tell a friend
808Golf sat down with Michelle Wie (MW),
the youngest player at age 11 to win
the Jennie K. Wilson Invitational and
golf coach Casey Nakama (CN),
who just won the 2001 Maui Open in a
three hole sudden death playoff.
and when did you start golf?
started golf when I was four and a
half years old and I started by
hitting balls at the baseball field.
is your favorite male golfer?
Se Ri Pak.
What is your greatest Golf
the Jennie K. and going to the public
What is your longest drive?
What is your best score for 18 holes?
MW: 64 at Olomana
What is your short term goals in golf?
MW: Doing well on the golf course
and course management. Just to play
good and keep on managing my game and
playing better as I grow.
is golf such a great game?
really fun and really enjoyable.
did you feel after you won the Jennie
K.? How has life been since winning
the Jennie K.?
great, really good.
Michelle works on her chipping above
often do you practice? How much hours
day. Four hours on weekdays and seven
to eight hours on the weekend.
808Golf: What aspect of your golf
game is strongest? Weakest?
MW: Driving and Irons. My putting.
808Golf: How has Casey helped your
MW: He helped improve my feel for
my game and he kind of switched my
swing. He taught me a lot about golf
course management and to make the
right choices while playing (thinking
808Golf: Do you feel all the
sacrifices you have made thus far and
will make for years to come for the
betterment of your golf game is worth
808Golf: Do you feel like you are
missing out on other things life has
to offer because golf takes so much of
808Golf: If golf doesn’t work out
for you what do you want to do/be?
MW: I want to be a finance
808Golf: Will you be going to
college? If so where is your first
MW: Yes, Stanford.
808Golf: For the success you have
had thus far who do you want to thank?
Casey Nakama and my parents
808Golf: If you could change
anything about golf what would it be?
MW: Having only one caddy
808Golf: What do you dislike about
Hawaii golf in general? Like?
MW: There is too little golf
courses (not enough tournaments). The
weather is always good and it’s not
snowy or really dry here in Hawaii.
808Golf: If you could make Hawaii
Golf better what would you do?
MW: Make more tournaments.
808Golf: What Hawaii golf course
is your favorite and why?
MW: I like every course in Hawaii
808Golf: How do you feel when you
are the only women in a golf
Do you feel playing the same
tees as the men in such is fair? Why?
MW: I don’t feel that intimidated.
Yes. Because I hit as long as them and
sometimes I hit farther.
808Golf: Who is the best Hawaii
MW: I think Casey.
Director of Instruction- Olomana Golf
808Golf: Casey when and how did
you start working with Michelle?
CN: I think she was about 10 years
Beginning part of the year
(2000) – she was preparing for
tournaments that were coming up. That summer she qualified for the public links. That was last
year. Almost 2 years now.
808Golf: What did you notice about
CN: Obviously she’s big and she
had a lot of physical ability with her
size for her age. You can always work
with potential like that.
808Golf: What do you work on
CN: Right now her golf swing –we’re not tinkering around with
her golf swing. We’ve already got it
to positions that we like. Right now
we’re working on her scoring ability,
being sharp with her
wedges…understanding…how to manage the
game and recognize certain things on
the golf course (the mental side).
When you start taking practice rounds,
you’ve got to know what to look for on
the golf course. There’s things about
the golf course that she has to know.
808Golf: What is Michelle’s
weakest part of her golf game? Best?
CN: I think it’s her experience.
This game, if you
have a player that’s played for
five years and then you have a player
that has played for two years, the
player that’s played five years will
have a better chance of reading the
green because of the amount of greens
that they’ve seen. It’s just pure
experience. In that area, there’s
nothing we can do about that. We
cannot accelerate that learning. As
far as identifying a lie, what you can
and cannot do with a lie – when the
ball is lying on the fairway, in the
rough. Those are the things that,
again, we cannot accelerate that
learning. She just has to go through
this process of learning, experiencing
things. I think, right now, the best
part of her game is her ability to
focus in on her shots – her
concentration level is really high
when she gets over a shot. And of
course, her physical size.
808Golf: How far do you feel
Michelle will go with golf?
CN: I think she’ll go as far as
she decides she wants to go. That’s
the fairest answer I can give because
no matter what expectations her
parents put on her, what we put on
her, or even what the media puts on
her, she’s going to go as far as she
decides that she’s going to go.
808Golf: For youngsters and their
parents what advice would you give
them about getting started?
CN: Make sure the child
begins with some good fundamentals to
learn the game and then just to have
808Golf: As one of Hawaii’s
premier player and golf instructor
what advice in general can you give to
people who play golf?
CN: In this game, hard practice
can make up for lack of talent.
Michelle Wie's BIO
Casey Nakama's BIO
Michelle Wie |
Dean Wilson |
Mary-Bea Porter-King |
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