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Down To Earth

How does one come back to reality after such a surreal trip?

I was living the high life amongst golf’s best journalists and players, just days after playing on one of the best golf courses in the world, in hot, sunny south-east America.

Well, none of that has really sunk in yet.

It was such a full on 12 days, and I haven’t had time to process it all.

On the eight-hour plane journey from Atlanta to London I was so tired I literally slept during it all, not one movie was watched.

I had a long travel day which included a five-hour drive from Hilton Head, South Carolina, to Atlanta airport, and during it my luck eventually ran out.

But just before, some back story, after I finished my 18 holes at Augusta National at about 5pm, I dropped my rental clubs off at a nearby course from which I grabbed earlier in the morning, packed my suitcase and drove 150 miles further east towards Hilton Head.

I was invited to stay with some ‘family friends’, now, that was a loose term as I had never actually met this couple before, but they were once the family that hired my mum to nanny for them, near 30 years ago in America.

Strange situation, I know.

But, they saw my post on Facebook at the start of my trip, as I had tagged my parents and they were friends on socials, and from that they invited me to come down for the remaining two days of my trip… of which I did!

They were brilliant, I was made to feel like family, basically like how my mum was when she was 18 meeting them for the first time.

I relaxed on the island beaches for a day, soaking that last bit of sun up before I had to go home.

A beach in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

On my long drive to the airport, I was singing some country music and hanging my left arm out the window, as I had now become pretty American, man.

But with half an hour left in my journey, the traffic snarled up closer to the city and I was eventually sat in park for at least 10 minutes on the highway, that’s an American term for ‘motorway’ if you didn’t know.

The song ‘Life is a highway’ was played many times during my trip.

After being sat stationary for a while, eventually I saw the traffic get moving again so I put it in drive, ready to go.

Well, the semi-truck (for you English folk, a semi-truck is an American term for a lorry), in front of me took a second to get going… and in what felt like an age, it started to roll backwards.

I was shouting “NO! NO! NO!” as I simultaneously beeped my pathetic horn, but it was too late, the semi-truck had rolled onto the front of my rental car, using it as a hill brake, to then pull away a few seconds later.

I took a picture of the number plate but I couldn’t pull the driver aside, so I was thinking the worst, as being so young driving a rental already had its issues, let alone returning it with damage.

I pulled up into the rental centre and quickly analysed the front of the car before any employee could, and there was a dent, but it was not as bad as I had imagined.

Strangely, the rental employee gave it a quick once over and said nothing… I never sped-walked so fast in my life out of there, still no fine as of yet.

The dent in my rental car.

I was now home, and I asked my parents if we could host a family friend dinner on Saturday night, as I wanted to see them all and they wated to hear about my time away.

I have a very close family friend group, my parents’ friends grew up together, and when they had kids, we all grew up together as friends, I really cherish it and they are basically extended family to me.

Earlier that day I got a load of photos printed from my camera roll, as well as my disposable camera developed, I love a disposable camera, and I also bought a 100cm/76cm picture frame to hold a picture I brought back from Augusta.

I had also picked up enough chicken breast from our local butcher to feed the 12 people invited, and as I was ordering, the butcher said “Ooh, your grandparents have been raving all about your time away”, to which I chuckled and said “I can imagine, they are my biggest fans”.

I love cooking, especially for a crowd, I cooked three different curries for the evening, Thai Green, Tikka Masala and Balti, all of which were scoffed in minutes.

Afterwards, I started sharing around the photos of my trip and my Masters merchandise and it was only in that moment where my achievements just started to sink in, just a little.

The “well done’s” or “how lucky were you” and constant “my words” from those closest to me was the first time I started to acknowledge the significance of my trip.

Solent University’s news segment also uploaded an article on my story which was really nice of them, they even forwarded it to my local newspaper the ‘Salisbury Journal’, so keep your eyes peeled.


Sunday was not a day of rest, certainly not for my mate Louis, who was running the London Marathon!

I promised him the day he got given a place that I would be there for him to watch.

So, yet another early morning, I got the train from Salisbury to London Waterloo and watched the marathon take place.

Louis has been a friend of mine since we were in primary school, he was running for Children’s Liver Disease Foundation, of which he raised £2,840 prior to the marathon.

It was his first London marathon, mine too, just spectating though obviously, my mum did run it in 2013 bit I didn’t go, so to see for the first time the amount of energy and support all across London was amazing, it really is a feel-good event.

I was stood on Tower Bridge waiting for Louis to run by and eventually he did, and he saw me!

I filmed him running towards me and we gave each other a big high-five, a memory that will stay with us forever.

My friend Louis after he completed the 2024 London Marathon.

He completed the marathon in five hours and I, along with his family and friends who there too, were so proud of him.

It was a crazy day but an enjoyable one, just seeing how determined people can be, with or without things restricting them in life, and the encouragement and togetherness from the crowd, it was a moment where I was proud to be British.

Read last week’s blog here…

About Will Hewlett

If I am not playing sports, then I am watching it. If I am not watching it,then I will be dreaming it. If I am dreaming of it then I might as well be writing about it !

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