On Sunday I get a chance to live out every golfer's dream: One shot for a million dollars. I am a finalist in the Milion Dollar Hole-in-one Shootout at Walleye Weekend in Fond du Lac. All that stands between me and a cool mill is 140-yards. For me, that's a "smooth" 8-iron with my gentle high fade curling the ball toward the pin. And over the last few weeks, I have been hitting my irons very crisp and accurately.
That being said, I'm not exactly counting my million dollars just yet. I've been golfing for 22-years now and have never made a hole-in-one. I've hit the stick on the fly at least three times. I've rolled one off the stick once. I've had one tee shot lip out. I've had balls end up just a few inches short of the hole or just a few inches left or right. I've even had a ball get wrapped in the flag and drop right next to the cup. But I've never scored the elusive ace. That's why I want to give up the game when I hear about a seven-year old who makes a hole-in-one or that woman in Florida who claims to have made over a hundred last year alone.
While collecting this million may seem unlikely, my odds are better than winning the same amount in the lottery. The USGA estimates the odds of an amateur golfer making a hole in one are about one in 5000. The odds of winning the Wisconsin Lottery's Megabucks game is one in 14-million. And with the golf challenge, I control the outcome.
Despite the long odds, it's only human nature to wonder what I would do if lightning struck and my ball found paydirt. The first thing I know is not to count on getting a full million. You lose one-third right off the top to taxes--so now I'm down to just 670-thousand. That's where the Dave Ramsey plan kicks in. Fifteen percent has to go to my retirement accounts--that takes me down to 520-thousand. Then I have to save up for the kids college educations. I'm hoping to have two little ones--so we had better salt away another 150-thousand. Now I'm down to 370-grand. Next we pay off the house--that leaves me with 260-thousand. Another ten percent will go to non-profit entities. I've always wanted to see Oshkosh have a First Tee program to introduce kids to the sport of golf. I'd also love to help Oshkosh Youth Baseball build their new "Field of Dreams" complex--if the airport officials don't put the kibosh on it. One thing I promise not to spend the money on is an amphitheater or water park that taxpayers have to pay to maintain for the rest of eternity.
Alright, so now I'm down to just over 100-thousand dollars. Not even enough to retire on, but certainly enough to get a few toys, right? Classic cars are out--since the gas will bankrupt me now. And I just got new golf clubs last year so I don't need those yet. I guess I'll just turn it over to the wife so she can catch up on all of the purchases she has delayed since we went on the Dave plan. You might want to make sure you have plenty of Kohl's and Ikea stock in your 401k portfolio.