Learn more about the selection process for the Golf Digest U.S. Open Challenge.
Released on 3/16/2010
(bright acoustic guitar strums)
[Voiceover] This is our third year for the contest,
I think we've got about 30,000 essays this year.
Obviously the star of the show this year is Pebble Beach.
(acoustic guitar chords)
The essays come in to a website.
This year you typed in 60 words
on why playing in The Challenge
would change your life.
We came up with about 50 to 60
that we thought were really interesting.
We talked to those people on the phone,
or we went and visited them.
We invited 13 to The Reunion Resort in Florida,
sort of for a test run.
This is the picture I saw
when I looked up Reunion Resort.
[Bob] They get videotaped, they get photographed,
they tell us about their story,
and they show us their golf game.
These guys and gals,
this is what golf is, right?
All sorts of swings, and abilities.
Is your A game here today, you think?
A game (mumbles).
I don't know if it's the A game. (laughs)
[Bob] And at the end of that, we choose five.
Here we go! Woo-hoo!
(electric guitar riffs)
I'm a principal of an elementary school.
I am the Executive Director of The Newseum.
I've been out of work for a couple years.
I am the Choir Director at Andress High School,
in El Paso, Texas.
And I'm a plumber.
[Bob] I think the reason the USGA did this
was because they wanted to show that golf is for everyone.
Most of the kids in my building
haven't necessarily even seen golf.
One of the reasons I entered this contest
is to show them that education has taken me to my dream,
and that they can do those things as well.
My daughter came running in to the kitchen table,
and handed me this piece of paper,
and that's when she started jumping up and down.
She goes You're going to Pebble Beach.
I entered you in a contest, and my essay won!
[Bob] I mean we have all walks of life,
and yet they all share one thing.
And that's this huge, huge love of the game of golf.
I'm very much a golf nerd.
I keep stats, I'm the guy studying the yardage book
the night before a round.
If Golf Digest gave me this opportunity,
I would practice every day.
My wife would be furious with me.
Please, please ruin my life.
It would be fantastic.
It's time to give an Average Jane a chance.
Whether it ends up that I prevail,
or I flail,
it'll be entertaining.
I feel like that golf by itself
is an American Dream to me.
[Bob] We choose five.
Those five, the finalists, will be voted on online,
during the month of April.
And the public decides, ultimately,
who will represent the average American golfer,
on the U.S. Open course,
in front of NBC cameras,
the week before The Open.
(electric piano trill)