targettom sent me the latest installment of “What will it take for Michelle Wie to change her swing, which is literally breaking her body down?”
Actually, the title to the GolfDigest online piece by Keely Levins is just as wordy: “Michelle Wie, battling neck pain, says she’s lucky she even played the first round of the U.S. Women’s Open”
It’s been about four months since I took a look at her latest swing iteration, and at the time, I remarked that she only had half a swing, due to the shortness of her back pivot:
I will only say one thing – it’s impressive that she was averaging 256 yards per drive, considering she only has half a swing.
I’m trying to not be negative here, but that’s the most positive thing I can say – she isn’t using any leg or hip on the back swing, and it’s a very short back swing, so it’s a half-swing, really…
Now, in this GolfDigest piece, we get the news that:
It has been evident since Tuesday at Trump National Bedminster that Michelle Wie has been dealing with neck and shoulder pain.
She has tape on her upper back and shoulder, she’s moving around stiffly, not turning her head much, swinging with an abbreviated finish.
She said she hasn’t hit a full shot since the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship two weeks ago, instead having Danielle Kang hit shots for her during their Wednesday practice round at the U.S. Women’s Open.
Doesn’t sound promising. In fact, reading this following paragraph, I actually winced:
As for a source of the issue, she describes it’s as a neck sprain. Wie explained it as sharp pain when she hits the golf ball.
She’s had to back off her shots so much that she’s about a club-and-a-half shorter than usual.
I’ve written enough about Michelle’s physical issues over the years, (here are a few that I’ve still got up on the blog), and to see a six-foot tall Amazon-physiqued young lady such as her, doing all of this damage to her body, simply to continue to swing with frozen hips and a planted heel on the back swing is simply depressing.
I’ve asked before, to what lengths will modern golf swing players go, and what damage to their bodies will they tolerate – all to swing in a way that is not mechanically-sound?
What is the obsession with freezing the lower half of the body on the back swing?
I don’t get it.
And so, Michelle’s journey to medical retirement continues apace.
And the last paragraph:
“I felt so lucky to tee it up today. I honestly did not think I was going to get to play. I’m just so happy to be out here.”
I’ll just add, “For now…”
Did I really end this original posting, “For now?”
Yes, I did, but as I predicted, Michelle Wie has withdrawn from the U.S. Women’s Open with a neck injury.
If you’ve ever even tweaked a neck or back muscle (which, depending on the muscles, manifests as searing pain in the neck), you’ll know how hard it is to do anything in that state.
From Keely Levins again for GolfDigest online:
Wie said the pain began during the final round of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship two weeks ago, and that she hasn’t hit a full shot since that round…
“It’s a miracle that I even played,” Wie said after her first round on Thursday.
Her coach David Leadbetter echoed the sentiment.
“She didn’t want to make a big deal out of this leading into the tournament,” Leadbetter told Golf World. “She didn’t want attention brought to it. But I’d estimate she’s at about 50 percent. Most people wouldn’t even try to play if they were in her condition.”
Most people wouldn’t even try to play, Coach Leadbetter, because the first and foremost rule of athletic competition is that you don’t play hurt. It is a very foolish and risky thing to begin a competition already injured.
Many athletes are very competitive, and will try to finish a competition after an injury – but to actually begin a competition knowing you have an existing injury is – not advisable.
Might I suggest a swing overhaul?
And that’s all I have to say about it.