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The Worst Golf Outing Prize Of All Time

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nice shotHave you ever played in an golf outing that gave out terrible prizes or goodie bags?

See if you can top this:

In my previous job at an advertising agency, I played in a golf outing hosted by one of our clients, a food company.

On one of the par threes, I hit a perfect 6-iron to about four feet and proceeded to win the closest-to-the-pin prize.

My colleagues could barely contain their laughter when they told me what I’d won:

My prize was a year’s supply of...lima beans.

(I assume you've had 'em, so you know it was effectively a lifetime supply.)

This definitely trumped my previous "worst golf prize/gift," a hideous Michelob Ultra-logoed golf bag.

Golf outing "swag": a t-shirt, a beer koozie and...lima beans.

If those lima beans aren't the worst golf outing prize ever, I don’t know what is. But if you can top it in the comments, I’ll send you a can!

If there’s a happy ending to this story, it’s the comfort of knowing that not every golf tournament gift or prize is a dud.

In fact, a lot of them can be pretty useful.

More often than not, golf tournament/outing swag is pretty decent.

For example, my current rain suit is a hand-me-down from the “swag bag” at a corporate golf outing my father attended some years ago.

And my go-to reversible windbreaker came from a pro-am my father played in back when the Travelers Championship was still known as the Greater Hartford Open.

I got to tag along with him that day and remember how much fun it was being inside the ropes at a PGA Tour event. Putting it on always brings good memories.

Among the swag I've accumulated over the years: an overnight bag from an event at Grande Dunes in Myrtle Beach, the aforementioned GHO pullover, a more recent pullover from this year's Myrtle Beach World Am and a hat from a junior tournament back in 2002.

Speaking of memories, I'd love to hear yours -- what are the best and worst outing or tournament prizes/gifts you've received?

Please share your thoughts or read what others are saying below.

Nov 04, 2014

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Bart Roberts's avatar
Bart Roberts wrote at 2015-08-27 15:02:06+00:00:

Once won an IT industry tourney on a course with 40 mph winds and large palm tree fronds crashing down around us. Got a Titleist hat (with the magnetic ball marker). Inside the exhibition hall they were giving away $500 laptops and personal electronics.

jack's avatar
jack wrote at 2015-06-23 12:19:15+00:00:

I was in a tournament one day and there was a toilet out in the middle of the fairway and whoever was the closest got a prize. The prize ended being a 4 pack roll of toilet paper. I didn't win but I thought was funny and I still laugh about it. The tournament wax 15 years ago and still this day I can't help but laugh.

Rick Henson's avatar
Rick Henson wrote at 2014-11-18 16:36:23+00:00:

The golf tournament I attended had a trip to Greece give away upon having a hole in one on a 194 yard, par three. They decorated the tee with a special theme, and served special liquors to celebrate the opportunity . After making the hole in one shot, I was informed there was actually no trip purchased. Prize equaled zero.

Warren Faust's avatar
Warren Faust wrote at 2014-11-18 16:08:11+00:00:

I had a hole in one at a four man scramble tournament, my prize was a gift certificate for a medium cheese pizza, at a pizza shop 35 miles away. I kept the gift certificate instead of turning it in as the gas to drive there would have cost more than the pizza.

Brian's avatar
Brian wrote at 2014-11-17 16:42:37+00:00:

I dumped five bucks into the kitty for a putting contest during a corporate sponsored outing. At the time of my entry no one had holed out. I drained two out of three. Upon announcing my name and asking me up to collect the prize money, a guy shouted I was not in their outing, I was with the other outing. The rest is history. I was immediately disqualified and they wouldn't even return my five buck entry fee. Sore losers at best.

Steve Hayes's avatar
Steve Hayes wrote at 2014-11-16 17:32:25+00:00:

Craig, thanks for featuring the Stonehouse Desk Caddy, in the "pretty decent" category.

Peter Stewart's avatar
Peter Stewart wrote at 2014-11-08 09:36:21+00:00:

Playing in a corporate, christmas golf day. ( which I won ) The first prize was a free membership to the club. ( already being a member I was not allowed to claim ) Worse was to follow as I had the first choice pick at the booze table ( all bottles wrapped in plain paper )" you guest it " a large bottle of club Soda.

