Ruh-Roh...someone screwed up big time!

Looks like some idiot gambled that no one would make a hole-in-one during the tournament by promising a $50K truck if someone did without paying the insurance premium to cover it if it happened.

It did, and now the lawsuits are flying.

At the end of the day, if the information in the article is correct, I believe the Club is on the hook and will have to produce.

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Yep. Methinks the man should get his truck

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I have been following this story, but not closely.

I haven’t seen an official response from the CC. I am wondering if they are going to argue that he didn’t make one? Where there witnesses other than his buddies in his group?

I have no idea.

Assuming they can’t/don’t argue he didn’t make a hole in one, they got to pay in my opinion!

In tournaments I have played in with a significant prize like this, a volunteer from the group running the tournament was on the hole and watched each golfer. In one event, they captured each group on video.


When I used to volunteer at the Razorback Hall of Honor golf tournament, I sometimes watched a hole to validate any hole-in-one. They never got all that close, but I was watching.

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A news report I read said a young lady was stationed with binoculars to see if there was a hole in one made. She told the guys prior to teeing off that a hole in one gets the the truck. The same article says the country club has not commented yet. The dealership said they brought the truck over for advertising purposes. No hole in one guarantee from them.

Someone from the CC might have to pony up and pay for the truck! With all the shady junk going on in the world these days nothing surprises me.

I made a hole in one playing in member’s guest with my brother in Aiken, SC. They had given a Lexus there for over 20 years. My brother and the pro (the tournament committee leaders) decided not to do it that year. Clearly there was no prize there. I did not let it bother me because there were no signs. Etc. the guys in our group thought it was still in effect. My brother felt bad but it’s not an issue with us.

I made three birdies that day and beat my stableford quota despite playing to a 2 handicap. They moved me to a plus 3 the next day when I shot 80.

We both griped that I was not a 2 handicap before the tournament before I shot 70 in first round. The pro laughed when I smoked my quota. Seems like an ace was like 10 points or something silly.

The USGA stuck me with a “tournament 2” for about 10 years after I was on winning teams back to back weeks at member guests at Cedar Ridge (71-72) and Tulsa CC (72-70).

The problem in those type events in mid 80s was not the first prize trophy it was the gambling in the Calcutta. They hunt down sand baggers, what they called me then.

I had played very little golf for 12-14 years after college but practiced a lot before those events and was clearly better than the 8 handicap the two club pros thought was fair.

I was playing with a metal 2 wood that Ron Streck gave me. I could hit it off the tee dead straight and off the deck from the fairway. I think I played par fives to about 4-under per round in those two tournaments.

I had never heard of “tournament handicaps” before them. Maybe that does not happen anymore. My brother did not like it until I went low in the first round. Of course he knew my game.

Clay you’re a lot better golfer than I am. I would love to shoot a 90. Heck I would love to feel like riding on a golf cart spending time watching my grandson and son in law play! I can’t hit the ball much anymore. I never had real confidence I knew where it was going anyway. So it’s probably safer for folks for me to just ride around and watch.

IF I was A. C., I wouldn’t accept anything less than a $ 53,000 F-150 new truck.
I’m a very reasonable man, but if he wanted/needed a newer auto or even someone in his immediate family??? BOOM!!!

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I wonder if there’s a contract between the club and the ford dealership. I’d imagine there should be if legit giveaway by dealer. Otherwise club is likely gonna have to buy the truck and pay the lawyers fees on top of it. Free membership for life? And we’ll throw in a cart! Should be interesting.

If the information in the linked article is correct, it is the Club and not the dealership that is on the hook. Unless there is documentation that the dealership offered to give the truck away if there was a hole in one, they can’t be held responsible for putting a truck out there for advertising purposes, even if their understanding was that the CLUB planned to give it away if a hole-in-one was made. The dealerships role was simply to supply the “model”; the Club is the one that made the commitment to give it away.

