The ‘Promise’ Of Two Million Mangrove Seedings For Every Abu Dhabi HSBC Ace.

Fans of professional golf are so used to seeing either a gleaming new car, jewellery, watches or cash on offer for a hole-in-one during competition.

And the par-3 seventh on the National course in Abu Dhabi there is not a prize but a ‘promise’ on offer, the like that has never before been offered in major tournament golf.

When I first travelled to Abu Dhabi for the inaugural 2006 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship the prize, and usually at the par-3 15th, was a few nights, all expenses paid accommodation at the stunning seven-star Emirates Palace. Over the ensuing years it would be the prize of a gleaming BMW sedan.

This year, organisers have come-up with something rather unique that should be drawing more media attention than just a small on-air TV remark after two rounds in the $US 8m event.

The ‘promise’ of planting not just one million mangrove seedlings but two million seedlings for every ace at the par-3 seventh during this week’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

It is not as unique as the prize in the 1980s for a hole-in-one in the pro-am at the Tura Beach course ahead of an PGA of Australia event on the south coast of New South Wales of a coffin.  The coffin I have since learnt was valued then at $1,800 was being promoted as the prize by Sapphire Coast Funerals.

I recall the sight of the coffin on the tee and can remember a player actually climb into the coffin for a photograph.

The Abu Dhabi ‘promise’ prize is being sponsored by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) is to plant two million mangrove seedlings in the Al Dhafra region of Abu Dhabi by the end of 2022.

ADNOC is already promising to plant one million seedlings but has agreed to double that number for not just one hole-in-one but every ace at the par-3 seventh over the four rounds.

The winner, of course, is not the player but the environment and well down ADNOC.

Other not so normal ‘Hole-in-One’ prizes include:-

England’s Andy Sullivan winning a trip to space after a hole-in-one during the final round of the 2014 KLM Open in Zandvoort, Netherlands.

Andy Sullivan wins a flight into space after his ace during the 2014 KLM Open.

XCOR Space Expeditions awarded the $100,000 valued seat on a 30-foot long, two-seat piloted Lyn Mark 1 space craft that will travel 100 klm (330,00 feet) above the earth’s surface and then return to the same take-off runway.

Andy eventually declined the prize.

At the 2013 Volvo Champions event at Durban in South Africa there was the prize of either a Volvo V40 Series sedan, a Volvo Compact Excavator or a Volvo FH Series truck for hole-in-ones on the Durban Golf Club course.

Bernie climbs aboard the Volvo FH Series ‘Globestrotter’ and the prize for a hole-in-one during the 2014 Volvo Champions in South Africa.

The prize of a Euro 30,000 Volvo V40 Series sedan was the prize for an ace at the par three, 12th hole while the Euro 40,000 Volvo Compact Excavator was for the first ace at the par three 15th hole.

And then at the short par four, 18th organisers offered a Volvo FH Series truck, valued at Euro 45,000 for an ace.

At the 2014 Portugal Masters Rioja-loving Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez won himself 100 bottles of champagne for an ace at the eighth hole on the final day of the Victoria course at Vilamoura.


A day after writing this article and Frenchman Alex Levy aced the par-3 15th to win himself a gleaming BMW sedan.

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