The Strange Reason Why You’ll Never Want To Hit A Hole-In-One In Japan

It’s estimated that the probability of hitting a hole-in-one in golf is about the same as finding a pearl in an oyster: 12,000 to 1. But even though it’s highly unlikely to hit one, that 0.00008333% is enough for Japanese golfers to protect themselves on the course.

You see, in most places, hitting a hole-in-one is something to be proud of, a reason to celebrate. Not in Japan though. Because if you happen to sink a hole in one in Japan (and in some parts of UK), you are morally obliged to hold a party and buy drinks and gifts for all your friends.

There is no clear indication as to the origin of this weird tradition and why it became so entrenched but, depending on your financial situation, this may end up being a huge burden. To protect themselves on the court, avid Japanese golfers are buying insurance that covers the cost for such a party for as much as one million yen (US$9,150). Here’s an example of such an insurance cover from MS&AD Insurance Group: (the article continues after the ad)

Photo: MS&AD Insurance Group

In a nutshell, what the insurance says is that if you happen to hit a hole-in-one (or hole-in-two on a par-five hole) you are eligible for coverage. The insurance coverage includes not only the cost for the party, but also all the gifts for your guests, a donation to the golf course and a commemorative tree planting near the area in which the “success” happened. 

If you like what you read, then you will definitely love this one: This Is Why Golf Balls Have Dimples 

Photo: Visit Wales
Sources: Here’s why you’ll never want to hit a hole-in-one in Japan | Why golfers buy hole-in-one insurance

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