It’s not uncommon to see charity golf tournaments where a vehicle from a local car dealership is up for grabs as a prize, usually for making a hole-in-one. Well, an Arkansas Ford dealership and country club are facing a lawsuit over allegations they withheld just such a prize — a brand-new 2022 Ford F-150.
As reported by the Kansas City Star and spotted by The Drive, the 4x4 SuperCrew, worth $53,595, was offered by Jay Hodge Ford in Morrilton, Arkansas, about 55 miles northwest of Little Rock. Morrilton Country Club promoted a weekend golf tournament using photos of the truck, claiming it was a prize for a hole-in-one on hole No. 10: “Hole-in-one on #10 gets you the keys to this F-150,” the country club said on Facebook. “Thanks to Jay Hodge Ford of Morrilton!”
(It's a little unclear why there is both a red truck and silver truck in these Facebook posts.)
At the tournament on Oct. 8, sure enough, golfer Austin Clagett hit that hole-in-one. But the dealership and the country club denied Clagett his truck, and the dealership posted its reply to Facebook, claiming that the club had gone rogue with the promotion. Part of its post read, “Without our knowledge, Morrilton Country Club promoted that this new truck would be available as a winning prize at the event despite our agreement that it would be for display purposes only.”
Facebook commenters are having none of this excuse, and many rightly point out that the dealership liked and was tagged in the club’s posts saying the truck would be a prize.
The country club, meanwhile, isn't commenting.
After hitting a dead end with the dealer and country club, Clagett lawyered up and filed a lawsuit against both, claiming breach of contract. He’s asking for the truck, attorney fees, and court costs. Autoblog reached out to Denton & Zachary, PLLC, the law firm handling Clagett’s case. Andrew Norwood, his attorney, told us that since the lawsuit was filed, the dealership has gone back and unliked the posts it was tagged in.
Norwood also shared a video of a country club employee calling the Ford dealer after the hole-in-one. A person at the store responded, “Oh, don’t tell me,” and the country club employee answered, “Unfortunately, it happened.”
We appreciate Norwood's use of the word "crawfish" in the following statement to the K.C. Star, a phrase they must use in Arkansas:
"This is about doing what is right," Norwood said. "Mr. Clagett lived up to his end of the deal when he got the hole-in-one and now Morrilton Country Club and Jay Hodge Ford of Morrilton want to crawfish out of the deal. If they didn't want to pay up when Mr. Clagett got a hole-in-one, they shouldn't have offered the deal."
All of this, if proven true, reflects poorly on both the club and the dealer. The worst part of the situation is that it was all preventable with a simple insurance policy. Several companies offer temporary prize indemnity insurance policies to cover businesses and organizations in the event that someone wins whatever ridiculous contest they’ve set up. While insurance probably seemed like an unnecessary expense up front, it certainly would’ve been cheaper than whatever legal dilemmas they’re about to face.