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The Sure Thing: The Making and Unmaking of Golf Phenom Michelle Wie [Kindle Edition]

Eric Adelson
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $25.00
Kindle Price: $11.99
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Michelle Wie couldn’t miss. No way. Big success? It was only a matter of time. At four she could drive a golf ball a hundred yards. At ten she was outdriving adult male golfers in her Honolulu hometown–from the back tees. At thirteen she won the Women’s Amateur Public Links, becoming the youngest person ever to win a USGA championship. The next year she was playing in LPGA and PGA Tour tournaments. At sixteen she was earning eight figures in endorsements. Yet by the time she turned eighteen, Michelle Wie was already branded a failure, a has-been, a victim of injuries, bad choices, and–worst of all–really terrible putting. How was it possible? How did this happen? How did she go from being the next big thing to the latest big bust?

The Sure Thing is a gripping and intimate portrait of the meteoric rise, fall, and uncertain future of the greatest sports phenom of the twenty-first century. Award-winning writer Eric Adelson takes us inside Michelle Wie’s world, showing her to be a bubbly, astonishingly normal girl trapped in a world of outsize expectations. In chronicling Wie’s career, Adelson establishes a new gold standard for reporting on the growing convergence of professional sports, marketing, and mass entertainment in the Internet Age.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In 2000, ten-year-old Michelle Wie rocked the professional golf world with her 300-yard drives; at 12, she was the youngest to qualify for an LPGA tournament; at 14, the youngest to enter a PGA tournament. From there, she continued to push relentlessly against the rigidly gender-segregated traditions of pro golf. Along the way, she managed to alienate a number of fellow women golfers and disenchant the golf community with her disregard for rules and etiquette; most damning, however, she was unable to live up to her own hype. Adelson, the first to write a national article about Wie, takes readers step by step through her career, methodically recounting each critical match and analyzing her professional development, including the role played by her father. Oddly, this where-is-she-now story stops short of the present, with very little information about Wie's current situation or her future. After charting the arc of every ball so dramatically, it's frustrating to see the larger narrative roll into the rough.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


“Michelle Wie’s going to influence the golf scene as much as Tiger–or more.”—Arnold Palmer

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • File Size: 734 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: ESPN (June 23, 2009)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002CCNA24
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,139,561 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Still on the Outside March 7, 2010
An interesting look at the quick rise and quicker fall of the Michelle Wei - "golf's next big thing." However, the story reads more like a very good extended feature article than a book-length work. The author is able to provide a compelling narrative at points, but can't seem to get enough purchase on the strands that could tie larger thematic questions into this study.

Ultimately, the problem of the story is that it ends up on the outside of the Wei machine, which consists only of her close family. From the book's reporting it seems that even agents, coaches, doctors and caddies were kept at a distance from the decisions made about her career. This, in itself, is probably the most important element of Wei's shooting star trajectory. But the author, though doing the best he can, can't seem to really penetrate that fortress. In the end, we are presented with several reasons which combined to lead to Wei's collapse: Injuries, Exhaustion, Business Decisions, etc. But without that more intimate look at the inner-workings of the command center during those years, we are still left with many questions.

Wei's accomplishments are nothing short of amazing when looked at in retrospect, and there are moments her achievements and her determination are inspiring. But the book, to its credit, doesn't shy away from Wei's outbursts or moments of arrogance or petulance.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Read June 11, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A must-read for anyone who has a prodigy sports kid and thinking of cultivating him into the next big thing. You almost feel sorry for Wie after reading this but alas she is still a multi-millionaire at such a tender age so no tears or even a tiny violin here.

Still you can't help but think what could have been if it wasn't for all the wrong mistakes that her parents made. From reading this book, I think a major mistake was her dad thinking he knows more about golf than golf professionals themselves?! I mean that sounds like a total ego thing and I cannot imagine why anyone can even think that way given he is relatively new to the game and not really an accomplished golfer. Certainly firing one of the best caddies in the LPGA tour did not help and it seems her decline started right after the firing. The second biggest mistake is changing her swing. When she first came into the scene, everyone marveled at her beautiful fluid swing. That was basically her signature other than her good looks. Now why would anyone change something like that is perplexing. This is like Agassi deciding to change his forehand motion or Pete Sampras changing his service motion. You don't mess with success. We may never know what was the cause of the change because in the book, Wie sort of blamed her wrist injury and so to compensate for the injury she was using other parts of her arms and body to swing at the ball. However, I don't think letting a golf pro tinker with her swing did any good either.

Again, don't really feel sorry for her. Multi-millionaire and if golf doesn't work out, she will have a good career acting or modelling ala Kournikova. But it was a fun read to look at how stupid people ruin a potentially great career of a young athlete.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Play on, Michelle June 21, 2010
I was one of the people who was sick of hearing about Michelle Wie every time I turned around. I thought her attempts to play with the men were silly publicity stunts that would not go away. After reading this book, it is abundantly clear that her parents were behind her sudden rise-and fall. This book chronicles Michelle's talent, her relationship with her parents, caddies, instructors and the press. The Wie's private lives seem fairly closed to the outside but this book gives us a glimpse of what went on. I actually feel sorry for Michelle and hope she continues to do well on the LPGA tour--where she is having some legitimate success inspite of mom and dad.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oustanding Book, Must Read June 23, 2009
By Jumbo
The Sure Thing is an intriguing look into the life and times of Michelle, giving insight not before known to the public, and shedding some light on how not to raise a child prodigy. If Tiger's dad did it right, this will show you the other side of trying to raise another Tiger. A must read for all golf fans, and for any parent interested in learning from the mistakes of others.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You Can't Feel Sorry For Michelle June 15, 2013
By Tina
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love watching Women's Golf and the question has been for some time, 'what has happened to Michelle Wie'. This book goes a great deal of the way in answering that question. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, whether Michelle Wie and her family have is another matter. Are the parents to blame for much of her woes as suggested? Is Michelle her own worst enemy? Has her advisors been poor? Have the sponsors been to blame? Probably all the above and many other factors. She is a fascinating young woman,and this book makes for very interesting reading.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sure good read! June 23, 2009
By Lisa
Weather you like golf or just a good story - this book is worth the time. The author has an easy to read style and has the low-down on this wonder girl golfer. Great read.
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