A New Kind of Gambling: Japanese Hole-in-One Golf Insurance

June 26, 2024
Clinton Jacob Machoka

Did you know that in Japan, golfers may get insurance, particularly for hitting a hole-in-one? This unique custom stems from a cultural belief that a golfer who accomplishes such a rare feat should purchase gifts for almost everyone they know.

This tradition can get expensive, particularly for well-connected individuals. Among Japanese golfers, hole-in-one insurance is a popular way to manage this potential financial burden.

The Tradition Behind Hole-in-One Celebrations

Traditionally, golfers who hit a hole-in-one are supposed to buy presents for everyone they know. It can include family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances.

For people with extensive social networks, in particular, the expense of these gifts can mount up quickly.

The idea of hole-in-one insurance originated because this cultural expectation may turn an unforgettable accomplishment into a financial burden.

How Hole-in-One Insurance Works

In Japan, hole-in-one insurance pays for celebratory gifts. Golfers may get the cover up to $50,000 for only $100 a year. It guarantees they can personally preserve the cultural custom without going over budget should they hit a hole in one.

However, this insurance has particular restrictions. Witness testimony of the hole-in-one is necessary to stop false claims. This step is essential since insurance fraud is quite possible in this situation.

Approximately 40% of Japanese golfers choose this insurance, making it a popular golfers insurance policy.

Hole-in-One Insurance for Foreigners

Getting hole-in-one insurance as a foreigner may be difficult, as one tourist found out while visiting Japan.

They first made it through the procedure without too much trouble, but the trip required negotiating bureaucratic obstacles and using local contacts.

To fulfil the criteria, 'living' briefly in a friend's home was part of this. When they eventually got the insurance, it was an amusing and illuminating experience about the extent to which people would go to preserve customs.


In Japan, hole-in-one insurance is evidence of the nation's unique attitude to celebration and golf. It illustrates how specialised insurance solutions combine long-standing customs and financial security.

For local and foreign golfers, this insurance provides an intriguing window into the considerate and communal mindset that characterises Japanese culture.

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