Japan’s Unique Hole-in-One Golf Insurance Policy

Hitting a hole-in-one is one of the greatest things that can happen to a golf player, but in Japan, such a lucky shot can lead to such an expensive celebration that insurers actually sell hole-in-one insurance policies to mitigate the ‘risk’.

The average golfer has 1 in 12,500 chances of hitting a hole-in-one, while professional golf players have a 1in 2,500 chance of making the shot. Those are not particularly great odds, but they’re high enough to prompt many Japanese golfers to take hole-in-one insurance policies. You see, in the Asian country, it’s customary for whoever makes this incredibly lucky shot to through a celebratory party that can cost up to $10,000. That’s more expensive than most people want to pay, so in order to cut costs, many golfers take out special insurance policies for a few tens of dollars a year, just in case they get lucky.

Photo: Courtney Cook/Unsplash

Japan’s unique hole-in-one insurance policies were inspired by the celebratory tradition that can be traced back to the 1980s. At the height of the country’s economic boom, Japanese golfers spent their money lavishly, including on hole-in-one parties for their golf-playing buddies. And even when the country went into recession, the partying tradition endured.

One Japanese superstition claims that luck is balanced out over a lifetime, so if you get incredibly lucky at one point in your life, you have to expect a great misfortune somewhere down the line. In order to avoid this future disaster, one has to celebrate and share their good fortune with their friends and family. Apparently, that also applies to golf


Hole-in-one insurance policies are a must for any Japanese golfer, according to Tokyo Survival Guide. At around $65 a year, they are affordable, can help players respect tradition without breaking the bank, and even if they don’t plan on upholding tradition, they can at least use it to pocket a nice payout.

Imagine having to take out an insurance policy to protect you against the lucky shot that millions of golf players dream of hitting every time they swing a club. Stay weird, Japan!