May
5
2010
Send WUP to the US Open at Pebble Beach
By Stephanie Wei under General

Countless people have asked if I’m going to the US Open next month. My response up until today has been, “No plans, I don’t think I can, but I’d love to.”

Unfortunately, it costs money to cover travel, lodging, rental car, etc. It’d be nice to have a freelance assignment with a magazine, but I can’t bank on it. Plus, I wasn’t sure about the USGA’s policy on handing out media credentials to bloggers. Good news is I spoke with the USGA today and it sounds like they’re open to giving me credentials (I’m very impressed with their recognition of new media outlets). Woohoo! Now if I can just get my application request to process instead of the damn error alert…

So I’m left with the issue of covering expenses. I’ll incur more debt if absolutely necessary, but a reader emailed me an interesting suggestion yesterday:

Hi,

enjoying your blog for the past year.  Refreshing take on the world of golf.  Good access to players and not needing to pull punches due to sponsorship concerns.

just a quick suggestion….I’ve noticed (re: starving blogger) on a few blogs I follow that they set up a Paypal donation link. I’d be happy to throw your way a small token of appreciation for the work you do and I’m sure other readers also.

keep up the good work.

Dixon from Canada

I know there are way more important causes to donate to than sending me to the US Open, so I was a little tentative with the idea. But then Intern Kevin pointed me to the example set by Mark Zuckerman, who covered the Washington Nationals and was laid off last year by the Washington Times. He calculated his costs would amount to $5,000 and received over $10,000 from his generous readers.

So I figure, why not? I can put aside my ego, and the tiniest bit helps. I set up a link here and it’s also on the sidebar (to your right). Thanks to Dixon, I have my first contribution already. One reader even offered to try to fly me on her miles. I hate to put a number on estimated costs, but I’m thinking it’d be considerably less than five grand. Oh, if anyone has suggestions on places to stay, please let me know.

I promise I’ll do an excellent job covering the tournament. The closest I’ve gotten to Pebble Beach is playing a few holes on a simulator with Jim Furyk at an indoor facility in Soho last November. I’m sure I’ll be on cloud nine if and when I get there, though. I loved going to the US Open at Bethpage last year just as a spectator. (I went 7 out of the 8 days, only skipped Saturday.)

No pressure to contribute, obviously. It’s just something I thought I’d throw out there. Either way, many thanks for reading — actually sorry to get a little sappy, but you all have already contributed to WUP in some way whether it’s giving me a pep talk when I’ve battling with writer’s block or just need a nice swift kick back to reality or posting a comment.

I’ve made heaps of new, amazing, entertaining, brilliant and caring friends through this thing called the Inter-webs. A year ago, if you had told me, I’d meet dozens of Twitter “followers” and blog readers in real life, I would have laughed in your face. Really, though, I can’t even begin to describe how much your support, encouragement and most of all, your attempt to read my drivel means to me. I wouldn’t have fathomed that I’d get to cover the US Open at Pebble. Hopefully I’ll be able to cross this off the bucket list. Thank you for everything. But promise me this — please let me know when I suck.

Now excuse me while I go throw up.