The first player to make a hole-in-one on the par-3 15th hole at Kennemer Golf & Country Club in Zandvoort, Netherlands, during the European Tour’s KLM Open next week will win a trip to space.
Not a car, a check or a (traditional) vacation. A trip to outer space.
The prize is part of a $100,000 package by XCOR Aerospace, an Amsterdam-based company that will offer trips to space for the public starting late in 2015. “We already have 300 bookings,” says Michiel Mol, a XCOR Aerospace board member. “We wish to create awareness among the public that space is now also accessible for everyone.”
The company’s website describes its commercial flights this way: “a two-seat, piloted space transport vehicle will take humans and payloads on a half-hour suborbital flight to 100 km (330,000 feet) and then return to a landing at the takeoff runway.” The trips cost between $95,000 and $115,000.
A true-to-scale model of the 30-foot-long Lynx Mark 1, the XCOR aircraft on which the hypothetical ace-maker will travel, will sit behind the 15th tee as a reminder of just what’s at stake. During last year’s KLM Open — won by Joost Luiten in a playoff over Miguel Angel Jiménez — the par-3 15th played as the seventh-toughest hole at 163 yards.
“Is fantastic that the KLM Open is the platform on which the possibility to travel into space is made known to the public. If you make a hole-in-one here you are justifiably a star player!” said tournament director Daan Slooter, who apparently loves terrible puns.