As he neared the end of his round at Stonewall Golf Club on a Wednesday afternoon last month [September 2015], Colin Dunn asked a friend to take a photo of him in front a 2015 BMW 428i convertible that was parked at the 17th tee. The car was the prize for the first person to shoot a hole-in-one on the 17th hole at the annual fundraiser for a District charity called Winners Lacrosse.
Colin thought it would be funny to text the image to his wife, Laurie, along with the message that he’d won the car. Ha-ha!
Two weeks earlier, Matt Breslin, executive director of Winners Lacrosse, had signed a contract with a Reno, Nev., insurance company called Hole in One International. He’d paid $1,000 so that if someone didhappen to ace the 17th hole, his nonprofit wouldn’t be out the cost of the BMW.
Mark Gilmartin, president of Hole in One International, said, “There are three factors that go into the pricing: the length of the hole, the actual value of the prize and the number of participants.”
A hole-in-one is a wondrous thing, but I had to ask Mark whether he secretly hopes that nobody gets one.
“We don’t do anything secretly,” he said. “It’s an insurance product. Like all insurance products, it’s a game of numbers. . . . Basically, we do enough events that everything comes out in the wash. Hopefully, there’s a little bit of profit at the end of the year for us.”
Colin, a D.C. resident, does not consider himself a good golfer. His game is lacrosse. He played in high school and in college, at Hampden-Sydney, where he captained the lacrosse team in his senior year.
“It’s just that kind of sport where, once you play it, you’re always involved, no matter your age,” said Colin, who just turned 30. “It helped me get through college. It teaches you discipline and leadership.”