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Michelle Wie forges anti-‘air hug’ alliance with Stacy Lewis

Michelle Wie offers her take on what goes on inside the ropes and in her dreams in a new Golf Digest column.

Stefan Postles

Michelle Wie has had it with the epidemic of faux embraces that breaks out at the end of each LPGA Tour event and has enlisted Stacy Lewis in her attempt to eradicate the "total air-hug-fest" that takes place on any 18th green, post-match.

"Air hugs on the LPGA Tour are getting to be a little much," Wie, who has put her Stanford communications degree to good use, writes in a recent Golf Digest column. "You'll see the players air hug each other and each of the caddies. In a threesome, that's five hugs per player."

An almost-fan of the gesture, Wie draws the line when, after a Solheim Cup match, contestants must envelop their opponents and their caddies, each teammate and hers, and both captains. The congratulatory dance becomes a bit much when players must pay homage to "your teammates' spouses, their parents and siblings, and assorted others."

Since a simple handshake would appear disrespectful at this point, Wie and formerly top-ranked Lewis have launched an "air-hug dissenters" movement in which the two have agreed to eschew the pantomime with each other, though Wie expresses pessimism about their chances for success.

"I'm skeptical whether it will catch on," says Wie, who offers several other humorous and insightful tales of life on tour. The former child prodigy, who’s all of 24, says, for example, that her one slice of advice to new professionals, 16-year-old Lydia Ko and Charley Hull, 17, would be to keep their off-days in perspective.

"It's important to realize that our downs are better than the average person's ups," Wie writes. "There are so many people who don't have homes or struggle to put food on the table."

Then there was the time that Natalie Gulbis almost brought the then-13-year-old Wie to tears during the latter’s first Kraft Nabisco Championship, and another event at which fitness guru Gary Player invited Wie to bash him in the gut. We won’t give away the punch lines to those or the two-time tour winner’s other observations, one of which involves "Dexter"-ridden nightmares, since Wie’s "My Shot" is well worth the read.

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