David's avatar
David wrote at 2014-11-05 23:03:22+00:00:

At our annual convention we always have a $10,000 hole in one on a par 3. Two days before the tournament I played a round of golf on the same course and made a Hole in one on that par three. I didn't even hit the green on the day of the golf tournament - Right hole wrong day ! ! - And No Prize

Don williamson's avatar
Don williamson wrote at 2014-11-05 21:18:20+00:00:

I made what I thought was a hole in one on a rainy day,But in removing the impacted ball from the back of the cup with a divot tool, I did not do what I thought was ridiculous waste of time in then placing the ball on the edge of the cup where it would have fallen to the bottom of the cup.The Club Pro asked me whether I had placed the ball on the edge of the cup? I said of course not and he then disqualified me for signing an incorrect scorecard since a shot is not considered a hole in one until it lands in the bottom of the cup.My partner did not bother to put his birdie since we thought it was a given that it was a hole in one.Our opponents congratulated me for what they also thought was a hole in one.The USGA confirmed the PRO correctly applied the Rule.Not all of the Rules of Golf make any practical sense!

Mike Pierce's avatar
Mike Pierce wrote at 2014-11-05 20:56:19+00:00:

Wow those are quite the stories. I have one to add, but everyone loves it, I run a charity golf outing for a small private school, we have wonderful prizes but one of the favorites relates to a prize for a par three, the hole in one on that holes wins a car or jeep, however the hole is behind a pond and fountain and we have a prize for the closest to the pond (without going in), the prize....... a ball retriever and dozen golf balls! Loads of laughs and very coveted!

Deon's avatar
Deon wrote at 2014-11-05 19:40:25+00:00:

I played in a Corporate golf day and had the honor to win on the day.

Arriving at the prize giving the table was laden with wonderful prizes ie pressure cookers, stainless steel barbeques, drivers etc. During the welcoming it was announced that each recipient will draw a number oot of a hat as each prize was numbered.. I drew a hosepipe. what a let down !!

James Tompkins's avatar
James Tompkins wrote at 2014-11-05 15:54:23+00:00:

How about this for a worst closest to the pin prize, I won ten dollars in my league, only my closest to the pin went in the hole. I won the skin money. So maybe that was the worst hole in one prize, Nice !!

Edgardo Gonzalez's avatar
Edgardo Gonzalez wrote at 2014-11-05 02:04:39+00:00:

At one tournament - putting contest - hosted by a major Telco, I sank three extremely difficult puts on a three level putting green - I was the only one able to do so and all I got is three tickets for draft for a price - I got only a golf cap

I have quite an assortment of these which are quite tacky - usually....

Howard's avatar
Howard wrote at 2014-11-05 01:21:23+00:00:

LOVED reading all these comments. Reminds me of the time I answered a trivia question on a local radio quiz show, and "won" a coupon for a container of yogurt. I told them to keep it. Ed--I think the tennis equipment was their not-so-subtle way of suggesting you take up another sport!

john sharp's avatar
john sharp wrote at 2014-11-05 01:01:31+00:00:

I played in an outing ln goshen ind . It was raining I hit a seven iron on a par three

The club slipped frl my hands and went About 50 yds up in atree

They presented me 50 bucks for the longest club

Randy's avatar
Randy wrote at 2014-11-05 00:44:53+00:00:

I won it twice, one was 33 inches, putted it in for a birdie, there I won anything that was on the table, I chose a new gps watch, I had recently purchased the TaylorMade R1, I was not going to take another one, but in hindsight, I should have. The other time I was 2 inches away, and they claimed that the piece of paper with my name on it was lost, that was so bush league. What can you do?

Fred's avatar
Fred wrote at 2014-11-04 23:16:38+00:00:

Won closest to the pin and was awarded 4 free passes to play golf. Only problem I work at the course and get FREE golf.

Jerry's avatar
Jerry wrote at 2014-11-04 23:02:21+00:00:

At the after tournament drawing for door prizes my ticket was the last one drawn and the host said - "if we had one more prize it would have been yours."

Larry Zwickl's avatar
Larry Zwickl wrote at 2014-11-04 22:11:11+00:00:

In a golf outing for the hospital I worked for the prize for worst score was a trip to Maui

which my playing partner (One of the hospital administrator's) just happened to win .

I found out later that the trip was worth $200, so I offered him $300. He was more than glad to take the money because he knew that he could not take the time to go. I then

took the ticket and sold it to one of my co-workers for $400. What a deal. I still do not

know why he did not just buy his own ticket for $200.

bill haas's avatar
bill haas wrote at 2014-11-04 21:59:04+00:00:

my buddy and i played in a tournament at a mom and pop course, came in first.....the prize.....10 50lb bags of manure.....we passed.....

Bruce Deming's avatar
Bruce Deming wrote at 2014-11-04 21:48:16+00:00:

3rd place- massage in a local barbershop from the gay barber. (never redeemed)

Robert J. Gunter's avatar
Robert J. Gunter wrote at 2014-11-04 21:44:50+00:00:

Recently, a friend and I played in a Charity Outing. We were teamed with two "first time on the course" players. We ended up dead last and won a prize for pride; "30 minute golf lesson with the Head Pro". Boy, did we all need it!

Dan Clayton's avatar
Dan Clayton wrote at 2014-11-04 21:10:49+00:00:

My company golf tournament September 2014, closest to the pin was a DVD...Casino Royal. From 2007

Mike Keyes's avatar
Mike Keyes wrote at 2014-11-04 19:51:23+00:00:

Friend of mine won all 4 closest to the pin prizes. He had to leave before the ceremony, but said he needed balls. The committee announced that one player got all 4 closest to the pins so they had a "extra special" prize: Four 15 packs of yellow Top Flites!

He should have won a car for that feat!

Bill's avatar
Bill wrote at 2014-11-04 19:44:47+00:00:

Finished a college football charity golf tournament and was having the post game dinner and auction to raise money for the team. The assistant football coach was leading the auction and the next item was a set of Ping irons. Being a true football person and not having any knowledge of golf, the coach reached in the bag and said "What's the opening bid for this 5 iron?" It took a few minutes to explain to him that the whole set was being auctioned!

Chris Fleming's avatar
Chris Fleming wrote at 2014-11-04 19:19:59+00:00:

I was playing in a member guest my home club. I won all 4 closest to the pin prizes. With a total distance of 9 inches( none went in). I won 4 television guides to TV golf. The wrappers never came off of them.

Steve's avatar
Steve wrote at 2014-11-04 19:19:26+00:00:

RobertG...My story isn't exactly as yours but I was on back to back Championship teams for our company scramble. The first year I had just purchased a new TaylorMade driver in preparation for the tournament. The prize for each of the team members that year...A TaylorMade driver. My son was glad to get the hand me down. The next year I bought a new bag just before the tournament. The prize for winning team members that almost exact replica of the bag I just bought! Again my son was glad to receive my hand me down.

Jay's avatar
Jay wrote at 2014-11-04 18:36:51+00:00:

Happily, I did NOT win this prize:

Close To The Pin Contest, with a Jeep Grand Cherokee prize. They even parked it right next to the tee box. The deal was that the winner of the contest would then be taken back to the tee, during the awards part of the event, and would get one swing to make a hole in one, which would win him/her the Jeep.

Anybody want to guess what kind of shot won the contest? Yep, an ace. It won the guy a chance to try and replicate it to win the car. Never even hit the green on the one swing he got.

NOBODY was happy about how it went down, and it was quickly decided that THAT idea would never be used again..

Corc's avatar
Corc wrote at 2014-11-04 18:25:44+00:00:

I played in a local Chamber golf outing a while back during the 'recession years'. It was the first year that the outing didn't feature a $1 million hole-in-one contest. As fate would have it, I hit a hole-in-one. I walked away with a shiny white leather bag (which I promptly gave to my brother) and a $600 bar tab. (I took over managing the outing the next year and brought back the million-dollar hole-in-one contest.)

Steve M's avatar
Steve M wrote at 2014-11-04 18:24:51+00:00:

Played a charity tournament for the golf team at a very rich Catholic school. Got closest - to - the - pin on a 180 yard part 3; 4 inches from the pin. Prize was a pizzaball ($15 value) at a fast-food joint far enough away to cost me $25 in gas. I'm certain the Vatican was proud of that school.

Rich's avatar
Rich wrote at 2014-11-04 18:18:18+00:00:

I won closest to the pin and the prize was a little kid's bicycle with training wheels of Incredible Hulk. At the same outing won longest drive and was awarded a no name driver and the pro shop would not take an exchange for it becaused they never heard of the brand or sold it.

ER's avatar
ER wrote at 2014-11-04 17:47:12+00:00:

How about 4 mismatched sleeves of TopFlite golf balls, all very old, 3 of the boxes yellowed and had to be taped close to keep the golf balls from falling out. What are these people thinking that run these things?

Randeez's avatar
Randeez wrote at 2014-11-04 17:43:17+00:00:

At my last golf outing, all around me were winning clubs, balls and wine. I got a battery operated carbon monoxide detector.

zaven darakjian's avatar
zaven darakjian wrote at 2014-11-04 17:29:03+00:00:

The beans give you " F*R*ing rights " on the course.

We won Best Foursome this Sept. 23. We were presented each a plaque and an applause from the gallery. The major BURN was that the cameraman had already gone home.

Steve's avatar
Steve wrote at 2014-11-04 17:20:05+00:00:

For the last place score in one of my previous company scramble's I along with my playing partners all received a trophy....of the back half of a horse! The coveted horses ass trophy. At least I won a Big Bertha driver as a door prize that year...I think that helped me avoid the HA trophy in the future!

Mike's avatar
Mike wrote at 2014-11-04 17:14:25+00:00:

One of my partners in a scramble won a 'door prize' of a donated toilet seat - one year later, in the same tournament, he won another toilet seat - but he was able to re-donate it to a young lady in the crowd who was remodeling her bathroom!.

Tom's avatar
Tom wrote at 2014-11-04 17:12:24+00:00:

I was the winner of a longest putt pin prize at a charity event in 2013...and my prize was a Warrior Hybrid golf club. First I found it odd the prize for a putt would be a hybrid, second I found it even more bizarre that they'd give me a right handed club when I play left handed.

Upon further research I found this:

At least I knew I was getting the real thing...and not a "fake" Warrior Golf Club.

PatU's avatar
PatU wrote at 2014-11-04 17:08:57+00:00:

Hey, hey, hey, Lee Panko!

I happen to be and happen to know a lot of golfers who knit!

What an insulting comment!

RobertG's avatar
RobertG wrote at 2014-11-04 17:08:24+00:00:

Most ironic prize was winning a new putter as the winner of the putting contest and winning a new driver as the winner of the long drive contest. To discourage sandbagging the door prizes were awarded to the 1st, 4th, 7th and last place teams with last place being awarded the top door prize - a new set of irons for each player.

golfer1john's avatar
golfer1john wrote at 2014-11-04 17:06:58+00:00:

It could have been broccoli.

Astan's avatar
Astan wrote at 2014-11-04 17:06:05+00:00:

How about $450 off a colonoscopy at a Proctologists' invitational?

Tom's avatar
Tom wrote at 2014-11-04 17:04:36+00:00:

Made a double eagle and was awarded a koozie. Second best shot of the day was an ace. He was awarded $10,000.

Gus's avatar
Gus wrote at 2014-11-04 16:52:29+00:00:

Worst - $5 "Gift Certificate" to a local sandwich place

Best - Won a set of Nike Irons, which I then traded in for a set of hybrids

Andy Dennahy's avatar
Andy Dennahy wrote at 2014-11-04 16:51:29+00:00:

At my old golf club on Captain's day, the club captain, put up as the first prize a wheelbarrow! (He used to do garden maintenance work for a living and thought it was a magnificent first prize........ and couldn't understand that all the rest of the members didn't agree!)

Ed's avatar
Ed wrote at 2014-11-04 16:46:26+00:00:

Prize for highest gross score (also known as the most honest score) - tennis racket and balls

Lee Panko's avatar
Lee Panko wrote at 2014-11-04 01:23:16+00:00:

I set up and ran a software users' group golf outing. We gave a book as a prize for the highest gross score. Title of the book was "Learn To Knit".

Tim Gavrich

Senior Writer

Tim Gavrich is a Senior Writer for Golf Advisor and the Managing Editor of the Golf Vacation Insider newsletter. Follow him on Twitter @TimGavrich and on Instagram @TimGavrich.