Lee Dinmore, a six-handicap member at Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club, had an experience he will never forget at the Mercedes-Benz Golf Day at the Centurion Club in Hertfordshire.
He won a top of the range Mercedes X-Class Pickup Truck, valued at £50,000, by holing his tee-shot with his nine-iron at the fifth hole which had been designated for the prize. The truck was parked to the left of the tee-box.
Dinmore said: “It looked like a birdie for the team but by the time I had picked my tee up the ball had dropped into the hole. Then it was mayhem, like a Rugby scrum.”
The excitement came early. It was only the second hole they had played after a shotgun start for 80 players in teams of four.
Dinmore and his team comprised of Paul Cudworth (Orwell Truck and Van Mercedes-Benz, Martlesham), former Woodbridge professional James Peasey and Craig Mortimer, technical director of Mor-Tech Computing Services in Ipswich. Mortimer is a member at Woodbridge.
They combined to win the team event by one Stableford point.
Dinmore was runner-up overall, Cudworth was third and Mortimer won a nearest the pin prize.
It is the first time in the 25 years of the competition being run that that anyone has won the hole-in-one prize at this prestigious event.
Rather than buying drinks all round Dinmore donated £1000 to Cancer Research UK, the charity supported by tournament host, Steve Bridge, managing director of Mercedes-Benz Vans.
Cudworth, also a Felixstowe Ferry member, said: “It was a once in a lifetime experience. Lee will be collecting the van in the next fortnight.”
The value of the prize does not affect Dinmore’s amateur status. The R and A changed the rules only recently to allow winners of hole-in-one prizes to keep any vehicle they won without having to turn professional.