It’s 10am on April 11, 2024 in Hypothetical Land and I have 24 hours to live. It’s something I’ve known about for a while and plans have carefully been put in place to facilitate the optimal golfing send-off. Will I take on any of the UK & Ireland Top 100? What about some of the world’s bucket-list courses? Can travel even be justified with 24 hours left? Let’s find out…
After an evening watching Tiger Woods roll back the years and surge to the top of the leaderboard at The Masters, myself, my dad and six friends head to Sunningdale. Following a delicious full English breakfast, we head to the 1st tee of the Old course, which we have to ourselves. We compete in an eight-player full Stableford event, with each four-ball taking on the other in a best-two-from-four (three scores on par 3s) match.
The losers buy the lunch, the pints and the wine before a post-meal snooze on the way to Hoebridge Golf Club, just across the county border in Surrey.
Hoebridge in Woking is where I spent a lot of time as a junior and where I’ve enjoyed countless happy days playing golf with friends and family. Here, the four-balls switch, as does the format. Texas Scramble – the best team golf format – is the order of the day, with all eight players joining forces on the 18th tee for a heckling-strewn nearest-the-pin competition on the closing par 3.
6pm - 12am
Because we’ve zipped round in buggies at Hoebridge, we have time for a quick post-round pint before piling into a limousine to take us all to London. The destination is Flat Iron Square, where friends, family and golf enthusiasts have all gathered to watch Tiger hold off a star-studded chasing pack and land his 16th Major title in a Masters final round for the ages.
12am - 2am
2am - 5am
As we arrive at London City airport to board a private jet to Augusta airport, we’re told the wind conditions are in our favour and the flight will only take eight hours (effectively three with the time change). We spend the first three hours of the flight eating, drinking and dancing as if we’re on the LIV Golf ‘party plane’. Ready for a sleep and in need of a recharge at this point, we recline our luxury seats and pass out until we reach the promised land.
There’s nowhere on the planet quite like Augusta National, and as we enjoy breakfast and a morning mimosa on the clubhouse veranda while the sun rises, we collectively realise things don’t get any better… until Tiger shows up. He’s heard we’re in town and wants to impart the wisdom he’s accrued en route to winning six Green Jackets. Plus, he’s been tipped off about my world-class short game and specifically requests to play with me. I dazzle him with a highly improbable 69, which includes a birdie at 12, a chip-in eagle at 13 and a 60-footer up the slope for a closing three to break 70 for the first time.
So, there you have it: my perfect golfing 24 hours. I don’t see how this schedule could be beaten, but I’d love to hear how others would go about planning theirs.
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Nick Bonfield joined Golf Monthly in 2012 after graduating from Exeter University and earning an NCTJ-accredited journalism diploma from News Associates in Wimbledon. He is responsible for managing production of the magazine, sub-editing, commissioning and feature writing. Most of his online work is opinion-based and typically centres around the Majors and significant events in the global golfing calendar. Nick has been an avid golf fan since the age of ten and became obsessed with the professional game after watching Mike Weir and Shaun Micheel win The Masters and PGA Championship respectively in 2003. In his time with Golf Monthly, he's interviewed the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Jose Maria Olazabal, Henrik Stenson, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Billy Horschel and has ghost-written columns for Westwood, Wayne Riley, Matthew Southgate, Chris Wood and Eddie Pepperell. Nick is a 12-handicap golfer and his favourite courses include Old Head, Sunningdale New, Penha Longha, Valderrama and Bearwood Lakes. If you have a feature pitch for Nick, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with 'Pitch' in the subject line. Nick is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade M1 Fairway wood: TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 Hybrid: Ping Crossover Irons (4-9): Nike Vapor Speed Wedges: Cleveland CBX Full Face, 56˚, Titleist Vokey SM4, 60˚ Putter: testing in progress! Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
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