December 4, 2007

What Would You Shoot?

There are contests with more lucrative prizes, but if you're a golfer, here's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity

Submit your entries at gdopencontest.com. To learn how to get a USGA Handicap Index and all about the USGA, visit usga.org

Submit your entries at gdopencontest.com. To learn how to get a USGA Handicap Index and all about the USGA, visit usga.org

You could be the golfer who'll get to play 18 holes -- counting every shot -- on the same Torrey Pines Golf Course that contestants will face in the 2008 U.S. Open. Your round will be played in the days immediately leading up to the U.S. Open in June, which means the rough will be punishing and the greens severe. You'll need a lot of game to conquer the challenging USGA setup that will be used to identify the U.S. Open champion a week later.

Wait, there's more. NBC will broadcast your round for all of America on Sunday afternoon, immediately preceding the network's final-round coverage of the Open.

Finally, you'll be playing with three well-known celebrity golfers who are just as committed to shooting the lowest score possible as you are. If there's a better opportunity than this for an avid golfer, we haven't heard about it.

The idea for this unprecedented contest was hatched during the U.S. Open at Oakmont last June, and we have Tiger Woods to thank. Remember what he said after the second round, that there's no way a 10-handicapper would break 100 on that course? That got us to thinking: What would we shoot on a U.S. Open course under U.S. Open conditions? We're talking same length, same rough, same hole locations and same playing-in-front-of-the-cameras pressure that Tiger and the rest will face during the Open at Torrey Pines. You'll even have a USGA official tracking your every move and calling the rules.

What would you shoot? And, do you have what it takes to hold up under the glare of the national spotlight?

We're looking for an average golfer, and not necessarily a 10-handicapper, who has the chutzpah and passion for the game to tackle the toughest test in golf. If you're a professional or an amateur who plans to try qualifying for the Open on your own, we hope you earn your way there. But if you're a golfer who would love this once-in-a-lifetime chance to test yourself on golf's greatest stage, we want to hear from you.

To enter, you can nominate yourself or a friend at gdopencontest.com by sending us an original essay no longer than 100 words describing why you dream of playing a U.S. Open course. Tell us what you think you would shoot, and why you should be the Golf Digest reader in the foursome with the three celebrities. We'll be judging entries on their originality and enthusiasm for the opportunity to prove Tiger wrong. You can include a photo or video clip of yourself, but that's not a requirement.

Our editors will select a group of finalists by early 2008, and readers will vote for the Grand Prize winner online.

Watch for more details in upcoming issues of Golf Digest and at golfdigest.com -- as well as at usga.org and on NBC.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 UNITED STATES (D.C.) 18 YEARS AND OLDER. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sweepstakes and Contest Upload Phase end 1/29/08. Contest Voting Phase ends 4/30/08. For official rules, prize descriptions and odds disclosure, visit gdopencontest.com. Sponsor: Condé Nast Publications, 4 Times Square, New York, NY 10036.