Michelle Wie is an American professional golfer who turned pro shortly before her 16th birthday in 2005. She became the youngest player to qualify for a USGA amateur championship at age 10 and the youngest to qualify for an LPGA Tour event at age 12.
Michelle’s Early Life
Wie was born on October 11, 1989, in Honolulu, Hawaii, to immigrant parents from South Korea. Her father, B.J. Wie, an accomplished amateur golfer in South Korea, introduced Michelle to golf at age 4.
Michelle exhibited immense talent and dedication to the sport from a young age. By age 7, she had won the Jennie K. Wilson Women’s Invitational, her first USGA event win. At age 10, she became the youngest player to qualify for the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship.
She was homeschooled to accommodate her busy tournament schedule. She practiced rigorously under her father’s coaching to hone her skills.
Wie Golfing Career
At age 11, Michelle won the Hawaii State Women’s Stroke Play Championship and U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship, making her the youngest player ever to win a USGA adult event.
In 2003, at age 13, she became the youngest player to make the cut at an LPGA event, the Kraft Nabisco Championship. She fired a second-round 66, the lowest score by an amateur in LPGA history.
Michelle set numerous “youngest-ever” records in women’s golf. She qualified and played in 8 LPGA tour events before turning pro, gaining sponsor exemptions due to her prodigious talents.
In 2005, a few months before her 16th birthday, she announced she would become a professional. She signed endorsement deals with Nike and Sony worth an estimated $10 million annually.
Later that year, she became the fourth and youngest-ever, female golfer to play in a PGA Tour event at the John Deere Classic. Though she missed the cut, it demonstrated her confidence and pioneering spirit.
Michelle Wie LPGA Career
Michelle’s professional career started slowly, as she struggled to win LPGA events while taking time to complete high school.
In 2008, Michelle graduated from Punahou School in Honolulu and enrolled at Stanford University while continuing to play professional golf events.
At the 2009 Lorena Ochoa Invitational, Wie earned her first LPGA victory at age 19. The next year, she won her second LPGA tournament, the CN Canadian Women’s Open.
In 2014, Michelle graduated from Stanford with a communications degree. She won her first major championship at the U.S. Women’s Open that year.
She has battled injuries throughout her career, including multiple wrist surgeries. After taking time off to recover, she returned strong in 2018 and won her first tournament in 4 years.
To date, she has 5 LPGA Tour wins and 1 major championship. She has earned over $6.5 million in career earnings. While she has not dominated women’s golf as some predicted, she remains one of the most talented and revolutionary players.
Michelle Wie Net Worth
Wie has accumulated an estimated net worth of $12 million as of 2023. Most of her wealth has come from golf prize money and endorsement deals. Some of Wie’s biggest sponsorship deals have been with Nike, Sony, Omega, McDonald’s, and Kia. Her deal with Nike was estimated to pay her over $4 million annually when she first turned pro.
In 2006, Sony signed Wie to a reported 5-year, $12 million contract to play with their golf equipment and appear in advertisements. McDonald’s signed her as a brand ambassador from 2007-2012.
Wie has earned over $6.5 million in official prize money over her LPGA career. Her richest payday was the $865,000 she earned from winning the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open.
While Wie’s income has decreased from her peak earnings as a teenage phenom, she remains one of the highest-paid female golfers. Careful investments and endorsement deals have grown her wealth to an estimated 8-figure net worth.
Michelle Wie married Jonnie West, son of NBA legend Jerry West, in August 2019. The couple had been dating since 2009 after meeting at a basketball game.
The wedding occurred at the scenic Rosewood Miramar Beach resort in Montecito, California. She wore a custom Vera Wang gown for the oceanside ceremony.
In June 2020, Michelle and Jonnie announced they were expecting their first child together. She took the remainder of the golf season off to focus on motherhood.
She gave birth to a daughter, Makenna Kamalei Yoona West, in June 2020. Motherhood required Michelle to step back from professional golf, but she continues to play select tournaments.
Off the course, Wie enjoys activities like yoga, painting, and spending time with her dogs. She remains very close with her family, especially her parents, who have supported her golf career.
Here are Wie’s body measurements:
- Height: 6 feet (1.83 m)
- Weight: 145 lbs (65 kg)
- Bust: 34 inches
- Waist: 26 inches
- Hips: 35 inches
Wie has an athletic build from her intense golf training regimen. Her height gives her an advantage in generating power in her golf swing.
She was nicknamed the “Big Wiesy” early in her career for her tall stature that stood out among petite female professional golfers. However, Wie has said she struggled with body image issues as a teenager when she was thrust into the spotlight.
Unknown Facts About Michelle Wie
- Wie moved from Hawaii to Florida when she decided to turn pro at age 15, buying a home in Orlando, where many LPGA players reside.
- In 2007, she became the youngest player to play in the Solheim Cup for the US team at age 17.
- Michelle graduated from Stanford University in 2014 with a communications degree, fulfilling a promise to her parents to get an education.
- She required wrist surgery in both 2010 and 2011 after playing through pain for years. She came back from the injuries stronger than ever.
- 2016 Michelle captained the United States to victory at the UL International Crown. She also had her first hole-in-one that year.
- Wie has pet pugs named Lola and Lucky that frequently accompany her to tournaments.
- She can speak Korean fluently since her parents spoke to her in Korean.
- Her husband Jonnie was a college basketball player and is now an executive for the Golden State Warriors NBA team.
- She won the 2003 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship by a record 13 strokes at age 13.
- Michelle qualified for the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open shortly after returning from maternity leave.
Michelle Wie has lived an extraordinary life in the world of golf. She overcame huge expectations as a child prodigy to forge a successful career on the LPGA Tour. Off the course, she has pursued education, explored interests like design, and started a family.
At 33 years old, she still has good golf left when she chooses to play.
No matter what happens going forward, she has already secured her place in history as a pioneer who brought increased popularity and participation to women’s golf. Wie’s journey is a story of prodigious talent realized through hard work, confidence, and a resilient spirit.
Who is Michelle Wie’s husband?
Wie is married to Jonnie West, the son of NBA legend Jerry West. The two met in 2009 and dated for 10 years before tying the knot in August 2019. Over 150 guests attended their oceanside wedding in California. Jonnie works as an executive for the Golden State Warriors.
What is Michelle Wie worth?
Wie has accumulated an estimated net worth of $12 million as of 2023. Her wealth comes mostly from LPGA winnings and endorsements with major brands like Nike, Sony, and Omega. She earned over $10 million annually after turning pro at age 15.
How tall is Michelle Wie?
Michelle is 6 feet tall. Her height is unusual for a female professional golfer, with most ranging from 5’6″ to 5’10”. Wie’s long limbs and athletic build allow her to generate tremendous clubhead speed and distance off the tee.
What is Michelle Wie’s baby name?
Michelle Wie and their husband Jonnie West, welcomed their first child in June 2020. They named their baby girl Makenna Kamalei Yoona West. The middle names are of Hawaiian origin, paying tribute to Wie’s hometown of Honolulu.
What is Michelle Wie’s age?
As of 2023, she is 33 years old. She was born on October 11, 1989 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Wie found golf success incredibly young, turning professional shortly before her 16th birthday in 2005.
Who was Michelle Wie’s boyfriend?
Michelle dated Jonnie West for 10 years before they got married in 2019. West is currently an executive for the Golden State Warriors and the son of NBA legend Jerry West. Before West, Wie was romantically linked to professional golfer Charlie Beljan in 2008 when she was a teenager.