“Lola!” That’s the name of the snow white Pomeranian that greets us as we open the door to the “Wiezy” residence. We kick off our Nikes and shuffle to the kitchen for a snack, even though we just ate our weight in Acai smoothie bowls on our way back from the gym.
“So what should we do today?”
It’s Sunday and that means some well-deserved R&R for Michelle Wie, the 2014 US Open Champion. “I give golf 110 percent, but your whole life can’t be about your sport.”
Balance has always been important to Michelle. Ever since I’ve known her, she’s had an incredible work ethic but kept golf in perspective. At first, she was my father’s [legendary golf coach David Leadbetter] star pupil and a role model for me. Now she is still those things, but also my best friend. I remember when she studied at Stanford University while simultaneously playing on the LPGA Tour.
“[Attending Stanford] was a dream come true,” Wie tells me. “It was the best time of my life, and I met a lot of my closest friends there.”
While many athletes forgo pursuing a college degree, education has always been one of Wie’s top priorities. She was able to manage the demands of being a professional athlete while completing a communication degree in just four and half years.
Wie is much more than just a world-class golfer. Off days are few and far between, but when she does have time to relax, she enjoys channeling her inner artist through painting, photography, and fashion. The halls of her house are lined with her original artwork, and she has over 190,000 followers on Instagram. Wie also has a large say in Nike Golf’s clothing line.
“The designers and I do a lot of inspiration shopping and talk about the upcoming season,” Wie said. “It’s really cool because they take my advice and feedback very seriously, so its fun to see a lot of your personal touch in the clothes.”
And those new high tops she’s wearing?
A photo posted by Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) on
“I’ve been asking Nike to make them for ten years, since I first signed with them, and it’s so exciting that it finally happened,” she said. “I wear high tops all the time, and it works better for me on the golf course for my ankles.”
Wie is also a big foodie, as she loves to cook and enjoys concocting various dishes that are delicious but fit her strict dietary needs. She maintains a gluten-free, dairy-free diet and meal preps on her off days to help her stick to her strenuous training schedule. Zucchini noodles and grilled chicken are her go-to, but on the weekends, a quick stop for some chocolate dairy-free frozen yogurt is non-negotiable.
Wie sets down the clubs for five weeks during the off season but puts her body to the test in the gym and loves spending time outdoors whether she is at her primary residence in Florida or visiting her hometown of Honolulu, Hawaii.
“I like snorkeling and paddle boarding,” she said. “Anything that involves water makes me really happy.”
Now that the 2016 LPGA season has just started, what are Wie’s ambitions for the next year?
“I’m just staying in the present and not getting ahead of myself,” Wie says.
However, she is quick to mention having her heart set on making the Olympic team and adding a few more majors to the list. No doubt it will take some hard work to accomplish her lofty goals, so she will be back to the grind tomorrow.
But right now, we’re going to the mall.
Hally Leadbetter is a senior on the Rollins College golf team and an upcoming Excelle Sports summer intern. Michelle Wie is a member of the Excelle Sports Athletes Council.