Will she be a failure if she doesn’t win X number of tournaments in her first year as a pro? In her first 5 years? 10 years?
Will she be a failure if she doesn’t outperform Paula Creamer in her first year? First 5?
Will she be a failure if she doesn’t out-gross Tiger Woods’ total earnings to date in her first year? First 5?
I’ve held off commenting on the Wie situation because there’s enough of that squabbling going around and I usually try to keep this blog more about my own story/experience/development as a golfer. However, I think I’ve got a way to do both: by offering Michele my own yardstick. (Not that she wants it- doesn't every golfer dream of having her talent?)
To me, she’s already a success. I’d love to see her have more success and achieve her goals. I’d love to see her do well in the LPGA and the PGA and I bet she will. But if her pro career ended today, she wouldn’t be a failure to me. I’d be disappointed, because I want to watch her progress.
A discourse on success and happiness
Me? I’d be happy just eking out a modest living playing golf so that I didn’t have to do anything else unless I wanted. At least I think I would. I suppose that might take some of the “fun” out of it. Ideally…
*Cue the dream-scene music* I could just play whenever and wherever I wanted without worrying about a pesky day job. But I’d be good enough so that I could compete with the best in the world, male or female. Sometimes I might even make a top ten. Heck, sometimes I might even win! And I understand that in golf, the better you are, the better you want to be. At the top level of golf, all you can do to be better is win more often or win by a greater margin.
*Needle across the record of the dream-scene music* I could get really philosophical and dissect the meaning of “better” and how losses develop character and character and behavior are more defining parts of a champion than a low score - but I won’t. And I don’t want to give you the wrong idea so I should tell you that I love competing and winning and I’m not one of those people who think they shouldn’t keep score in little league.
*Re-cue the dream-scene music* I don’t even need the gazillions in endorsement dollars to complete this dream scenario, but if I have to be 15 again, (not to mention be 15 and grow up in front of the judgmental world), I’ll take those gazillions for my pain and suffering.
You see, there’s a difference between being the absolute best, being a champion, and being successful. And people can be happy without being any of those in anyone else’s eyes. Oh yes they can, and they certainly should. Of course that becomes a lot harder when you’re in the public eye. If I had to guess, I’d say Michele Wie will be happy by being the best she can possibly be. And maybe to her that can mean being the best in the world at some point. Starting a pro career at 15, she certainly has time. But if that is her goal, it’s because she wants it, not because some sportscaster thinks she should. And it’s especially not because some blogger thinks she should. She’s got to set her own goals and her own timetables to achieve them. I really hope she’s not listening to all the hype –positive or negative. Actors talk about not listening to critics, but actors don’t have to worry about the impact that can have on their games the next day. How a single extra stroke caused by that loss of focus could make or break a round.
Like any golfer, pro or not, Michele’s just got to play her own game.
I changed my mind... you can keep the change.
Should be filed under the "more power to her" category, if I had one.