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There are golfers who confidently step up to the tee and whack their drives toward the next hole. Then there's Allan Errington. A manager for Sodexo, the multinational catering giant, he was playing for perhaps only the 15th time and was midway through a company outing earlier this month in which he'd lost 23 balls on a course near Aberdeen, Scotland. At the par-3 ninth, his employer was offering a prize, a new Volkswagen Golf – Golf, get it? – to the first person who scored a hole in one. Errington describes his skills as "rubbish." Still, he joked to the monitor assigned to the hole that "It's my destiny" to win the car. And then he made his little jest stand up.
Using a 7-iron, he bounced his drive once and watched it roll straight into the cup. "I knew it was good as I watched it go," he recalled for reporters. "I've never hit a straight ball before. It was a fantastic feeling." And one he couldn't come close to duplicating. He finished the round with only the ball he'd used for his ace – because his playing partners had confiscated it so he'd have a souvenir. As for that other Golf, Errington said he'll present it to his wife, Gillian. Oh, a footnote to the story: The rules of the game stipulate that to remain an amateur, a player may accept only prizes of nominal value. So because of the Volkswagen, Errington now is considered a professional, at least for the next two years.