HOLEINONEWINNER BARRYHILLMADISONVILLE, Ky. (2/13/18) — In the game of golf, a hole-in-one is a pretty rare event — one that any golfer hitting it will never forget.

To hit a hole-in-one, on a particular hole on a particular day, is even more rare. There are companies that offer “insurance” for someone who wants to sponsor a hole-in-one prize for a particular hole on a particular day for a particular golf tournament. The prize can be very nice for a reasonable cost for the company sponsoring the hole-in-one hole.

Now to the story — it was a “fabulous” day for the Madisonville-Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament June 2. Pogue Automotive Group had sponsored a hole-in-one prize for the 196-yard, par 3, 11th hole at Lakeshore Country Club in Madisonville. The prize for hitting a hole-in-one was a very nice cruise worth $10,000.

Barry Hill was playing in the tournament on that particular day along with Bill Young and two other Edward Jones brokers. They were playing well and were 5 under par after the first nine holes.

Hill has played a lot of golf, but had never hit a hole-in-one, and this was the first game he played in 2017. Hill lamented that new Department of Labor regulations kept him strapped to his desk with no more golf for the rest of the year. So, this was the only game of golf he played in 2017.

Back to No. 11, monitoring the hole was the Madisonville North High School golf team and they were selling chances on hitting the green with one shot. Hill forked over a $20 that would double to a $40 prize if he hit the green.

Hill selected a 3 iron, teed up his ball and aligned his shot perfectly.

“I smoked the shot,” he said.

Yes, it was the perfect shot — a hole-in-one.

Hill was the winner of a big prize … and he had witnesses including Wayne Hart, meteorologist for WEHT standing 20 feet away from the pin. Perhaps another 20 people witnessed the shot. Hill was so excited, he told the high school golf team to keep their prize money.

Hill’s exuberance continued for days. He submitted his claim for the prize and waited. He was making plans for his wonderful cruise.

But, the insurance company refused to pay. It seemed that the paperwork submitted to the insurance company by a chamber volunteer was in error. Not only had the policy listed the wrong hole, it listed the wrong golf course.

The volunteer used information from the 2016 tournament, No. 7 at Madisonville Country Club, which meant no cruise and no prize.

Next, a claim was submitted to the chamber’s insurance company for “errors & omissions” … no dice. The company refused to cover the mistake.

Mark Pogue, Pogue Automotive owner, got involved when neither insurance company would cover the prize.

“I was pretty upset,” Pogue said. “My company had sponsored a prize that was not being given.”

As Thanksgiving approached, Barry Hill had pretty well written off the cruise.

“To me it was just a golf shot. I had been on a cruise before. I know the lady that made the mistake; and, I knew she really felt bad about the error. Then, I got a call for my wife and me to go to the Pogue showroom in Powderly. When we got there, Mark Pogue was fabulous. ‘Did you bring your passports?’ he asked. “’We are booking you on a cruise.’”

Hill said that Mark Pogue paid for their cruise.

“I really appreciate how he stepped up,” said Hill. “The mistake wasn’t his fault; but, he made it right. He really stepped up.”

Pogue told SurfKY News that Hill was very appreciative and a great guy.

Hill has not hit any more hole-in-one shots and Pogue has not sponsored any more golf tournaments.

Hill and his wife will be departing on their Royal Caribbean cruise this spring.

Ron Sanders
SurfKY News

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