Which anniversary am I referring to? Well, on March 23, 1929, the first phone was installed in the White House. And in 1985 Billy Joel wed supermodel Christie Brinkley, who is now on her fourth marriage. Then in 1997 Phil Mickelson won the Bay Hill Invitational, his 10th victory on the PGA Tour. Besides that — and most important, of course — in 2009 WeiUnderPar.com officially hatched.
Yes, I can’t believe it, either. WUP is already two years old. Websites, they grow up so quickly. As cliche as it may be, it feels like just the other day that I wrote “My Apology to Everyone” to mark WUP’s one-year anniversary, which seemed much more monumental. To be honest, I almost forgot this very important date. That’s probably because the days have started to blend together since I’ve been on the road covering the Florida swing the past four weeks.
Speaking of which, I remember watching and blogging about the Arnold Palmer Bay Hill Invitational from home in 2009. You know, the one where Tiger drained a birdie putt on No. 18, beating Sean O’Hair and capturing his sixth title at the event. I posted the YouTube video of the winning clutch putt, which I replayed at least a dozen times. It was Tiger’s first win since returning from the knee surgery that benched him after his memorable US Open victory at Torrey Pines in 2008.
And here we are. Two years later, we have no idea what to expect from Tiger anymore. I wouldn’t mind witnessing some of that old school magic and actually being on-site as credentialed media, covering the event.
I kicked off the blog with a post that included a YouTube clip of Fred Couples making an ace on No. 13 at Sawgrass in 2006. It was only fitting that I wrote about Freddie because as a fellow Seattle native, his story helped inspire me to start playing the game and grow to love it (read about it here). I couldn’t find a video of the one on No. 17 in ’97, nor the shot on No. 12 at the ’92 Masters. But whaddayaknow, I just did a Google search and found one of my favorite Masters memories (which, I learned yesterday, is also Johnson Wagner’s.)
If you’re a long-time reader, then you know I tend to get very sappy during holidays or when reaching certain benchmarks. I’ll keep that to a minimum today, partly because I’m sitting in the media room at Bay Hill and people might start looking at me funny if tears starting streaming down my face. Here’s an excerpt from my one-year anniversary post that still holds true a year later:
Looking back, the work I’ve dedicated to the blog and the opportunities I’ve received have made the past year (and four days) an incredibly rewarding and educational experience. But damn, it’s also been exasperating and difficult. As satisfying as the triumphs have been, the disappointments, the rejection and the uncertainty haven’t been easy to stomach at times. But hey, no one said this was going to be easy. It’s freaking hard. No shit, right? That said, I’ve never been more excited not knowing what comes next (okay, maybe that’s a little bit of a lie; still working on that whole patience thing). Nor have I ever been happier with the journey I’ve chosen.
So I’ll get to the point — which is something I don’t get to say enough: Thank you, readers. You guys are what make the hard work, long hours and stress (I know much of the time it looks like my job is all fun and games, but do you really want to hear about the other stuff? Um, no.), along with the fun and learning, worth it and have helped turn what started as a hobby into a profession I love.
Being able to share the reporting, stories, experiences, etc., and providing you with coverage of golf from a non-traditional perspective is a privilege and honor. I strive every day to better this site and to give you the best reports to my ability. And your feedback and support are what make that possible.
So, I have a small favor to ask of you guys — if you have a few minutes, we’d love to hear your (constructive) feedback.
*What are your favorite type of posts? Least? (Tiger gossip isn’t an option as answer.)
*What do you like most about WUP? Least?
*What would you like to see more of?
*What kinds of things would you like to see that I don’t already cover? (Keep in mind, I’d like to cover EVERYTHING, but I’m only one person with limited support and this is a start-up small business. In other words, taking helicopters to play golf courses around the world is out of the question.)
*How often do you check WUP a day (or week)?
*What do you think of the quantity of posts/day? Is it good as is? Or would you like to see more?
If you’d prefer, you can send your thoughts to me via email — firstname.lastname@example.org
Again, thank you for your time and support.
Of course, I think this goes without saying, but I’m forever grateful to the SI Golf Group, the Tour, my mentors (you know who you are), and contributors (Intern Kevin, Conor, Merf, Tom, etc.) for their help and kindness, especially when I’m drowning in work and my other obligations — my blood pressure is particularly thankful.
Here’s to another year of lessons and benchmarks. Cheers.