In the approaching days and weeks, athletes from throughout the skilled sports activities panorama can be carrying an LPGA-logoed cotton-candy hoodie designed by Michelle Wie West. The #HoodieforGolf – already worn by Golden State Warriors gamers Damion Lee and Kent Bazemore – has offered out twice up to now, and Wie West mentioned that a lot of her well-known associates are nonetheless ready to get theirs within the mail.
The preliminary buzz and visibility is strictly what Wie West had in thoughts when she first introduced the hoodie thought to Roberta Bowman, the LPGA’s chief model and communications officer.
“We’re often hidden,” mentioned Wie West. “We’re often left out; we’re often not covered. It’s been so fun to see our logo, our tour be on the forefront of many media outlets, on many people’s Instagram pages.”
Wie West, who’s within the subject for this week’s Hugel-Air Premia LA Open at Wilshire, stays essentially the most well-known participant on the LPGA regardless that she hasn’t received a event since 2018. The new mother returned to the tour in March with a unique set of priorities and a big-picture perspective of her accountability to the tour.
In the previous, she by no means thought of working for a spot on the LPGA’s board of administrators as a result of she was “1,000 percent hyper-focused on winning only.”
Time away from the sport, nevertheless, helped her to see issues in a different way. She credited LPGA Hall of Fame gamers Meg Mallon and Beth Daniel for regularly emphasizing to youthful generations the significance of leaving the tour in a greater place – the LPGA Founder method.
“The work doesn’t stop here,” mentioned Wie West.
The hoodie isn’t nearly sparking conversations surrounding the 70-year-old tour. It’s additionally designed to assist make the game extra various. Proceeds from the limited-edition hoodie profit the LPGA Renee Powell Fund and the Clearview Legacy Foundation. Powell, 74, grew to become the second Black participant to compete on the LPGA in 1967. Her father, Bill, constructed Clearview Golf Club in East Canton, Ohio, in 1946. It stays the one golf course within the nation constructed, owned and operated by an African-American.
“Renee has spent her entire life trying to increase the participation of girls of color,” mentioned Wie West, “which is something that is super important to me as well.”
Inspired by the WNBA’s #OrangeHoodie motion, which final yr ESPN reported garnered 16.4K mentions on Twitter with over 623 million potential impressions because of the likes of LeBron James, Trae Young, Ja Morant, Victor Oladipo and Lil Wayne sporting the sweatshirt, Wie West mentioned she has had impactful conversations with fellow Stanford grad Nneka Ogwumike, a former No. 1 draft decide who performs for the Los Angeles Sparks and serves as president of the WNBA Players Association.
“(Nneka) spearheaded a lot of initiatives for the WNBA,” mentioned Wie West, “so really I look up to her. … I think we’re coming up with some cool ideas together.”
Wie West makes her third begin of the 2021 season at Wilshire after two missed cuts. She’s been in Los Angeles for a while now visiting her in-laws. (Husband Jonnie West is the son of NBA legend Jerry West.)
Skipping final week’s tour occasion in her native Hawaii was a tricky choice, Wie West mentioned. She didn’t really feel snug taking McKenna on the five-hour airplane journey and couldn’t convey herself to go on to the Lotte Championship with out her.
The first two occasions again have been a battle mentally, she mentioned, feeling like she was 50 % there for each side of life.
“It sucked feeling that way,” she mentioned. “I felt like being on the golf course all I wanted to do was be with her, so I was 50 percent there, and when I was back home I was so tired from my round that I felt like I was about 50 percent with her. It was a rough two weeks when I was out there.
“But I had some time at home and just really changing the way I look at things, and it’s definitely been an adjustment, and I’m still adjusting, but it feels great to be out here. I’m getting more and more comfortable being out here away from her.”