Golfer fails to sue club after hole-in-one prize not as good as hoped

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 9, 2016 14:47

A golfer has failed in his attempt to sue a golf club after the hole-in-one car he won was less than half the value the thought it was going to be.

Jack Warner, 24, thought he had won a £14,000 1.6TDi Vauxhall Corsa but was offered a £6,500 1.0 Corsa model instead.

According to The Telegraph, Warner has been left £3,500 in debt after losing the legal battle.


A Vauxhall Corsa

He had hit a 202-yard hole-in-one at Haverhill Golf Club, Suffolk, where he was a member, during a £10-a-head charity event.

He posed for a photograph with what he thought was his prize, the new car with the slogan: ‘Win this car if you get a hole-in-one.’

‘But when he went to collect the vehicle a few days later, Mr Warner was horrified to find the golf club was offering him a basic £6,500 1.0 Corsa model instead,’ reports the paper.

He refused to accept the car and took the club to Cambridge County Court, but lost his case.

The golf club’s insurance company offered him a second car – a pre-registered Vauxhall Viva non air-conditioned car worth £8,300, which he also rejected in favour of a £7,500 in an out-of-court settlement, but, because he was ordered to pay his and the club’s legal costs, amounting to £10,000 – this left him £3,500 out of pocket.

He said: “It has all been a bit of a nightmare. I got lucky and hit a hole-in-one, it’s the first one I’d ever hit and I couldn’t believe it when it landed on the green.

“I was elated to win the car, but it turned out to something altogether different to what they advertised. They put a high spec car on the tee which was worth £14,000 new but when I went to collect my prize the offered me a £6,500 1.0 basic model.

“It didn’t have alloy wheels, air conditioning and was the most basic model. I was really disappointed. I was elated on the day and then I was devastated when I found out I wasn’t going to have the car they’d advertised.”

Mr Warner said the debt forced him to remortgage his house to pay for his wedding.


Before the court case, Mr Warner tried to compromise with the club and asked for £8,000 plus a few years free membership with the club. The club rejected the offer and said it was only insured to offer a car up to the value of £8,000.

As no settlement between the two could be reached, it went to court and Mr Warner was told by a solicitor he had a “very good case”. However, he said he lost the court battle because he had not seen the car before the tournament.

He added: “Our argument was that the car was on the tee, written the way that it was. There’s no real hiding from that. We were forced to go to court. I was told I could not have had that car purely and simply because I didn’t see it before I started the round.”

Haverhill Golf Club issued a statement which said tit had behaved entirely properly throughout and that Mr Warner’s claim was bound to fail.

It read: “The club never disputed that Jake Warner had won a car and made a very generous offer to settle the matter which Jake chose to reject.

“The club behaved entirely properly throughout and were fully vindicated by the court’s decision to throw out the claim. The club very much regrets that Jake chose to pursue a claim that had no merit and was bound to fail.”

In 2012 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.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 9, 2016 14:47
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  1. John Simth May 13, 10:17

    If a sign says “Win this car if you get a hole in one” and the car is there on display I think most people would assume they had won “that car”. A player enters into the agreement, paid the stake and the 15,000 or so to 1 chance came in for an amateur golfer to get a hole in excess of 200 yards (the club offered him 1,400/1 or 650/1 if you consider the first alternative); this is surely misleading. As for not seeing the car before commencing, usually you see the prize and make the decision on the tee depending a number of factors, weather, risk/odds etc. think of it this way 240 yards into a wind and raining, your Sunday best carries 220, no matter what the prize is you would not take the bet just give the money to charity. But we are all grown ups and some you win and some you loose, pay the golfer what he won and move on, he will be a loyal member for years to come and tell all his friends about how wonderful his club is.

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  2. Peter Kook May 12, 18:20

    £3.5k in debt LOL 🙂 Serves the greedy beggar right. An amateur wins a £6.5k car for a lucky shot and he thinks its not enough! Shows what a mistake it was by the R&A to raise the £500 prize limit in 2012.

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