A hole-in-one could leave a hole in your wallet

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Did you know that 11% of home insurance policies include cover for scoring a hole-in-one?

There is no bigger shot in golf than a hole-in-one and as the sport's biggest stars prepare for the Ryder Cup this Friday, thousands of spectators will be hoping to see one.

Data provided by financial information business Defaqto shows that 56 out of 488 (11%) home insurance policies will insure against hitting a hole-in-one.

This may sound strange, but sinking a hole-in-one in the UK carries with it the long tradition of buying your playing group and everyone in the club house a drink.

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There are now 4 million golfers in the UK and 57% of hole-in-ones are hit by golfers in the mid-handicap bracket2, making them the most likely to be stung back at the club house bar. The products that cover hole-in-ones mostly sit in the higher end of the insurance market.

For the average golfer, the chances of getting a hole-in-one stand at 12,000-1, compared to a professional who stands a 3000-1 chance.

A hole-in-one however is achieved somewhere around the world once in every 3500 rounds of golf, so it is not as rare as you might think.

According to Defaqto data, the lowest level of pay out for hole-in-one cover comes in at £100 and goes all the way up to £1000, averaging at £529 for the policies offering the cover as standard.

Most policies will only pay out if the hole in one happens on a competition day though so make sure you get a signed scorecard from the club secretary.

Many also have a limit on how much cover you get for the year.

Were you to hit a hole-in-one at Gleneagles golf course, the average UK cover would buy you 42 cocktails for those waiting back at the bar.

You would have to hope it was a quiet day at the bar should you have the lowest level of cover, with £100 only stretching as far as 8 cocktails.

Some golfers could have benefited tremendously from hole-in-one cover.

Between 1964 and 1979 California-based amateur golfer Norman Manley hit a record 59 hole-in-ones, paying out an incredible £32,804 on the average UK policy.

Northern Irish golfer Gerry Gukian faced a bar tab of €500 upon his return to the clubhouse when he managed to sink two holes-in-one back in 2012, a 67,000,000-1 long shot.

Remko Bijtjes, director at Defaqto comments "We usually have insurance in place as a precaution against moments of misfortune, but hole-in-one cover actually protects against one of the luckiest moments in life.

"It is unclear where the tradition of buying a round first came from, but golf club bars can be some of the most expensive around. In Japan it is even traditional for the player to buy their friends on the course expensive gifts which could seriously dent the wallet."

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