OCALA, Fla. – Michelle Wie calls 2015 a clean slate. Refreshed, healthy and eager to get started, Wie begins her seventh full season on the LPGA at the inaugural Coates Golf Championship. After enjoying her best season to date – two victories, including a major and 13 top 10s – Wie is doing her best to keep the expectations at bay.
“Just because I played well last year doesn’t mean I’m going to play well this year,” said Wie. “I want to play well this year and there’s certain goals that I have set for myself that aren’t results.”
One priority for 2015: stay healthy. It’s a lofty goal for Wie, whose career injury list is far longer than her win column. To that end there were plenty of yoga sessions and long hikes in Hawaii. Back in South Florida, Wie often crosses paths with Stacy Lewis at the gym as both work with David Donatucci.
One day in particular Wie noticed that she and Lewis were following an identical workout.
“I made sure I did the same weights as her,” said Wie, who sometimes found it quite difficult. “She kills it at the gym.”
From the season-ending event in November to Jan. 2, Wie didn’t touch a club except to swing a few times during a Nike shoot.
Her offseason highlights were many, including Dec. 12, the day Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell gave her the key to the city and declared it Michelle Wie Day.
She also sat courtside at a Knicks game at Madison Square Garden and shot a Nike commercial with Charles Barkley, Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Bo Jackson.
Then there was the half-day spent on the set of “Hawaii Five-0,” where the 25-year-old played herself on the CBS series. The episode will air Feb. 20.
“You know, I’m officially an actress now,” Wie cracked. “I was going to the SAG (Screen Actors Guild) Awards, but, you know.”
The player known for being attached to her parents spent Christmas in Los Angeles with friends from Stanford and rang in the New Year (again, without mom and dad) in the Bahamas.
This new offseason routine – away from the game – has become a must.
“I’m a grinder,” said Wie. “I go out there and work hard every single week. I put my heart and soul into every single tournament, every single round. So I need that complete decompression.”
And when it’s over, she craves golf.
“I think the biggest thing for Michelle is she’s grown in her confidence and just her ability to just kind of take control of her life and her game,” said Lewis. “That’s what you’re seeing, you’re seeing somebody that knows how to practice, knows how to prepare, knows what she needs to do in her off-weeks, knows when she needs to shut it down and go to the beach and hang out with her friends. … You’re seeing a happy kid going out there that’s super talented that hasn’t played her best golf and I’m excited to see what she does because I think she’s going to raise the bar even higher the next couple years.”
She will be even easier to spot in ’15. Wie will debut a Nike volt ball and driver – a mix of highlighter-yellow and neon green – at this week’s Coates Golf Championship.
Not that she needed any help standing out from the crowd.