I had an odd sort of golf non-experience this past week. Apparently, some time ago, I had entered a contest for a chance to get a hole in one for $10 million. Last week, I got a call from the company’s representative, who explained the plan: I would fly to Vegas on a Saturday morning, along with fifty other participants. We would go through a bunch of media interviews on Saturday afternoon, then be feted that evening at a party with “celebrities.” Sunday after breakfast, we would head out to a nearby course where each of us would take one shot at the hole. One shot. No warmup. With clubs and balls provided by the company.
Under those circumstances, I figured I did not stand a snowball’s chance in Vegas: A hole I’d never played before, at an unfamiliar altitude, in desert conditions where I’ve only played before once, with an unknown ball and club that gives me no information about distance. But I figured why not? Worst case, I got out of Michigan winter for a few days.
However, when the company sent the paperwork, there was a part where I had to attest that I had never played or taught golf for money. Being the Eagle Scout that I am, I emailed back that I had in the past coached a high school boys and girls golf team.
That set off a flurry of back-and-forth. First, my initial contact had to check with higher-ups. Then the supervisor called to ask about the details. I was assured that it would be fine. Half an hour later, I got another call to tell me that someone even further up the line had put the kibosh on my contest entry.
So that’s it. No hole-in-one for $10 million.
My conscience is clear, though. I suppose that I could have conveniently “forgotten” my coaching experience, but I wonder what would happen if I hit the hole-in-one and then later was forced to return the check under accusations of fraud.
No thanks to that.