Why ladies golf needs more people like Michelle Wie

News & Tour

Michelle Wie has started the year by speaking out against golf's archaic attitudes - which is exactly what the sport needs, writes Harriet Shephard

Michelle Wie wasn’t afraid to speak her mind in 2017 and thankfully, it doesn’t look like 2018 will be any different.

She hasn’t shied away away from expressing her displeasure with the updated LPGA dress code, which banned leggings, plunging necklines and other ‘offensive’ items.

In fact, there are so many things wrong with the new rules that it actually seems bizarre that more players aren’t taking a stand.

Offseason = No dress code fines ??‍♀️? #croptopdroptop

A post shared by Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) on

After one of her Instagram posts threw shade at the new rules back in December, she has started the year by being named the ‘Most Stylish Golfer’ by Golf.com and featuring in Teen Vogue’s article on inspirational female athletes.

It all just proves that the player’s new outspoken attitude certainly isn’t doing her career any harm.

She has also continued to make controversial statements on social media.

It seemed like everyone had an opinion when she revealed her new shocking-pink hair to her 408,000 Twitter followers.

This in itself is surely just another subtle way of rebelling against the stricter dress code. If the LPGA can’t cope with modern sports clothing, I doubt they can handle something as modern or quirky as brightly-coloured hair.

But that isn’t the only stance she’s made.

Speaking to Teen Vogue magazine, the 28 year old made the logical point that it is possible for golfers to look both stylish and athletic at the same time.

However, as the dress code has demonstrated, this isn’t at all obvious to the LPGA officials.

She told the magazine: Trends in athletic clothing continue to evolve, and it’s exciting to be part of that transformation.”

“We respect the rules and traditions in golf, but we also feel it’s important to be confident and comfortable, and to show women and girls that it’s perfectly normal to look great and be athletic.”

While most of us will find this idea perfectly sensible, there are those who are passionately against a golfer looking like an athlete.

Although it’s acceptable for Ricky Fowler to wear high-tops and joggers, which I also see no problem with, it’s apparently unprofessional for an LPGA player to be seen on the course in a racer-back vest.

Wie also continued to reveal that there had been times when she felt uncomfortable walking into a clubhouse just because she was a woman, and Asian.

“It felt like people looked at me differently, and I had to prove my worth every time I stepped onto the course,” she commented.

“I would have men ask me how I outdrove them because clearly they were ‘stronger than me’. People also seemed shocked that I could speak English, even though I’m an American born in Hawaii.”

But Wie didn’t leave it there. She again used Twitter to revolt against the lack of equality in golf, this time posting a photo of her in Nike sportswear simply captioned: ‘Until we all win. #EQUALITY @Nike’.

With the LPGA’s 2018 schedule starting at the end of the month, she will no doubt have plenty more opportunities to comment on the old-fashioned attitudes that are holding back the game.

I for one am looking forward to watching her continue to ruffle a few feathers.

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