Most golfers will be aware that if there’s a spanking new vehicle parked on the tee at a par-3 on any golf course then it’s usually the prize on offer for a hole-in-one.
Over the years we have witnessed professional golfers being handed the keys to a brand-new motor for acing the hole where the vehicle is clearly promoted as the prize.
However, there was a scenario at Wentworth two years ago when David Howell aced the par-3 14th during the second round of the BMW PGA Championship and expecting to be handed the keys to £72,000 BMW 530. This was five years after fellow Englishman Chris Wood won a near £100,000 BMW i8 hybrid for an ace at the same hole.
No, there was no car for Howell and with the European Tour deciding that the value of the car for his ace would be donated to the Alzheimers Society.
Howell accepted the decision but the same cannot be said for an Arkansas golfer who is taking the Morrilton Country Club to court over an ace he scored at the 10th hole where there was a Ford F-150, delivered by the local Jay Hodge Ford dealership parked on the tee.
Austin Clagett was up to the challenge and stepped onto the tee and duly holed out much to his delight after a first hole-in-one of his golfing career but then he soon had the new car victory carpet pulled out from under him.
It turns out there would be no car, so Clagett launched a lawsuit against the country club and the Ford dealership.
“When it was Austin Clagett’s turn to try to get a hole-in-one, Austin Clagett hit the ball and it went in the hole on the first attempt,” a news release said, via the local KATV.
“Afterward, Morrilton Country Club and Jay Hodge Ford of Morrilton refused to give Austin Clagett the keys or transfer him the title to the 2022 Ford F-150 4×4 Supercrew.”
The law firm Andrew Norwood of Denton & Zachary PLLC launched a civil lawsuit.
“This is about doing what is right. Mr. Clagett lived up to his end of the deal when he got the hole-in-one and now Morrilton Country Club and Jay Hodge Ford of Morrilton want to crawfish out of the deal,” Norwood said in a statement.
“If they didn’t want to pay up when Mr. Clagett got a hole-in-one, they shouldn’t have offered the deal.”
Jay Hodge Ford also issued a statement saying the golf club promoted the truck as a prize without their knowledge and didn’t have the proper time required to get insurance for the vehicle.
“Without our knowledge, Morrilton Country Club promoted that this new truck would be available as a winning prize at the event despite our agreement that it would be for display purposes only,” the company said. “Jay Hodge Ford of Morrilton would like to extend its sincerest apologies to the community for this misunderstanding and we look forward to serving everyone in the future.”
The lawsuit seeks damages valued at the truck’s sticker price — about $53,000 — as well as the cost in legal fees.
Talking of hole-in-one prizes, the most bizarre prize for an ace I have ever come across in my golf reporting career was the offer of a full funeral service.
This was the prize being promoted by a firm called South Coast Funerals, located south of Sydney in Australia, for an ace a hole during a PGA Tour of Australasia sanctioned tournament. To confirm this surreal situation was a coffin on the tee clearly promoting the most bizarre of awards.