Ace Insurance To Cover Bar Tab
By Kickntrue on 4/21/10
Country Clubbers (all 3 of you), I need your help. I read a story in today's NY Times about clubs charging members "insurance dues" to cover the cost of buying a round for the clubhouse in case of an ace.
When a family friend recently made her first hole in one, she mentioned how she had hole-in-one insurance. For what exactly? Tradition calls for the ace golfer to treat everyone at the club to a round of drinks after the shot. Her insurance, however, didn’t cover her because the shot didn’t happen at her own golf club.


It turns out that in the United States, the kind of hole-in-one insurance my family friend spoke of is not technically insurance at all. Instead, it’s just called insurance by the golf and country clubs that offer it. In reality, it’s just a fund that club members contribute to in order to be covered on the off chance they get a hole in one and need to treat fellow golfers to drinks.
I (obviously) don't belong to a country club. In fact- in my whole life I've only played 2 rounds at a country club as a guest. I don't understand all of the silly rules (like not changing your shoes in the parking lot), but this may be the silliest of all. I suppose it's really just a way to nickel and dime members for an extra few bucks, but come on! If I hit a hole in one I will gladly buy a round of drinks. It's an expense worth covering! Since the probability of an ace is so slim (1 in 17000) it would never make mathematical sense to buy in on insurance. The thing is- it doesn't seem like it's a choice.

Can someone please enlighten a poor muni-playing schlub?

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[ comments ]
Trav says:
Absolutely, it's been around a long time, and it's not so silly. There are usually 5-6 aces each year (really - not that you can't be lucky too, but there are many good players and lots of rounds played year-round). Bar tab can run $1K or more because it applies to anyone at the bar throughout the whole day (one drink limit), and since many families/people hang out at the club on a typical summer day (tennis, swimming, dining, etc.), if they hear about it they may stop by to join in the celebration. I don't know about most clubs, but at mine has 800 members, obviously not all are golfers, but it doesn't take too many to generate a considerable bill, and the insurance (which is optional) costs about $15. A reasonable hedge against getting lucky.
bducharm says:
Our club offers a hole in one club. When a member makes an ace, everyone gets their account charged $5. Adds up pretty nicely and can help off-set that bar tab.

I have a standing order in for my ace - tap a keg!!! That's all they get!!!
jbird2011 says:
I dont think my club charges for it, but I do see wierd ass charges all the time. As far as I However, I always feared making one and having to buy drinks because my club is expensive and I can barely afford my dues.
nickp says:
Yes, it is real and I hear it's popular in Japan where hole-in-one party throwing, gifting, and dinner/drink buying can leave a huge tab for the lucky golfer (upward of $10-15k).
dan3143 says:
My Club has a "Hole in One Club" that you can join for at a cost of $5. When someone in the "Hole in One Club" makes a hole in one he gets the money, buys drinks accordingly and then everyone puts another $5 in the "Hole in One" pot hoping one day you will be the lucky hole in one winner.. I guess it's a kind of insurance.
Mags says:
I still don't understand the whole...."I made a hole in let me buy you a drink" ....seems really dumb to me. Should be the other way around IMO.
chief_broom says:
It makes sense to pay into some type of fund if you are going to be expected to buy a lot of people drinks. While I've never made a hole in one I've been hitting plenty of shots close so odds are I'll make one eventually The league I'm in puts a dollar of everyone's five dollar buy in into their hole in one fund. They pay $100 whenever you make an ace when playing with them, and naturally you're expected to buy everyone who is playing that day a beer.
Nethmonkey says:
man, I thought you just had to buy the witnesses of the hole in one drinks. I don't think I want to get one anymore!
Banker85 says:
i am not buying anyone anything, i should get a free drink from everyone in the clubhouse now that is a rule i could live with.
Bernie Duffer says:
Hole in one insurance has been around a long time. Based on what I'm told, it is much more common in Europe. A friend of mine is English. He had hole in one insurance, as did most members of his club. When he made an ace, the insurance covered the cost of the drinks...and that was 800 Pounds! For most of my adult life the English Pound was worth more than $2. I had a hole in one at my club last June. I purchased drinks and lunch for my foursome and drinks for my wife and her foursome. I don't think I spent more than $75. My foursome treated me to champagne at the turn. Honestly, there was no one else around for me to purchase a drink.
ivanfoster says:
The last Golf Club I was at had a plan set in place that was beneficial to everyone involved. It was called a Hole-In-One Club. If members decided to join it was a fee of $20. When an ace was made the fund went to cover the cost of the bar bill and the remaining balance was given to the lucky golfer that made the shot. Since this depleted the fund everyone was re-billed $20 and the jackpot was replenished. The club made no money off of it (other than the drinks), the HIO club embers received an expensive ($20) drink and the lucky golfer usually walked away with about $1200-$1700. Not necessarily following amateur status, but benficial to all.
flannery says:
We have a hole in one club as well.

Same basic concept as ivanfoster detailed except dues are only $3 and the purse/pot generally hangs in the $100 - $150 range.
Frank Dux says:
I work for an insurance company and up until last year we had a hole-in-one provision in the homeowner's contract that would reimburse the client $250 for drinks after an ace. This is actually one of the oldest types of "insurance" in the world. Funny the company I work for is ACE Group...
lazorbeam says:
I played in a 'tourney' at my club this weekend. One of the guys in the group behind us got a hole in one, good for him. I found out later in the club house that as part of our dues there is hole in one insure built in. So a tab was started for everyone to get one drink and it was paid by the club, but funded by our dues.
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