With more than a hundred participants staring him down and a shiny Maserati prize parked on the tee, Craig Dado beat the odds with one swing on Monday at Voices for Children’s 21st annual golf tournament.
The tournament was a fundraiser for the charity, which provides Court Appointed Special Advocates to foster care children. Maserati of San Diego donated a GranTurismo Sport 13 valued at nearly $134,000 as a prize to anyone able to make the seemingly impossible hole in one.
The Elfin Forest resident who won the tournament said he has played the Del Mar Country Club course several times over the past ten years. He describes it as one of the toughest courses San Diego has to offer.
“It never even crossed my mind when I teed the ball up and swung the club that I would get a hole in one – I mean, these things never happen,” he said.
He was asked to join a business associate’s group, excited to socialize and participate in one of his favorite hobbies. With the odds estimated at 24,000-to-1, he said no one was expected to actually make the shot.
When the ball dropped into the hole everyone on the green went crazy. Instead of running towards the Maserati, he describes his reaction as calmly shocked.
“I knew it was a good shot, I knew it was close,” he said. “You can hit hundreds and hundreds of shots and it’ll never go in.”
While a hole in one is once in a lifetime for most people, this was the second time Dado has had the experience. The first instance was with friends in Vegas, where he learned the old golf tradition that the person who makes the hole in one has to buy drinks for everyone playing. Luckily, he said he was off the hook this time – because there was an open bar after the tournament.
Dado has not yet claimed his four-wheel prize and plans to stay behind the wheel of his Toyota Sequoia. He said a Maserati is impractical for an active dad driving three kids between baseball and soccer practices.
He’s currently negotiating a cash settlement with Maserati of San Diego and intends to make a donation to Voices for Children.