Natalie Gulbis vs. Michelle Wie: Selling your body obviously better than selling out your game
It is an odd world we live in when Michelle Wie takes so much more grief from the general public than Natalie Gulbis does. Both are winless. Both are hyped with an intensity normally only seen when McDonald’s releases a new product. But one gets a much easier ride than the other.
Wie, who has spent the last year acquiring detractors faster than George Allen, was recently taken to task for comments she made when announcing that she’d accepted a sponsor’s exemption to the PGA’s Sony Open.
“I like exemptions. It’s like somebody says, ‘Here, you can have $100,’ or I can work for $100,” Wie said.
Her detractors were quick to jump on that statement – “Very unsettling that Michelle doesn’t understand the importance of having a strong work ethic or the notion of paying your dues,” wrote one WorldGolf.com reader.
Now, while Wie had some serious success - sans winning - on the LPGA Tour in 2006, her attempts at playing with the men gradually got worse to the point that one had to wonder what her father, B.J., and her management team were thinking. It has been starting to look way too much as though the 17-year-old wunderkind and team are selling out her name and game, rather than pursuing some type of career plan.
Nonetheless, how does that compare to Gulbis, who, far from being vilified for the selling of her body in yearly bikini calendars, is rejoiced as some type of hero by many, including ESPN?
“The 23-year-old Sacramento, Calif., native has been on our radar for quite some time. Not only is she a rising star on the LPGA Tour – while she’s still searching for her first tournament win, she’s 15th on the money list this year with over $675,000 in winnings – she has all the makings of the next Page 2 Hottest Female Athlete,” glowingly wrote ESPN’s Mary Buckheit.
So, while Wie, who made more than $700,000 in far fewer events than Gulbis in 2006, is hammered by those questioning why she is continuing to accept sponsor’s exemptions, Gulbis is paraded on ESPN’s Page 2 in all her breast-thrusting glory, and lobbed softballs.
“Have you ever cried watching “Extreme Makeover, Home Edition"? Be honest.”
“Like Anna (Kournikova) and Jessica (Simpson), you too have your own style. Tell me about golf course chic.”
“If you were a rock star, what would you wear on stage?”
“Do you think you’re a sex symbol?”
There should be little doubt by now that Wie is some strange hybrid of golfing talent and corporate sell-out. At 17, her accomplishments on the LPGA Tour are unprecedented.
But her handlers’ willingness to thrust her into the spotlight against the PGA’s best is becoming both annoying due to her lack of success, and dangerous to her own game and mental health. Team Wie is taking the chance that: 1) They are creating golf’s overexposed version of J-Lo and; 2) their star will go into complete mental burn-out mode by age 20.
Nonetheless, should Gulbis be trumpeted while Wie trashed? Gulbis has flirted with LPGA victory, but at age 23 and with a career more notable for her body and reality show, she’s as much on her way to a future in softcore porn films as she is to golf greatness.
This isn’t a condemnation of either Wie or Gulbis, who will continue to follow their own roads. Plus, both will likely have their coveted LPGA victories sooner rather than later.
It does say something about many fans and many in the media, however: It’s better to sell your body than sell out your game.
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You must be running out of ideas.
This blog seems beneath you K. Like you almost just threw two big names together to try to get some hits, while catering to a crazed demographic (Wie Warriors). That’s only what you accuse others of doing though, right? K. on.
Sometimes I think Dottie Pepper is having an affair with Gulbis. She just loves her way too much. When Natalie shanks one into the woods Dottie will tell us how she just had a bad break, but Natalie did strike the ball really well. .
Chrissy was definitely spitting all over his keyboard when he typed up his post. It is funny how bigots expose themselves through their seemingly innocent words.
Michelle collects more from appearence fees, sponser endorsements and commercial endeavors than Natalie Gulbis could ever dream. Along with being one of the more scrutinized athletes, she is also one of the world's most popular ones. Surely you people are not claiming that she is the target of a worldwide racism campaign. There will always be those who exhibit racist and xenophobic tenedencies, but by and large our society has marginalized these people. Claiming that anyone who does not like, respect or plain fawn all over Michelle Wie is a racist is just sad.
You have written a great blog, pointing out the hypocrisies.
There is plenty of over-hyping. At the Fields Open 2006, the golf channel started off by showing a hyped trio of Michelle Wie, Morgan Pressel, and Paula Creamer. They regularly split the screen in 3 and just shown the 3 of them as they walked along.
Of the 3 of those Wie has done by far the best.
As against Gulbis, as William said, Wie has made more prize money in far less events.
Wie might well be over hyped, but at least she is doing a better job of at least living up to some of that hyped better than her contempories are.
As for Chris Baldwin criticizing Wulfrum for 'throwing two big names to draw hits'. I saw that someone is linking Golf with Iran. Now what do you call that? Golf and Terrorism?
You made a point I was thinking of addressing, and you made it quite well. Morevover, the true racism lies with those character assassins who assume that a white person leveling criticism at someone of a different race is motivated by bigotry (you know, it HAS to be racism because we KNOW how racist whitey is).
As for me, I wear my banners openly. For instance, I'll be the first to say that Bubbles does NOT belong in the men's arena for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that she has the wrong chromosome configuration. As far as her having a higher epidermal melanin content goes, I couldn't care less.
Livestrong, some writer said a few years back:
"[today]Charges of racism are the last refuge of a scoundrel."
Truer words were never spoken.
Sometimes, it is simply the establishment fear of changes happening without their consent.
By the way Natalie announced the release of her 2007 calendar for sale on the LPGA website. I'm sure Chrissy and Timmy have called in their orders already.
