Spice Up the Game with a Hole-In-One Contest

By Tanya Mathis | August 8, 2005

The opportunity to win a large cash prize, vacations for life, or a brand new car for sinking a lucky hole-in-one not only adds a high level of buzz and excitement to any golf tournament, but it also creates heightened brand awareness for the sponsor and great publicity for the tournament or charity.

Companies that provide hole-in-one prize coverage take the risk of awarding a great prize to any player who makes an ace in the hole. Sponsors secure grand prize coverage for the promotion event for a fraction of the prize amount, usually 2 percent to 4 percent of the prize value.

Extraordinary grand prizes
As always, cash is king, but out of the ordinary prizes really grab golfers’ attention and increases their participation. Companies that take the risk of a hole-in-one occurring frequently cover cash grand prizes from $10,000 up to $1 million. Extraordinary prizes that might be covered include such prizes as a 5-carat diamond, a Rolex watch, boats and watercrafts, cash donations to charities, new Hummers, trips around the world, and much more.

How it works
Sponsors determine the prize amount, the eligible hole number, the yardage and the number of participating golfers. They take the information to a carrier providing coverage that will then calculate the risk fee. Once the sponsor has paid the fixed amount for the grand prize coverage, the hole is “insured.” If a golfer sinks a hole-in-one, the coverage provider gives the sponsor the money to pay their winner.

Rating the risk
It is very simple to rate the risk and sponsors can almost always obtain a quote for a hole-in-one contest within a matter of minutes. Sponsors simply need to supply the following information: prize amount, number of golfers participating and the yardage of the eligible hole

Beating the odds
The odds of a hole-in-one occurring are 10,000-to-one for an amateur golfer. Although it may seem difficult to achieve, many golfers beat the odds.

To spark sales and raise big money for the Shoreline Public Schools Foundation, Doug’s Lynwood Hummer offered a Hummer H2 to any golfer who made a hole-in-one on the course’s fifth hole–a par-three shot of 206 yards. Valued at $50,000, the Hummer H2 grand prize helped raise the excitement level within the community and attracted more than 120 participants.

William Hubell, tournament official and member of the foundation’s board was there when the unexpected happened. “The ball kicked left and then dropped in the hole–the place went crazy. Everybody nearby was running over to try and see what happened.”

Not only did the dealership raise serious interest in the super-sized vehicle, the tournament also raised $50,000 for the Shoreline educational district while paying only $850 for the coverage of the Hummer.

Ancillary prizes and sponsorship
An event should always award players for a hole-in-one, even if it is not on the designated grand prize hole. Ancillary prizes such as cruises, golf clubs, and cash are commonly awarded to any player acing any of the par 3 holes during the tournament.

A tournament or event organizer should make participation affordable by contacting local businesses such as auto dealers, retailers, and banks to sponsor various levels of the tournament. This provides the organizer additional sponsorship revenue and in turn provides the sponsors a great deal of exposure in their local market.

Available sponsorships can include a beverage sponsor, cart sponsor, dinner sponsor, or even a breakfast sponsor. Or sponsorships can be organized around a stated performance. For example, the golf with the longest drive, closest to the pin, or most accurate drive.

When searching for ways to help build client relationships at corporate outings, to help generate more revenue for a fund-raiser, or to simply boost attendance and participation, look no further. Host a memorable hole-in-one contest!

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Insurance Journal West August 8, 2005
August 8, 2005
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