William K. WolfrumThis Week at TravelGolf.com: October 18, 2005

Will Sorenstam make or break
Wie and other LPGA youngsters?

Aside from having Chris Baldwin and other Michelle Wie misanthropes positively delirious with joy, what exactly do we come away with from Wie's introduction to the pro game of golf?

Well, first of all, the girl can flat out play. Even a stumbling finish would have left her in fourth place, had she not been disqualified for a bad drop. Wie will win on the LPGA, very likely soon, and very likely often.

We also learned that Sports Illustrated has boldly leapt into the world of Entertainment Tonight and Fox News and adopted the philosophy permeating the world media: Don't just cover the story, be a part of it.

But that's neither here nor there. Rules are rules and Michelle broke one of them. Not a storybook ending for her first pro outing, but thems the breaks, kid.

What really should be taken out of it is this: Annika Sorenstam is either going to make Wie, Paula Creamer, Morgan Pressel and the other LPGA "young guns" into fantastic golfers, or she is just going to flat-out ruin them.

Because while everyone was running around at the Samsung World Champsionships in Palm Desert, Calif., checking what Wie's latest situation was, Sorenstam just blistered the field, winning by eight strokes.

This is a wildcard that Tiger Woods really didn't have to face. Remember, pre-Tiger, players weren't winning multiple majors in a season or posting 10-shot victories over the field. The field was open for Tiger to dominate.

With the LPGA, however, this just isn't the case. Sorenstam may already be the greatest female golfer in history, and at 35, she has at least another five-to-10 years left of dominating golf. Remember, she blatantly set out this year to win the Grand Slam - and nobody was really lining up to doubt her.

This will be the test for the "young guns." Sorenstam is out there and she will continue to win tournaments, majors and accolades. Having new challenges won't faze her in the least.

The question is: Will playing second-fiddle to Annika for the next few years break Michelle Wie or help her fulfill her dreams of becoming the female golfer who can rise above everyone?

As always, TravelGolf.com welcomes your comments.



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Colonial Charters Strand CourseMyrtle Beach's Colonial Charters
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Fresh out of bankruptcy, Colonial Charters Golf and Country Club owner Mike Matheny is continuing his attempt to get his course zoned for housing. If that doesn't work, Matheny could still get almost half of the holes at his course bulldozed for new homes. Residents have let their anger and concern for the possibility be known, however, but will their course and home values be compromised, as Myrtle Beach property rates continue to soar?

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No. 16 at Hawk Pointe Golf ClubPine Barrens brings to mind
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Pine Barrens Golf Club in Jackson, N.J. is a good golf course. You'll be aware of that with the amount of work the course goes through to tell you it's a good one. But the hype doesn't hurt the sell. Pine Barrens is in the process of making the transition from a public course to a members-only one and it and memberships are selling fast. Just keep your ball out of those dreaded waste bunkers.

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Duke Golf ClubDuke Golf Club in Durham is
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When someone mentions Duke University, your first thought is of their consistently outstanding basketball team. GolfPublisher.com staff writer Joel Zuckerman found out there is another sport well represented at Duke - Golf. The Duke Golf Club continues the high level of excellence at the university with a Robert Trent Jones-designed and Rees Jones-redesigned course that's in great condition. With a top hotel nearby, Duke Golf Club gives you a resort-golf feel with municipal course green fees.

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