maui resident, is one of the leading forces in sports event marketing and production in Hawaii. As NBC Sports award-winning golf commentator, Rolfing continues to cover top golf events such as the prestigious Ryder Cup, The Players Championship and The U.S Open. Rolfing also hosts Golf Hawaii on The Golf Channel. Golf Hawaii, now in its twelfth season is one of the longest running sports shows in the nation.