Michelle Wie West partners with LA Golf, forms initiative with the goal of supporting LPGA players

Michelle Wie West will lead a new women’s partnership with golf equipment company LA Golf, aiming for fair and equitable support on and off the golf course for LPGA players.

Committed to treating female golfers with the same respect as their male counterparts, LA Golf will provide its LPGA partners with full health care, including days for mental health, paid maternity leave, performance-based bonuses and travel concierge services.

“We are not looking for so much as just throwing money away, but what meaningful support we can give women athletes who feel they are being cared for,” said Wie West, who sits on the board and is an investor in LA Golf. “And all of that – it adds up, and hopefully this will help extend their career. They can play with fewer injuries. They can play with less stress and have mental health support, that’s all.”

Wie West, 32, met with LA Golf CEO Reed Dickens last year to take an initiative based on her own experiences and observations as a professional golfer.

“The LPGA tour does a great job with childcare, maternity leave, support for mental health,” said Wie West. “But the Tour does as much as they can; we need business acquisition for players. That’s why I think it’s really great that LA golf, as a business sponsor, wants to help change and create dialogue in this sponsorship landscape.”

After numerous discussions about how golf partnerships with brands often fail to fully support an LPGA player of course, Wie West and Dickens decided they needed to create a unique model.

“The point of the LA Golf Women’s Initiative is that Michelle is on the council, and I gave her the authority and the green light and the legislative paper to do what she thinks should be done based on her experience,” said Dickens. “This is not about calculating risk, this is not about implementing the economic model per se. This is the right thing to do at the right time and Michelle is the right person.”

Was West said she did not fully realize the challenges that professional female golfers faced when it came to traveling from tournament to tournament, although she was aware that women did not even get a fraction of what professional men got when it came to travel.

“My eyes were really opened when I traveled with my husband with the Warriors and saw how they travel,” said Wie West, who is married to Golden State Warriors executive Jonnie West. “Everything is done for them, and it’s the same on the PGA Tour.

“Meanwhile, I remember hoping and praying that my golf bags would appear on the carousel at the airport. And I was lucky enough to travel with a team during my playing years, but I know there are enough girls there.” I do not even have that luxury. “

Was West announced last week that she will step up from professional golf. After competing in this week’s 2022 U.S. Women’s Open at Pine Needles, Wie West said the only other tournament left on her competitive golf calendar is the 2023 Women’s Open at Pebble Beach.

Since her LPGA rookie year in 2009, Wie West has won five tournaments and one major at the 2014 US Women’s Open.

“I wanted to let people know that ‘Hey, I’m going back from golf, but I’m not going away from the game,’ ‘Wie West said. “I throw myself even deeper into the game than I have been and, hopefully, to make some meaningful impact.”

Wie West said she wants to create a legacy of the course and adopt what she called “significant projects” that will make a difference for future generations of female golfers. She will lead a selection process of up to five professional female golfers who are part of the 2023 LA Golf women’s team.

“I think we’re really interested in players who are interested in breaking the space, who know the science and technology that goes into it – players who are not afraid to take risks and something new to try, “said Wie West. “We hope to create a dialogue in the golf industry and to get people talking, getting the athletes talking, be like,‘ Hey, I deserve this. I get this. Like, what can you provide for me? What can i do for you?'”

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