Do You Need Insurance For Your Next Hole-In-One?

Inside a longstanding golf tradition

A hole-in-one has some ups and downs.
Robert Ruggiero/Unsplash

Let’s say that on your next round of golf, you accomplish the rare feat of a hole-in-one. That’s the good news. The bad news? You may well be on the hook for a round of drinks when you get to the clubhouse after finishing your game. A lot has been written about the etiquette of buying a round of drinks after pulling off one of the most challenging feats in golf.

A article from 2019 points out that the practice may have begun as a way of discouraging golfers from lying about their accomplishments — the theory being that a golfer would be far less likely to fib about their accomplishments if that fib came with a bill.

Even so, the idea of paying a substantial amount after a hole-in-one seems counterproductive — after all, that sounds a bit like penalizing someone for their success. Right about here, then, is where insurance enters the picture.

Yes, insurance. It turns out that there’s a form of insurance that covers rounds of drinks after holes-in-one — albeit of a less formal version than the variety that covers your car or home. In a new article for VinePair, Nicolette Baker explored the history of this phenomenon — which is more complicated than you might think.

As Baker points out, there are two different forms of insurance that could cover the expenses associated with holes-in-one. One of these is prize indemnity insurance, which Baker describes as “a broad category of protections that includes half-court shots, home runs, and yes, hole-in-one promotions.” The other is more informal, and might be baked into golf club membership dues — essentially, a small fee that every member pays so that anyone present at the time of a hole-in-one can get a drink without the golfer who made it being out hundreds of dollars.

It’s a fascinating subject to delve into, blending the informal and the regimented. But it’s also good to know that a golfer’s most triumphant moment won’t necessarily leave them hurting for cash afterwards.

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