The problem? GM's lawyers.
Grimaldi, GM's vice president and general manager for field sales, service and parts, was exultant initially. The prize for a hole in one was $1 million.
"It was the best shot I hit all day - certainly the best result," he told the Detroit Free Press. "It hit 12 to 15 feet from the cup and tracked right into the hole."
Grimaldi used a four-iron on the 167-yard 18th hole at Indianwood Golf and Country Club in Lake Orion, Mich. Witnesses included radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, who was in Grimaldi's foursome.
But then the lawyers got wind of the shot.
They said Grimaldi would violate the company's strict conflict-of-interest policy by accepting the money. GM in 1996 banned its employees from receiving any gifts or favors, seeking an end to the long-standing tradition of freebies from suppliers. GM co-sponsored the event and paid Grimaldi's $5,000 entry fee.
Grimaldi wasn't taking calls last week, as GM's morality police dissected the issue. Spokesman Terry Sullivan said the question was tricky because it didn't involve a gift, but something won by exercise of skill.
In the end, the lawyers prevailed. On Wednesday, Aug. 29, GM issued a statement saying it would donate the money to charities chosen by Grimaldi.