Years ago, a friend of mine and I ran a yearly charity golf tournament to honor our fathers who passed away at a rather young age. Though we never had a full field of participants, it was always a lot of fun to put on and plan.
Every year, I would try an make the event a little bit better. One year, I thought it would be fun to offer a large hole-in-one prize to anyone who managed to score the perfect shot. Since I figured it would be out of reach to offer a brand new car or a million dollars, I did a little digging to figure out how I could have at least a $10,000 prize (without putting up my own money).
How I insured my hole-in-one contest
After doing a bit of research, I happened upon a company called US Hole In One out of Pennsylvania, a subsidiary of Foresite Sports (a provider of promotional products and contest prize coverage for other sporting and media events).
I reached out to a rep there and in no time, they were able to provide me with a quote for a $10k hole prize on a 170 yard hole for the day of our tournament. The cost to insure the hole (in 2008) cost us $135. I didn’t think the whole process would be as smooth as it was.
The only thing required of us, is that if a hole-in-one transpired, we would need two participant witnesses and then one non-participant witness. So we had a family member station themselves at the hole for the day.
While we didn’t have a hole-out that day, it added a nice feature to the event and some cheaper thrills for the golfers.
A little more about us hole in one and their offerings
I reached out to US Hole In One this year to find out present-day costs associated with insuring a hole-in-one prize and had a few other questions about their offerings (They actually insure the PGA Tour’s Genesis Invitational vehicle prizes every year!). A big thank you to Brad for fielding my pesky questions!
Q: How many events do you insure every year?
In 2022, we covered over 7,500 tournaments.
Q: What is the average amount insured for a contest?
The most purchased coverage is a $10,000 cash prize, however we also work with many dealerships who insure the price of an outright vehicle or lease. We are covering this week’s Genesis Invitational again for the 7th straight year (Holes #14 and #16).
Q: How often do you have to pay-out awards?
We had 125 paid claims in 2022. Please note, in addition to “Grand Prize Hole In One” coverage, clients also receive free $500 Bonus Prize Hole In One coverage on the remaining par 3 holes on the golf course. So, with most folks going with one grand prize and three Bonus Prize contests, out of the 125 claims, 75% were bonus prizes and 25% were grand prizes.
Q: How easy is it to obtain insurance?
Getting a quote is as easy as visiting our website and providing your contest details (date, number of players, distance of hole, and value of the prize). Once a quote is created, clients receive access to their online application. The application is entirely editable with a built-in calculator, so folks can always adjust the number of players, distance of hole, and value of the prize and a new rate will automatically re-calculate in real time for them. To secure coverage, clients would complete all seven sections of their online application. Once processed successfully, they immediately receive their “Certificate of Participation” and sales receipt. We ask clients to complete their application at least 10 days prior to their event to avoid any rush shipping fees for their signage. After coverage is purchased, clients can still manage their policy details online up until the morning of their tournament. The full process of getting a quote and completing the online application can take less than 5 minutes.
Q: What is the lowest / highest amount you’ll insure for?
The minimum prize value we cover for Grand Prize Hole In One contest is at least $2,000. The maximum prize value we cover is $1 million, although the highest prize value we’ve insured for a Hole In One contest over the last 5 years has been $250,000. Less than .5% of our clients purchase coverage for prizes valued $100,000 or more.
(Great info Brad!)
One of the neat things about their coverage is the “bonus coverage” they offer for free. So, if you insure one hole for a given amount, the remaining par-3 holes on the course you play are insured for a $500 cash prize. Thought that was a nice bonus. And, as Brad mentions, many of their pay-outs for hole-in-one prizes are awarded through these bonuses.
As an example, I had Brad quote me a $10,000 prize that we insured in 2008. For a 150 yard hole, with 35 golfers, the total cost would be $180. I don’t think that’s too bad.
Would you insure a prize for your event?
So, have you ever insured a hole-in-one prize for your golf tournament? I’d be interested to hear more about it, and if you have any experience with US Hole In One.
Thought this was a fun video from years back of former PGA Tour golfer, Jason Bohn, who scored a hole-in-one at a charity event. The prize money jump-started his professional journey.