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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.)

The Worst Golf Outing Prize of All Time

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

Other tournament swag, including the infamous lima beans.

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.

Do parts of your closet have this sort of look?

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 in 2002. Not pictured: much, much more!

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.

46 Comments

  1. Lee Panko

    November 3, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    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”.

  2. Ed

    November 4, 2014 at 11:46 am

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

  3. Andy Dennahy

    November 4, 2014 at 11:51 am

    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!)

  4. Gus

    November 4, 2014 at 11:52 am

    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

  5. Tom

    November 4, 2014 at 12:04 pm

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

  6. Astan

    November 4, 2014 at 12:06 pm

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

  7. golfer1john

    November 4, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    It could have been broccoli.

  8. RobertG

    November 4, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    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.

  9. PatU

    November 4, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Hey, hey, hey, Lee Panko!

    I happen to be and happen to know a lot of golfers who knit!
    What an insulting comment!

  10. Tom

    November 4, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    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:

    warriorcustomgolf.com/charity-golf-tournaments/

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

  11. Mike

    November 4, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    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!.

  12. Steve

    November 4, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    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!

  13. zaven darakjian

    November 4, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    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.

  14. Randeez

    November 4, 2014 at 12:43 pm

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

  15. ER

    November 4, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    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?

  16. Rich

    November 4, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    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.

  17. Steve M

    November 4, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    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.

  18. Corc

    November 4, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    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.)

  19. Jay

    November 4, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    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..

  20. Steve

    November 4, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    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 year…an almost exact replica of the bag I just bought! Again my son was glad to receive my hand me down.

  21. Chris Fleming

    November 4, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    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.

  22. Bill

    November 4, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    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!

  23. Mike Keyes

    November 4, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    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!

  24. Dan Clayton

    November 4, 2014 at 4:10 pm

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

  25. Robert J. Gunter

    November 4, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    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!

  26. Bruce Deming

    November 4, 2014 at 4:48 pm

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

  27. bill haas

    November 4, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    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…..

  28. Larry Zwickl

    November 4, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    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.

  29. Jerry

    November 4, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    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.”

  30. Fred

    November 4, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    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.

  31. Randy

    November 4, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    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?

  32. john sharp

    November 4, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    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

  33. Howard

    November 4, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    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!

  34. Edgardo Gonzalez

    November 4, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    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….

  35. James Tompkins

    November 5, 2014 at 10:54 am

    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 !!

  36. Deon

    November 5, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    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 !!

  37. Mike Pierce

    November 5, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    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!

  38. Don williamson

    November 5, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    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!

  39. David

    November 5, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    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

  40. Peter Stewart

    November 8, 2014 at 4:36 am

    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.

  41. Steve Hayes

    November 16, 2014 at 12:32 pm

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

  42. Brian

    November 17, 2014 at 11:42 am

    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.

  43. Warren Faust

    November 18, 2014 at 11:08 am

    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.

  44. Rick Henson

    November 18, 2014 at 11:36 am

    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.

  45. jack

    June 23, 2015 at 8:19 am

    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.

  46. Bart Roberts

    August 27, 2015 at 11:02 am

    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.

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