January 30, 2006

Hole In One Still Ranks as Green's Top Payday

You would think that finishing tied for second in a PGA Tour event would be the biggest payday of one's brief career. After all, prize money on the tour has skyrocketed in recent year's as Tiger Woods and Co. have taken the game of golf to an entirely new level. However, for PGA Tour rookie Nathan Green, yesterday's paycheck for a top five finish still could not eclipse the amount he won for making a hole in one during the Australian Masters golf tournament in 2000. Though he finished second in that event to, Nathan managed to make an ace during the final round. The prize for that hole in one contest was a cool $500,000. Despite battling Tiger and two-time Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal in a sudden death playoff on Sunday, Nathan only took home a hair under $450,000 for his efforts in the Buick Invitational. In two events this season, Green has two top five finishes, yesterday's T2 and a fifth place finish at the Sony Open in Hawaii.

January 24, 2006

All-Star Golf Team Plays For Charity in UAE

Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Darren Clarke, Thomas Bjorn & Mark O'Meara will all be in the United Arab Emirates next week for the European Tour's Dubai Desert Classic. However, before the competition begins, this all-star cast will be participating in the fourth annual Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa Challenge Match. Sponsored by Nakheel, the UAE's leading property developer, the Challenge Match pits two team of golfers against one and other for a round at the resort's amazing nine hole golf course. In an effort toraise funds for local area charities, these world class golfers will also be aiming to raise money with their skills.

First up will be the high-stakes, hole in one competition. If any of the players is able to make a hole in one on the par three second hole, $500,000 dollars will be awarded with $300,000 going to the player and $200,000 going to the charities. On the par three eighth hole, the stakes double with $1,000,000 being divided between the player and the charities.

Secondly, Nakheel will also run the Birdie, Eagle, and Albatross Challenge. For each birdie, eagle and albatross that the players make, Nakheel will donate between 10,000-20,000 Dirhams to the local charities. In addition, Nakheel will contribute 5,000 Dirhams for each shot under par that the golfers achieve.

The event, with its fabulous hole in one contest, looks to be an excellent way to kick-off a week of great golf in Dubai. Television coverage of the European Tour's Dubai Desert Classic will be provided, in the United States, by The Golf Channel. Check your local listings for dates and times.

The Rocket's Ace Leads Celebrity Golf Team to Victory

Apparently, the Houston Astros' Roger Clemens does more than win baseball games. He plays some great golf too. Roger and fellow Texas Longhorn, Matthew McConaughey were part of the winning celebrity team at the PGA Tour's Bob Hope Chrysler Classic last week. In addition to finishing 65 under par for the week, the winning team also witnessed the greatest of all golf shots by Mr. Clemens on Saturday en route to their victory. According to published reports, Clemens made a hole in one on the par 3, second hole at the Classic Course on Saturday. While his hole in one did not win Roger a hole in one prize, it did help lead his team to victory. Had Clemens made his ace on one of the golf course's other par 3 holes, he may have had an opportunity to win a brand-new vehicle from the tournament's presenting sponsor; however, it was not to be, much to the chagrin of television commentator Paul Azinger who lamented that it is difficult enough to make a hole in one, but now they expect you to do so on a specific hole!

Editor's note: Had Chrysler choosen to cover its hole in one contests with US Hole In One, Roger would have walked away with a hole in one prize. All of US Hole In One's hole in one insurance policies include free bonus prizes for the non-grand prize par three holes at the course. Thus, while Clemens may not have won the brand-new car, he would have at least been awarded something for his remarkable acheivement.

January 12, 2006

New USGA Rule Makes Hole In One Winners Amateurs Again

As some of you may have heard, the USGA revised its rules regarding the loss of amateur status for hole in one contest winners this past summer. What you may not be aware of though are the intricacies of this new ruling. While it is indeed true that hole in one prize winners by and large no longer forfeit their amateur status, there are several instances in which making a hole in one and accepting a prize does in fact still make you a "professional" in the eyes of the USGA.

