Corrections or additions?
This article by Barbara Fox was published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on
September 8, 1999. All rights reserved.
Golf Gone Wrong? Be Prepared
If you stage a golf tournament for your charity or trade
group, you typically offer the participants a day of golf, a few
a good feeling from helping the charity — and a shot at some kind
of prize. If you have a hole-in-one contest, it might be a very big
prize, sometimes cash, sometimes a car. To avoid sleepless nights,
you buy hole-in-one insurance.
That seems easy enough, but apparently it’s not. Take the case of
the trade group that held a tournament at the Cranbury Golf Club in
May. One player thought he had won a Cadillac with his hole-in-one
on the seventh hole.
The judges were at the seventh hole, the advertisements referred to
the seventh hole, and the contestants were teeing off at the seventh
hole. The competitive distance (the blue tee) on that hole is 163
yards, a not impossible feat. But after the judges had given out the
keys to the Cadillac, the organizers realized that the hole-in-one
insurance had been written for the fifth hole. The blue tee distance
on the fifth hole is 211 yards — a nearly impossible feat.
The winner, a Long Island resident, wants to keep his Cadillac and,
according to an Associated Press story on August 18, is suing the
business association, the bank that sponsored the event, and the
dealership. He is not suing Cranbury Golf Club because — in a
departure from the usual — the club was not involved in the
Nick Mongello is representing the association, and Josef
Saloman is the attorney for the disgruntled golfer.
The whole mess is an object lesson in how not to plan an event.
Frank P. Licato, who played in the tournament, has an independent
agency in South Plainfield (908-757-5500) and is the president of
the Central Jersey Chamber of Commerce. "It was a shotgun
he says, "and I remember two people were riding around in a cart
yelling that we got a hole-in-one."
Licato did not write this tournament’s hole-in-one policy but reveals
that such premiums can run from $100 to thousands of dollars,
on the cost of the prize, the number of golfers, and the yardage at
the hole. Only holes with a par three are used for the hole-in-one
contests. If the hole is a par four, one assumes, no one would ever
sink it in one stroke.
You pay the same, whether you buy the policy through an agent or
from an underwriter, such as Hole in One International in Reno, Nevada
(800-827-2249). Licato says that when he writes a policy, he makes
sure it works: "I give a copy to the golf pro and make sure that
everybody adheres to the conditions."
The conditions vary according to the cost of the prize. At a minimum,
the tournament must provide an official witness, over the age of 21,
and requirements ratchet up from there:
on the green to videotape the swing and the ball rolling into the
hole, then swear an affidavit that it was the same swing. Some
reserve the right to give the golf pro a polygraph test.
Another way to offer prizes, says Bob Larkin
independent service such as the Tournament Connection, a division
of Somerton Springs, based in Pennsylvania but with a pro shop and
driving range on Quakerbridge Road. Larkin works at Cylogix at 14
Washington Road, and when his fellow employees stage golf tournaments
he acts as liaison to Frank Umani
For a fee of $1.35 per person, Umani provides tee packages and donates
prizes. For instance, if 24 to 60 golfers are playing, the package
includes opportunities for two hole-in-one prizes (a getaway weekend
and a set of clubs) plus general prizes: two clubs, some gift
and a discount on other items purchased at a Somerton Springs pro
shop. Among the requirements for the hole-in-one prize: the hole must
be longer than 150 yards.
If this account has whetted your appetite for golf competitions, here
are some of the fall tourneys. Go to U.S. 1’s website,
for more. And since every golfer downplays his or her own skill, use
this quip from Licato when someone asks you about your handicap:
shoot in the low 70s — and if it gets any colder I quit."
Club, Bedminster, 732-745-8542. Golf and doubles tennis. Monday,
September 13, 7:30 a.m.
Club, Chatham, 609-890-3185. Golf and tennis outing, $250 for golf,
$195 for tennis, $80 for picnic buffet. Awards dinner with Jeff
Swarz, analyst, Eagle Partners, and
analyst, Prudential. Monday, September 13, 8:30 a.m.
908-281-1460. Women’s outing — nine holes of golf, therapeutic
massage, kick-boxing exercise, and a manicure. $125 full day; $50
luncheon. Tuesday, September 14, 8 a.m.
609-896-2978. Golf scramble ($75) and tennis clinic ($35), plus picnic
only, $15 Friday, September 17, 1 p.m.
Brook Club, 732-249-1254. Golf ($250), round robin tennis ($125),
lunch, cocktails, buffet dinner. Hole in One sponsor is Saturn of
Bordentown. Tuesday, September 21, 10:30 a.m.
($250), tennis ($125), $65 for dinner. Tuesday, September 28, 11
A golf outing preceding a consumer credit conference, $130 for golf
only. Thursday, September 30, 7 a.m.
Golf ($350), tennis ($150). Hole-in-one prize is a Lexus. Monday,
October 4, 12:30 p.m. .
Country Club, 609-452-2088. Golf, $250. Tuesday, October 5, 10:45
Course, 732-968-4744. Golf, $135. Tuesday, October 5, 11 a.m.
Corrections or additions?
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