It's very simple: the LPGA has decided that it has to market the sex appeal of its players to improve its marketability. And blonde-haired, blue-eyed gals are considered more attractive in MOST parts of the world.
They're even worth more in the white-slave-trade market.
Are you completely thick?
When were blond haired blue eyed girls considered better looking?
They are just more plentiful in most of the countries that are rich.
As regards the lpga, there is no doubt that the most attractive players are Korean.
As examples, Grace Park, Mi Hyun Kim, Shi Hyun Ahn.
The only problem is that alot of the Korean girls don't speak much English and that makes it more difficult for Americans to identify with them.
The best looking blond girls on the lpga tour are Creamer, who has a good body but a very average face, to be kind about it.
And Natalie Gulbis who is a stick insect with two big breasts and a bum. Her stilt legs and stick arms mean that she is not the beauty that she thinks she is.
The best looking blond girls on the lpga tour are Creamer, who has a good body but a very average face, to be kind about it.
And Natalie Gulbis who is a stick insect with two big breasts and a bum. Her stilt legs and stick arms mean that she is not the beauty that she thinks she is."
Stanley I don't watch LPGA or PGA matches to see the beautiful people, I tune in to watch great golf.
2006 was an exciting year on the LPGA Tour. We watched Lorena Ochoa come into her own as one of the Top golfers who is in contention in nearly every tournament. Karrie Webb worked hard during the off season and resurrected her game for 2006. I wonder how many fans had written her off in the past. Julie Inkster gave us some flashes of her former brilliance this season. Pat Hurst has played some great golf this year and been in contention. Annika did not have the season we came to expect, but she played some great golf.
Now I don't expect any of these women to pose for a calendar in a bikini, but I do like watching them play.
Ms. Bivens might be missing the mark by promoting sex-appeal with female athletes when she concentrate on promoting their excellent play.
On the PGA Tour excellent play is the biggest promotion for the tour.
Although it has been said some women find Freddy Funk to be quite sexy. This of course is according to Freddy. Maybe it was the dress thing with Annika.
Ms. Bivens might be missing the mark by promoting sex-appeal with female athletes when she should concentrate on promoting their excellent play.
But the big difference between Wie and Gulbis comes down to humility by the player and her handlers. Has Gulbis entered PGA Tournaments claiming she thinks she can win? Has she said her dream is to play on the Ryder Cup and she believes it's totally possible? No. She has never made outlandish predictions.
Does Gulbis make excuse after excuse when things don't go her way: it was too hot, too cold, too hard, too soft, she was too tired, the caddy messed up, etc. No. She takes her losses and moves on.
Does Gulbis make small token donations to charity and call a national press conference to publicize it (note: she donated 30 of her sponsor's Sony computera in her name to a school and called the national media about it.) and draw more attention to herself? No. She donates quietly.
Natalie's calendars may be a bit over the top but she ends up having a lot more class than Wie and her family.
Little girls should never have a dream or a goal. And God forbid if they ever tell anyone about their dreams.
Girls should not dress like girls do today and they should wear manly styled polo shirts and bush shorts to their knees that take away their femininity. Maybe they should wear burkhas Mike.
Natalie ran out of excuses after her first two years on tour without a win and in the last two years without a win the press simply doesn't ask her to come into the media center after a tournament.
Giving over a million dollars to various causes is now considered giving a "token" donation by some standards.
Exceeding to a request by the Governor of Hawaii to attend a press conference called by the Governor in an effort to bring attention to a problem in Hawaii is a bad thing.
Apparently some posters were in school prior to Hawaii becoming the 50th state and never knew it happened. Michelle was born in Hawaii is a citizen of the United States of America.
Michelle receives several million dollars a year from Sony as an endorser, should have donated Dell "computeras" to the school to silence her critics.
The LPGA acknowledging the fine play of a Hispanic golfer who wins a million dollars is something out of the ordinary? Not really they had a lot of practice this season with Lorena Ochoa.
The LPGA tour leadership might have preferred a blonde and blue eyed member with sex appeal winning a million bucks, but they all tanked in the ADT.
You're living in a fantasy-world if you think that blonde-haired, blue-eyed gals aren't more highly sought after. Did you ever hear the saying, "Opposites attract"? Well, most of the world has dark hair and dark eyes. Therefore, blonde-haired, blue-eyed gals are the opposite of most people in the world.
Is a light bulb going off in your cramped cranium yet?
procreate with Natalie Gulbis instead of
Am I a racist because I would prefer to procreate with Natalie Gulbis instead of Michelle Wie?"
Not at all Booger! You would be doing the Korean gene pool a favor by not causing a 10,000 year regression.
I think Ace is a bolshevik."
Sorry Booger I am not a member of the "Majority" party (Democrats). In the past I have been known as a revolutionary thinker in my field.
And why is everyone so quick to scream racist? It isn't racism if her people don't have pictures of her laying on the beach in a bikini! We don't choose the publicity that gets put out there or Gulbis would be naked on my screen saver.
Yes Wie's game is off right now but once she gets back on track and stop trying to play on the PGA, I think she will be a strong player on the LPGA.
As for Gulbis not only is she HOT but she's now a LPGA WINNER and she did it against a field that had all the best LPGA players in it.
more guys play golf then girls, more people playing a sport means the people who reach the top are more talented, that and she's a woman, and now your going to call me sexist but sorry science has proven that women are generally less athletic then men, simply due to testosterone and if you disagree with that then my friend you are in denial and stupid.
and gulbis is beautiful
Perhaps even more attention should be paid to Gulbis, and even less to Wie.
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