Seems obvious that the Club (or, an individual the Club trusted to handle the transaction) thought they could save the $800 (or whatever) insurance premium to cover that exposure on the bet that no one would make an ace. It’s been a while, but I was responsible for managing several golf tournaments for my company in the 80’s and 90’s, for clients, and that included dealing with insurance on hole-in-one giveaways exactly like this. You pay the premium (based on hole length), make sure to have witnesses at every hold to verify in case an ace is made, and it flows smoothly…IF you have paid the premium.

I read the article. According to it, the dealership was supposed to secure the insurance. Regardless, there are contracts for this stuff (or should be) and I’d like to know what the one is between the dealer and the CC.

The article does not mention the existence of an agreement between the CC and the automobile dealer. There is a reference to “an understanding the truck was part of an advertisement”. I bet that is an interesting “understanding” since it is highly unlikely the truck would be at the event unattended without some type of insurance coverage release. Strange. There will be some tales to be told about this one.

I guess golfers should ask to see the paperwork on prizes offered prior to paying an entry fee.

Having helped put on a tournament in the past, I’m familiar with how these things work. It can be done one of two ways. 1) Tournament officials go to a specialized vendor that handles hole-in-one contests. These typically do not have cars, but rather trips or cash. 2) A car dealership purchases an insurance policy that covers a specific number of events per year, then uses it to sponsor the hole-in-one prize. It’s a really cheap marketing expense for the dealer.

There are rules that must be followed precisely, starting with the course pro’s determination of which hole(s) can qualify. There are always minimum yardages that must be adhered to, and the ones we had always specified that a non-playing witness had to monitor the shots. The course pro had to submit the hole info to the insurance company prior to event.

Sounds like perhaps a miscommunication between club and dealer. Maybe the full allotment of “chances” had already been used under the policy in other tournaments? Maybe the course pro didn’t get all the criteria met? Maybe it wasn’t submitted to insurance company?

An attorney could prove me wrong, but I don’t think the guy’s lawsuit will prevail. Not sure this falls under a contractual agreement because, although an offer was seemingly made by someone, it would have had to have been made by the Club or Dealer. Even if so, not sure there was any acceptance by the golfer.

Seems like this is more a reputational hit for someone than a loss in court. Would it be the same as Clay and I standing on a tee box and me saying “I’ll give you $100 if you hit it in the hole”, then not paying when he did?

I have played in probably 75 -100 tournaments in my life. I have been to many PGA and a few LPGA tournaments as a spectator. I can honestly say I have never seen a car or truck parked by a Par 3 that meant anything but a hole in one would win it. I do remember a vehicle was parked in front of the clubhouse and the tournament was sponsored by a local dealership but for a vehicle to be parked by a Par 3 - Hole It Win It!


Truck off to the side
Probably a 95 % chance I hit the truck with my tee shot


In my personal experience setting up hole-in-1 giveaways at client tournaments, my company paid the insurance fee to guarantee the purchase of the auto if an ace was made. Otherwise, I agree with what you have written. In truth, there are many ways the insurance fee can be taken care of, depending on what the parties involved agree upon.

But from the perspective of the golfer who participates, I would think if there was a sign (or flyer or email or whatever) stating “if you pay to participate in this tournament, and you make an ace on hole XX you will receive this truck”, then SOMEONE is going to be on the hook because they golfer paid his money, and the agreed upon value of that money was to participate in the tournament, which includes all prizes that may be won in the tournament (closest to the pin, long drive, winning team, etc.). So, whoever received his money and allowed him ito play, IMO, is the entity that has to deliver the truck.

Attorneys…is this correct?

Clay slowly but Surely my game is rounding back into shape,shot 77 yesterday and 79 last week,little more work to do with iron accuracy and short game around the greens and I will be OK.I am really enjoying getting out there with some old friends and making new ones.They play at 830 M-F and I try to make it 2-3 days a week.

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I knew it would come back.