Wie Using “Legal Anchor” In First Major Of 2019

Michelle Wie’s stop-and-start beginning to the 2019 season has added a new wrinkle ahead of this week’s first major championship, the ANA Inspiration.

Wie, who has been sidelined with lingering pain stemming from her surgically-repaired right hand for the past five weeks, showed up in Palm Springs this week sporting a completely new putting style that her coach, David Leadbetter, described as “a legal anchor.”

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“It’s very, very new,” Leadbetter told of Wie’s left-armlock, left-hand-low putting grip. “It is sort of a legal anchor, I suppose. A few guys are doing it now. She’s excited about it. She said it feels really, really good.

“It takes a variable out of the stroke. It just keeps the whole left-wrist, left-arm movement very solid. It’s a one-piece motion, which, as Michelle says, keeps the club face a lot squarer for her.”

Wie’s grip, which has been made popular by Matt Kuchar, is not her first foray into unconventional ways to putt. Her lone major victory at the U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst in 2014 came thanks in large part to her “table-top” putting stroke. 

Lately, the recently-engaged Wie has used a rotating employment of grips that ranged from conventional, cross-handed and claw grips, sometimes changing in the same round and even on the same green.

Leadbetter said he told Wie to not explain why she was changing her grips mid-round and mid-hole because “it wouldn’t make sense,” even though she enjoyed some solid results with the inconsistent grips.

“She has never been orthodox,” Leadbetter said. “She doesn’t like to conform. She’s always liked to buck the system in some way.”