(Photo: John Halsam)
It's not easy to hit a golf ball several hundred yards and have it land neatly in a cup 4.25 inches in diameter. But, sadly, some golfers do experience this problem.
Yes, that's right: hitting a hole-in-one can be a bad thing.
That's because in some golfing cultures, particularly Japan the the UK, golfers who sink a ball in one shot are expected to throw a party. They should, at minimum, treat everyone in their group to drinks back at the clubhouse. In more extreme cases, social standards compel successful golfers to host lavish celebrations costing thousands of dollars.
That's why some golfers purchase insurance to protect themselves from an unfortunate hole-in-one. Alex Mayyasi writes for Priceconomics:
After spending $650 buying the entire clubhouse champagne at England’s South Winchester Golf Club following a hole in one, Paul Neilson told Bloomberg, “I couldn't afford to go through all that again. I used to have a policy but never got around to renewing it.” Among the stories from Japan, the same article quotes Eiji Yoneda, who was one of 200 people invited on a dinner cruise by someone celebrating a hole in one.
A number of firms offer hole in one insurance, frequently bundled with other services that golfers commonly buy like insurance for golfing equipment or personal liability. (Apparently yelling “Fore!” can’t ward off lawsuits if you hit a ball right at someone.) Golfplan, a U.K. insurer, covers $340 to $510 worth of drinks for hole in one celebrations. (Clubs’ set of rules for validating a hole in one makes it easier to process claims.) When it is sold unbundled, hole in one insurance can be cheap; Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co. Ltd offers Japanese golfers hole in one insurance for as little as a $3 premium. Outside of individual policies, golf tournaments also get hole in one insurance so that they can offer huge cash prizes for a hole in one as a marketing promotion -- it's the same type of "prize indemnity" insurance that covers teams when a fan sinks a half court shot or makes a field goal.
-via Marginal Revolution