TravelApril 2, 2015

Didn't get into the Pebble Beach Pro-am? Roll with Greg Norman and Richard Branson instead

Necker Island Aerial.jpg

If you can fork over $80,000 for a two-person team entry into a pro-am, you probably aren't wondering what it would be like to fly private.

But playing golf with Greg Norman and partying on Sir Richard Branson's private island might be a different story.

Branson is hosting the first annual Necker Open Pro-Am Aug. 27-Sept. 1 in two locations. For the full $80,000 entry fee, you and a teammate can play 36 holes over two days with Norman and three other to be determined golf stars at Sea Island Resort in Georgia, then fly privately to Branson's Necker, in the British Virgin Islands, for a four-day, three-night stay at the 74-acre ultra-private oasis.

On Necker, which is space-limited to 30 people, you'll compete over nine stylized island "holes" around Branson's home, but mostly text everybody in your phone to let them know you've arrived, and who asked to borrow sunscreen while sitting next to you on the veranda.

If you can't quite cover the $80k, you can still "win" your way to Necker in the 36-hole Sea Island tournament. For $9,750, you can enter your two-person team in the 36-hole qualifier at Sea Island. Record the lowest handicap-adjusted team score and you get 10 tickets in a drawing for one spot in the main event on Necker. Every team that competes will get at least a single "golden ticket," and additional raffle tickets can be purchased for $500 each.

Get lucky and you could be extending your stay, and getting on a jet with Norman and Branson.

The event was devised as a sister tournament to the Necker Cup Pro-Am tennis tournament held the last three years, which has raised more than $2.5 million for charity. The golf event will benefit the Greg Norman Foundation, Virgin Unite, the National Tennis Foundation and charities related to the other professional golfers who will be in attendance.

They're still checking to see if Necker's casualty insurance would cover John Daly. But you can dream.

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