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The Michelle Wie Way

By John Andrisani best selling author of the Tiger Woods Way.

When Michelle Wie became the youngest player to qualify for the LPGA at age 12, she turned heads with her ability to drive the ball with startling distance and accuracy. The buzz about “the female Tiger Woods” reached a fever pitch upon her decision to turn pro at the age of 16.

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When Michelle Wie became the youngest player to qualify for the LPGA at age 12, she turned heads with her ability to drive the ball with startling distance and accuracy. The buzz about “the female Tiger Woods” reached a fever pitch upon her decision to turn pro at the age of 16.

Dissecting one of the most envied swings in golf today, John Andrisani demonstrates the five keys to mastering Wie’s power swing: the grip and setup, powering your backswing, creating a “flat spot,” improving tempo, and shifting balance to change the dominant side. With detailed, stepby- step photographs from renowned golf photographer Yasuhiro Tanabe, Andrisani breaks down Wie’s swing into easy-to-follow instructions.

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1 review for The Michelle Wie Way

  1. John Andrisani

    The Michelle Wie Way
    The chief reason I decided to write a book, presenting an analysis of Michelle Wie’s swing, and explaining how and why average golfers – men included – should copy this young woman’s technique is because it was, and still is, fundamentally sound, while at the same time, nuanced. Credit goes, equally, to golf instructor David Leadbetter and LPGA golfer Michelle Wie.
    I have known David since the early 1990’s when I joined Lake Nona Golf Club, after moving from New York to Florida. Working for GOLF Magazine, by a new arrangement, I just had to fly back to New York once or twice a month for meetings.
    David had a school at Lake Nona, and was very popular, and would get even more popular, due to earning a reputation for turning out superb players and for turning around the swings of tour pros that were in a slump. Revamping the swing of Nick Faldo, who, thanks to David, became a multiple championship winner, brought David the most notoriety.
    Why I put David on the 50 Best Teachers in America list, in 1991, had to do with the fact that, although a method teacher, David allows students to maintain a personal or nuanced position, provided the continuity of the swing and smooth rhythm of the fundamentally sound backswing and downswing are maintained, so that the movement of the body and the movement of the club remain in sync.
    In Michelle’s case, David allows her to hold the club with a slightly strong grip, knowing that if she were to hold the club with a weak grip, she would tend to swing on too steep a plane. That’s because she is tall, and already, naturally, swings the club on an upright plane. The strong grip, as Michelle figured out, and David agrees, sort of serves as a governor against the swing becoming too steep and causing shot-making problems, namely sliced drives and fat irons.
    I like most how David has gotten Michelle to position her hands behind the ball slightly at address, yet enough to promote an upswing hit that produces a shot that flies longer in the air. Michelle prefers to hit drives with “carry,” rather than on a low trajectory, unless hitting a drive into the wind.
    Michelle’s backswing is compact, aiding her control, and she does a wonderful job of rotating her left hip counterclockwise on the downswing – “clearing” the hip – which opens up a passageway for her to swing the club into the ball at controlled speed and hit powerfully-accurate drives and irons that make her the envy of male players around the world who would, just once, want to match her 300 yard drives and super-high flying irons.
    Because Michelle is such a model-swinger, I recommend you read my book, The Michelle Wie Way, with one caveat: In studying further Michelle’s swing, and hearing about her off-and-on back problems, I noticed tension that must be alleviated if she wants to remedy or mitigate her back problems, and employ a freer and fluid effortless-feeling swing.
    In order to achieve this goal, and become a tension-free golfer, I recommend that Michelle make these changes in the backswing:
    • Allow her right wrist to hinge, slightly, once the club reaches waist level and is parallel to the target line.
    • Allow her left arm to bend, slightly, at the elbow, as she swings the club up to the top.
    • Allow her left heel to lift off the ground on the backswing.
    If you think body tension is hindering your swing, doing what I’ve recommended Michelle do, for example, letting the small muscles of the right wrist come into play, you will, automatically, take pressure off your body’s big muscles, and this will help you hit stronger, straighter shots.
    For a review of all this and more analysis, The Michelle Wie Way will put you on the right path.

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