Our Bunker ambassador on where his final round of golf would be and who would join him.
My last round would have to be Augusta National as I’ve never played there. Growing up as a kid that was the major that I always watched and one of my earliest memories was watching Faldo and Norman go head to head on that Sunday. And then Tiger winning there by 12 the following year.
Those two years really inspired me and so many others to get into golf. The Faldo-Norman was two people at the top of their game and going head to head with each other and in such contrasting styles and then, at the end, there was that friendship as well. Being English I wanted Faldo, and I then played the Faldo Series a couple of years later and got to meet him a few times, and he was such an icon for lots of us. He was written off but his rebuilding of his swing was incredible.
I’d have to take my dad with me, he used to play off single figures and is off 17 now, and it would have to be Seve and Tiger. That would be pretty cool. We’d throw balls in the air but I’d love to have Tiger as my partner, and I’d really want to beat my dad as he wants to beat me at everything else!
We would play fourball betterball in the morning, which is perfect as everyone is always in the game. A Texas Scramble would be good fun in the afternoon but it would probably be foursomes for the second round. I love the strategy in that, we never get any team sports in golf unless you play the Ryder Cup, whereas as an amateur you play loads of it in your clubs or at national level. I’d love a pairs event on tour. Greensomes is also brilliant that not enough people talk about and that’s a really interesting game in terms of strategy.
You’d have to go the week after the Masters when the course seems to be perfect. It was weird watching it in November, obviously without the crowds but the way it looked and played it wasn’t quite the same.
I’ve always been a fan of heathland or tree-lined courses, I like the big spectacle of courses and well-manicured layouts, that’s kind of how I am in general. I enjoy links golf and the imagination of it, and I played a lot as a youngster, but there’s a part of me where it doesn’t suit my eye. At Woburn I get asked what my favourite of the three courses is and I would say, if you could pick six holes from each course, then you would have an amazing golf course. I love the Marquess but it depends on what you’re working on, the Dukes has some amazing holes and the Duchess you need to be so straight. If I had an order it would be Marquess, Duke’s and then Duchess, for most of the members the Duke’s would probably be the most popular. When the rhododendrons come out on the par-3 3rd (pictured) there’s no better place to be.
In between rounds at tournaments I normally go for the scrambled eggs on toast. As a kid the classic was the soup and sandwich combo and it’s easy to let yourself down and stuff yourself with a burger which isn’t ideal for an afternoon round. If I was playing with mates (or Tiger and Seve) I’d probably plump for some sushi or carbonara.
A few beers on the way round works differently for different people. One of my mates always plays a lot better which is quite scary, there’s probably a tipping point where a few can help you to relax, a few more and you’ve gone a bit far.
To join Gary for a day's golf at Woburn click here