Planning a Golf Tournament with Prizes?

Let Hole-in-One Golf Insurance Save Your Day!

Remember that time back in 2009 when Leif Olson shot an incredible hole-in-one in the RBS Canadian Open at Glen Abbey?

It wasn't pure skill that put him in the cup -- as he'd probably be the first to admit. He got near enough to the pin to ricochet off another player's ball about a meter away.

Just like a brilliant deflected pool-ball shot, in he went. And though he didn’t win the game (he finished third), he drove off in a fantastic hole-in-one prize, a $52,000 BMW Z4 Roadster, more than double the total amount he'd won since turning pro 5 years earlier.

How lucky was that?

In fact, three others scored holes-in-one in that tournament -- but they were more conventional shots -- and they all got cars.

You might be surprised to learn that scoring an ace is not unusual, given the number of competitions held around Canada and the US every week. The odds of a pro hitting one are actually between 3,000 to 1 and 2,500 to 1, depending on who you ask. For an amateur the figure is about 12,000 to 1.

That means that if you're organizing or sponsoring a tournament with a big hole-in-one prize -- or prizes, plural -- even if it's not a "Beamer", you could actually end up significantly out of pocket if it's a lucky day for one or more players.

Which is why we have golf hole-in-one insurance.

What is Golfer's Hole-in-One Insurance?

There are actually two types of insurance on golf hole-in-one.

For event organizers, promoters and sponsors, golf hole-in-one prize insurance, sometimes called prize indemnity insurance, enables them to offer big-ticket prizes without worrying about the cost of having to pay out. For a relatively low premium, the insurer agrees to pay for the prize if someone aces.

Event organizers can know the premium and build it into their budget from which they set entry fees and so on.

Likewise, sponsors and promoters will have a clear idea of the cost and can build this into the marketing strategy package they agree with the organizers.

The terms of a policy usually indemnify the policyholder against the full cost or cash value of the prize.

Golfer's Hole-in-one Insurance

Less well-known (and rare in Canada but not in Japan or the UK) is the second type of golfer's hole-in-one insurance, which actually provides protection for the player.

If you're a seasoned player, you'll know there are certain things an acer might be expected to do to follow the hole-in-one player's code, even if it's just a regular game.

This may include buying drinks for everyone in the club house. This can be very costly for the player -- especially if there's no prize.

This type of insurance for individual players may actually be covered through another policy (such as insurance for golf equipment) or even through club membership dues.

If you're interested to learn more about the etiquette of what to do after scoring an ace, check out this report on Golf Advisor:

But as this ritual is not well-established in Canada, let's just stick with organizer insurance for hole-in-one at a golf tournament.

How Does Hole-in-one Insurance Work?

When you're organizing or sponsoring a tournament, simply speak to your insurance broker to arrange your policy. Coverage of up to $100,000 is available.

The premium for golf tournament hole-in-one prize insurance depends on a number of factors, such as:

The competitive level of the event, that is, the quality of the players and whether they are amateurs or pros.

  • The number of players.
  • Exclusions. For example, participation by professionals can have a significant impact on the premium and some insurers will not cover it. The same goes for players under the age of 21, practice shots and second balls.
  • The size of the prize being offered.
  • Whether multiple prizes can be awarded (as in the Glen Abbey event).
  • Whether it's a par 3 hole-in-one insurance, or for higher pars.
  • Whether it's for any hole or just a stipulated target hole.
  • The length of the golf shot itself. The insurer may stipulate a minimum number of meters.

With big prizes, some insurers may insist that club or tournament officials monitor any hole for which a prize might be awarded for a hole-in-one shot.

Even then, different specialist providers of hole-in-one contest insurance may charge different rates or offer different scopes of coverage -- for example, inclusion or not of event cancellation insurance -- so it's important to speak with your broker to make sure you secure a competitive deal that's right for your needs.

Other Types of Prize Insurance

Even though hole-in-one prize insurance is the most common type of prize indemnity, in practice this type of insurance can be arranged for almost any type of competition or contest, including, for instance, disc golf.

For charitable fund-raisers for example, insurance against someone winning a high value prize (so long as it's not certain than someone will win) is a good way of protecting income from an event.

Again, the cost of insurance will depend on the likelihood or not of someone winning.

Where Can I Find Out More About Hole-in-one Insurance

You need to speak with a broker who has good knowledge of golf hole-in-one insurance and the prize insurance companies that provide it.

In New Brunswick, you can speak to Pearson Insurance without cost or commitment to learn more. We can also provide help with calculating the size of the prize you can afford to offer.

You can contact one of our brokers at 1-800-260-2277, send us an email at or hit the get a quote button.

PS: By the way, if you want to see that crazy Leif Olson shot from 2009, check out this YouTube video: