Allen Ginger thought he had a chance to make the golf team at Lord Botetourt this year, but he’s not going to bet $10,000 on it.

That’s how much money Allen stood to lose if he decided playing high school athletics was more important than picking up a check for 10 grand. Ginger, a rising sophomore at Lord Botetourt High School, won $10,000 when he shot a hole-in-one on the ninth hole at Ashley Plantation last Friday. The tournament was a fund-raiser for the LB golf team and, ironically enough, accepting the money will keep Allen from being on the team.

Don Sutliff (left) of Don Ho’s Restaurant presented Allen Ginger with $10,000 after Allen had a hole-in-one on the ninth at Ashley Plantation.
Don Sutliff (left) of Don Ho’s Restaurant presented Allen Ginger with $10,000 after Allen had a hole-in-one on the ninth at Ashley Plantation.

“If he takes the money, he can’t play high school sports, because he’ll lose his amateur status,” said Allen’s mother, Deborah.

Allen, a 15-year-old, used a nine iron to ace the 148-yard ninth at Ashley. He was playing with his dad, Billy Ginger, as well as Ken and Cory McKinney. The group finished third in the tournament with a score of 59.

The ninth hole prize was sponsored by Don Sutliff of Don Ho’s Restaurant and Lounge on Lee Highway in Hollins. Don had sponsored the hole for seven years of the tournament but no one had ever come close to a hole-in-one before Ginger.

“He came in the clubhouse and told me, somewhat matter-of-factly, that he just won $10,000,” said Deborah. “I thought he was kidding at first.”

Allen had to decide what was more important, playing high school sports or taking the money. It wasn’t a tough decision.

“He went out for the golf team last year and got cut,” said Deborah. “This year the coach couldn’t guarantee him he’d make the team, and even if he did he probably wouldn’t be in the top six or seven. He thought about going out for football, but apparently this will keep him from playing any sports.”

But it won’t keep him from buying a new car. Allen’s mom indicated he’s going to take the money and enjoy it.

“It’s his money,” said Deborah. “We suggested he might want to save a little of it, but it’s something totally unexpected and he can do what he wants. I think he’s going to buy a new car.”

Strangely, Deborah had a dream this was going to happen the night before it actually did.

“I dreamed that he had a hole-in-one, and that he gave me half,” she said with a laugh. “He told me that second part was just a nightmare.”

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