£660K hole-in-one prize breaks record16th July, 2013 by Emma Williams
A Scottish golf club is offering what is thought to be the biggest prize to amateur golfers – who score a hole-in-one – in British history.
Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club, on the Mull of Kintyre, which describes itself as ‘the world’s most natural golf course’, will put the name of every golfer who plays a round there between July 15 and October 15, 2013, into a hat. From that, four finalists will be drawn to shoot for the ‘Mach Dunes Million’ (the prize will officially be one million US dollars) on October 26, 2013.
The four will all be granted one attempt to achieve a hole-in-one on the 167-yard par three 14th hole. If they are successful, they will win the money.
The golf club has capitalised on a change in the game’s rules that came into effect last year. Golf’s governing body, The R&A, decided that prizes for amateur golfers who achieve a hole-in-one would have no restrictions placed on them – previously the prize had to have a maximum value of £500.
The ruling, which does not affect the limits placed on prizes to amateur golfers who win any other type of competition, brought UK golf clubs in line with American ones, which have benefited from offering huge prizes to golfers who achieve a hole-in-one.
“With the Scottish Open at Castle Stuart, and the Open Championship taking place now at Muirfield, we wanted to add some excitement for the leisure and amateur golfer,” said David Southworth, president and CEO of Southworth Development, owner of Machrihanish Dunes.
“With Scotland having such a rich history in the sport, it will be fun to offer a potentially richer future for some lucky golfers.”
Built on a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club uses no chemicals or irrigation systems on the fairways and even deploys sheep to keep fescue in check.
The course was the first 18-hole venue in the UK to earn certification from the Golf Environmental Organisation, and was named most ecological course in the world by travel association ABTA in 2012.