Business of Hole-in-One Insurance

… just as visiting Canadians buy insurance against a catastrophic US medical bill, Japanese golfers fear the financial costs of the “hole-in-one”.

The strange business of hole-in-one insurance…

Though the concept largely faded away in the US, it became a big business in Japan, where golfers who landed a hole-in-one were expected to throw parties “comparable to a small wedding,” including live music, food, drinks, and commemorative tree plantings.

By the 1990s, the hole-in-one insurance industry had a total market value of $220m. An estimated 30% of all Japanese golfers shelled out $50-$70/year to insure themselves against up to $3.5k in expenses.



Such a thing exists here, but in a different way.

We ran golf outings for advertisers, and offered a “hole in one” prize. We took out insurance for it, as it was sizable, and we had to carve out an exclusion for anyone who had ever played golf professionally (we also had a “name” pro standing on one of the Par 3 tees for autographs and pictures).

I forget what the premium was, but it was not significant: a couple thousand, maybe? Anyway, different kind, but sort of fun.