The key requirement found in the provision is the fact that in order to retain your amateur status, the hole in one must be made "while playing golf". Thus, if you were to make a hole in one during a shootout, at a driving range or in a simulator, accepting a prize for that ace would be grounds for status forfeiture. In addition, all putting contest and closest to the pin winners still lose their amateur status.

It should be noted, however, that the $750 prize limit still appies to all golf contests. If the hole in one prize that you accept is under that value, then there are no circumstances under which you would lose your amateur status.

While such technicalities don't affect many golfers, US Hole In One does frequently encounter hole in one contest winners who, as excellent amateur players, must weigh the costs of accepting the prize. And while these distinctions may seem unimportant, if you forfeit your status as an amateur golfer, you are no longer permitted to participate in amateur-only events such as club championships, member-guest outings, and many other golf tournaments.

January 11, 2006

Sony Open Hole In One Preview

This week, the golfers of the PGA Tour travels to the Waialae Country Club for the Sony Open. Wind typically plays a huge role at Waialae and this weeks look to be no different. For those players looking for a hole in one this week, Waialae offers four par 3 holes for the taking: numbers 4, 7, 11 and 17.

Hole number 4, measuring 203 yards, offers players their first opportunity at the elusive ace. Though typically played straight into the wind, this hole features an extremely deep green with large bunkers guarding either side of the putting surface. Last year, Shigeki Maruyama made a hole in one on this hole during the third round of the championship on his way to a 68 and possession of the lead heading into the final round.

The seventh presents an entirely different challenge. While only measuring 167 yards, its green is well protected by a series of deep sandtraps running straight across its front and sides. Waialae's back nine plays host to the par 3 eleventh. At 196 yards, it is a challenging hole made more difficult by the fact that it typically plays with a crosswind that players will have to adjust for when seeking an ace of birdie. Nevertheless, the 11th is one of the more picturesque holes on the course as the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean lies just beyond the green.

Finally, the 189 yard, signature 17th hole runs alongside right the beach and offers the pros their final chance at a hole in one. Considering the green is protected on both sides with bunkers, and the hole is susceptible to a crosswind, the seventeenth is the most challenging of the par three holes on the golf course.

While there are no reported hole in one contests for the tour players to take part in this week, there are nonetheless a handful of opportunities to making history with an ace.

January 10, 2006

Glover's Hole In One Earns Him a New Car!

Those of you watched last week's PGA Tour television coverage no doubt witnessed Lucas Glover's stellar hole in one during the third round of the Mercedes Championships. According to published reports, Glover stroked a 5-iron from 203 yards on the eighth hole at Kapalua, landing the ball to the right of the hole. Two bounces later, the ball hit the flagstick and rolled into the cup for an ace. The hole in one won Glover a brand new 2006 Mercedes-Benz CLS55 AMG sports coupe. The vehicle's estimated value is roughly $88,000.

Glover's ace was the first of the year on the PGA Tour this season. It was also the only hole in one made during the event. Lucas earned a position into the tour's season-opening "winner's only" tournament by winning last season's FUNAI Classic at Walt Disney World in Orlando. This year's Mercedes Championship was once again held at the Plantation Course at Kapalua in Maui, Hawaii. Difficult winds led to high scores throughout the event, but did not deter Glover from making his hole in one on Saturday.

Unbeknownst to many golf fans, PGA Tour events regularly have hole in one contests for its players. Event sponsors can afford to offer fabulous prizes, like the luxury vehicle Glover won, by purchasing hole in one insurance from providers like US Hole In One, or by self insuring the prize.

Welcome to Ace Weekly!

Welcome to the inaugural posting of Ace Weekly, a weekly look at the world of golf through the eyes of US Hole In One, the leader in hole in one contest insurance for golf tournaments and outings.

Posting highlights will include stories about lucky hole in one contest winners from around the country, commentary on the PGA, LPGA & Champions Tours, special contest insurance promotions being run by US Hole In One and other noteworthy tidbits from golf tournaments and outings across the nation.

If you have any quesitons regarding hole in one contests, or have any story ideas, feel free to pass them along to us at info@usholeinone.com. Happy reading!