What is Hole-in-One Insurance?

Feb 6, 2023

For centuries, golfers all over the world have tried to accomplish the elusive hole-in-one that is usually more based on luck than skill. Some leave victorious, while most leave defeated. The walk to the 19th green in the clubhouse after a round can be one of misery, anger, frustration, or complete elation. Now imagine a mixture of both gleeful exhilaration and impending doom. Why? Because you just hit an ace, one of life’s great achievements, but now you are responsible for handling everyone’s bar bill. Paying for your group, or even the entire bar bill after hitting a hole-in-one has been a tradition for as long as golf as existed. Recently, though, golf clubs and charity event organizers have stepped up the potential rewards for making a hole-in-one.

Many golf clubs and courses that hold amateur or professional golf events have upped the ante when it comes to rewarding a hole-in-one. Some have offered prizes such as brand-new cars, massive cash rewards, and even all-inclusive vacation trips. To pay for these prizes, golf courses and golf tournament organizers sometimes purchase Hole-in-One Insurance. Over the last few decades, more and more hole-in-one insurance companies have popped up all over the country offering insurance coverage for the prizes that courses and events offer for those lucky one-strokers.


How Does Golf Insurance Work?

If a golf club or charity organization is holding a big golf tournament or charity event, sometimes they will offer an eye-opening prize for a hole-in-one as an advertisement strategy to entice participation or just to add some glimmer of hope for those players constantly in the woods. Say a charity is holding an event at a private golf club and they want to offer a brand-new car to anyone who makes a hole-in-one on the Par 3 16th hole. Instead of the charity having to buy the car up front, the event host will contact a hole-in-one insurance company to pay for the potential reward in exchange for the event host paying a premium to the insurance company.  In many ways this is similar to car insurance.  A driver is paying for protection from a future crash or injury that may occur.

The insurance company will use multiple factors to determine premium pricing. Some of these factors include the length of the hole, the number of players in the event, and the value of the prize offered. Based on these factors, the insurance company will come up with a policy premium for the club or host event to pay. If a player manages to make an ace, the insurance company, underwritten by other insurance companies, will pay for the prize won. If no player accomplishes the feat, the insurance companies will profit off the policy premium.


Rules to Collect

As anyone could have guessed, these hole-in-one insurance companies have strict guidelines in place to ensure there is no fraud or unanticipated situations. Typically, every hole-in-one made must be witnessed by another party. Many times, the head golf pro of the golf club will have to sign an affidavit stating the facts of the case. Depending on the prize at stake, there are various verification requirements that must be submitted. The bigger the prize, the more verification required. For example, to win a large prize, such as a $1,000,000 payout, the golfer must have some form of video evidence documenting his or her achievement.

In other cases, the insurance company may require that certain prizes on specific designated holes must be at a specified distance or yardage from the teeing area. At the 2015 Greenbrier Classic in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, a player in the tournament made a hole-in-one on the prize hole, but prior to the event’s start, the insurance company that wrote the premium policy demanded that the hole be played at no less than 150 yards to be eligible for insurance coverage. Unfortunately, the tournament hosts had the hole playing 137 yards rather than the necessary 150 yards.  Because of the host’s failure to meet the insurance companies’ requirements, the tournament host was forced to pay for the prize out of its pocket without the help of their insurance coverage. The situation was taken to court and the insurance company prevailed.


Pray the Course has Hole-in-One Insurance

It is well known that making a hole-in-one is something most golfers will never accomplish in their lives. The chances of doing so are so small that a whole insurance industry has emerged to cash in on golf’s biggest challenge. If you ever find yourself in the middle of a golf event offering an ace prize, don’t be so focused on the potential bar bill. Be more focused on hitting your shot, properly documenting your results, celebrating with your bewildered friends, and pray your course has hole-in-one insurance.



About Coffman Law Offices, P.C.

Coffman Law is committed to providing superb legal representation for people who are suffering from severe personal injuries or are dealing with the loss of a loved one due to negligence or misconduct. Coffman Law is a results-driven firm focused on ensuring that clients receive the compassion, attention, and consideration that they need to seek adequate redress for injuries or loss. The firm is led by Owner and Founding Partner Brian Coffman, who has dedicated his career to helping accident victims navigate the legal system and obtain redress for their injuries. If you have been injured or lost a loved one, contact Coffman Law today for a free consultation.