As last year's Virtual U.S. Open Champion, WGT golfer mrenn29 got to enjoy his Grand Prize trip a few weeks ago up to San Francisco to experience the 2012 U.S. Open Championship at The Olympic Club. His week included a round of golf with some WGT employees, a happy hour to meet a few more, and then attending the U.S. Open as a special guest of the USGA – to see all the professional action first-hand.
After returning home and getting some time to reflect on this awesome trip, mrenn29 had this to say...
First off, let me say thanks to WGT and the USGA for the opportunity to attend the U.S. Open at Olympic club this year. Definitely was a memory that will last a lifetime. The trip started off with a very nice gesture on WGT's part by taking us out for a round of golf at Claremont Country Club. Even though I didn't really play all that well (got a few meter glitches lol) it was a great time playing with a few of the guys at WGT on a very nice, private country club. Pete, Rich, thanks again, you guys went above and beyond for me and I thank you! After the round of golf we all went to an Irish Pub in San Francisco for some happy hour fun. Getting to meet the folks behind the scenes of WGT and discuss the game over a few beers was priceless. Everyone at WGT was very welcoming and I had a great time.
On to the Golf. First day we got to the course, we went straight to the grandstand and sat on hole 9. The amazing part of seeing the course live is that after playing WGT, you can really relate to how the course plays. Being from California, I know San Francisco can get pretty cold, however we were very fortunate to have perfect weather throughout the tourney until Sunday at about 2pm. After we watched some action on 9, we went up to the USGA hospitality tent. This was awesome due to the fact they had food and drinks with about 20 tv's covering the tournament while you were there. So I grabbed some food and headed outside the tent where there was a nice patio looking out to the practice facility. So it was great to be able to watch the pro's practice and have lunch without the crowd. Day 2 I wanted to go over to one of the more action packed holes so I decided to sit at 17. Sure enough Ernie Els goes right of the green about 20 yrds. He took his time on the chip up onto the green and drained the chip for eagle and the crowd including myself went crazy! After hole 17 we did a little walking around to various holes and see how the whole course.
I really couldn't take many photos because technically you were not supposed to have a phone or camera at all inside. Well, I snuck my phone in to take a couple photos of the course and where I was seated. The final day I wanted to watch everyone play the long par 3 #3 which played 247 on the final day. I watched 23 groups come though and only 3 players made a birdie. It was also hard to follow the ball due to the fog that had rolled in. Adam Scott hit the closest shot out of all the players there. Tiger ended up making a double bogey. The course seemed to play fair and rewarding to the right shots. I have included a picture of hole 18 from where I was seated. Overall this was a trip to remember!
Thanks again WGT and the USGA for putting this all together, the hospitality was outstanding!!
Hole 18 at The Olympic Club. Photo by: mrenn29
mrenn29 making an eagle putt at Claremont Hole 18 (Editor's Note: he shot an 81 at a very tough course...he's very modest!)