When you tune into the U.S. Women’s Open this weekend to see Michelle Wie try to win her first major championship, one of the first things you’ll notice is the unorthodox way she stands when she putts. Wie refers to it as the “tabletop” stance because her back is parallel to the ground, like where you sit to earn your breakfast.
What motivated Wie to make such a drastic change in 2013?
In 2012, Wie had dropped to 119th on the LPGA Tour in putting average, typically taking over 31 putts per round. Realizing that was far too high and out of other more conventional answers after trying the belly putter and claw grip, Wie took desperate measures in the final round of the 2012 Dubai Ladies Masters.
Nearly a year later, Wie was asked about the impetus for the putting stance. Wie had a theory about her height being prohibitive in her putting, so she gave her remedy a try and it worked.
“I always felt a little bit uncomfortable being tall putting,” Wie said ahead of the 2013 Solheim Cup. “I just was like okay I’ll just go down lower to the ground and I made every single putt coming in.”
The theory — in tandem with a commitment to putting it into practice — has delivered results for Wie. A season ago, Wie wrapped the year at 51st in putts per round dropping almost 1.33 putts per round from her average. This season, Wie is 39th in putts per round so far but averaging about the same number of putts.
This season, the improved putting coupled with good form from tee to green has Wie with a win in Hawaii and seven other top-10 finishes in 12 starts this season and, now, a spot in the final group on Saturday at the U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst No. 2.