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Hole In One Insurance News - Foresite Sports

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Pakistan's Suspicious Hole In One Claims

The 16th hole at the Islamabad Golf Club is challenging. A par 4 hole, it measures 277 yards from tee to green. The green is surrounded by water on three sides, and the fourth is guarded by deep, sandy bunkers. Even seeing the green from the tee box is a feat as the line of sight is guarded by a grouping of large trees to discourage anyone from even thinking about driving the green. Yet despite the menacing layout of this difficult hole, 30 names are proudly displayed in the clubhouse for successfully making a hole in one at the 16th.

Curious about this seeming impossibility, a reporter from Pakistan's The News, decided to visit the club and ask about the validity of these claims. According to Ansar Abbasi's published report, his inquiries were routinely met with chuckles from golfers and caddys alike. It seems as though the club, run by local bureaucrats, has played host to a number of visiting politicians, diplomats and other dignitaries, and for a large fee, the club can verify audacious claims of a hole in one at the famed 16th hole. A review of the list of 30 seems to apparently verify this notion as the rundown is a who's who of Pakistan's elite citizenry.

Taimoor Hasan, secretary of the Pakistan Golf Association, was even interviewed and in response the to the claim of a hole in one by a particular golfer remarked, "He is very proud of it but we are not." How's that for support!

To read the full article about these suspicious hole in one claims, click here.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Hole In One Insurance and Yardages

A common concern amongst our clients when it comes to finalizing the details of a hole in one insurance package is the yardage of the hole hosting the grand prize. Every golfer who has ever played the game knows that the distance printed on a course's scorecard rarely matches the actual distance you play on a certain day. So what is a tournament organizer supposed to do when they are hosting a hole in one contest? Well the answer is actually a lot simpler than you might expect: ask!

The truth is that the majority of golf courses will permit you to make certain changes to the course's set up on the day of your event. For example, if you were to ask the golf pro to set your tee markers as far back as possible on a certain hole, 9 times out of 10, they will accommodate your request. So, when you are trying to finalize the details of the par 3 hole that will be hosting your hole in one contest, we usually recommend you do the following: first, use the distance printed on the scorecard. Doing so removes most chances of making a significant mistake. After all, if you pick the furthest distance back and then leave it to the greenskeeper to set that yardage, any other yardage on that particular tee box will be incorrect and if incorrectly set, could potentially negate the opportunity for a winner, per your hole in one insurance coverage.

Now, having selected the distance printed on the scorecard, inform your contact person at the golf course that you are hosting a hole in one contest, have secured coverage for that contest and MUST have the distance on that hole set accordingly. Most golf pros will have come across hole in one insurance at some point during their careers, so they will certainly understand the potential reprecussions of an incorrect distance. Also important to note is that a longer distance than that signed-up for is perfectly acceptable. For example, if your hole in one coverage calls for the hole to be 150 yards, and the golfers actually play from 162 yards, there is no problem; your winners will still receive their prizes. It is only in instances where the distance is shorter that you can encounter problems with claiming a hole in one contest prize.

If you are wondering how the golf pro can possibly guarantee that the hole will be set to an exact distance on tournament day, the trick is that they will use a laser-enabled gadget that calculates the yardage exactly. Without getting too scientific, the tool is aimed at the flagstick, a laser beam is emitted, bounces off the flag stick and returns to the tool. Using some complex calculations that none of us have seen since physics class in high school, the exact distance between the tool and the flag is calculated and returned.

So, that's all that you need to know about yardages and hole in one insurance. If you have any further questions regarding the topic, don't hesitate to contact one of Foresite Sports' knowledgable tournament consultants with your questions.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Selecting a Hole In One Prize

So you're running a golf outing, and you're trying to come up with ideas for a hole in one prize. Where do you start? A common question when dealing with hole in one insurance is what to insure. At Foresite Sports, we try to assist our clients with this important selection process all the time. After all, a hole in one contest is supposed to generate "buzz" for your event. If the prize doesn't wow your potential golfers, holding the contest and spending money on hole in one insurance may not make much sense.

When it comes down to it, there are basically three types of prizes that people select to have covered by their hole in one coverage: cash, cars, and everything else. Cold, hard cash and automobiles are by far the most popular options when it comes to hole in one prizes. The reality is that you rarely can go wrong with either. When's the last time you heard someone complaining about winning $25,000? That's what we thought too. Likewise, Americans are obsessed with cars. Fast cars, big cars, sporty cars, you name it, we love it. For these very reasons, you'll find cash and cars accounting for approximately 75% of all prizes covered by hole in one coverage.

But wait! What about everything else? Truth be told, when purchasing hole in one insurance, you are not bound by any specific prize. The reality is that the coverage you are securing is for a dollar value, not specifically for the black 2006 BMW 325i with a sunroof and heated seats that you spotted on a local dealer's lot the other day. Since that is the case, you are free to pick any prize you can imagine as long as it has a value associated with it. For example, in the past we've covered some pretty unique prizes: a year's supply of gasoline, an ambulance, an x-ray machine, plastic surgery, a private jet, and even a new house.

So when might cash or a car not be such a great option for your hole in one prize? Well, while nobody complains about cash, it isn't all that intriguing either. $15,000 is $15,000, but it is certainly not 6 days and 5 nights in Augusta, Georgia during the first week of April with tickets to The Masters, and the opportunity to see history as Tiger Woods chases down the Golden Bear's record of 18 major championships. Likewise, some people find the opportunity to attend the Super Bowl to be a more compelling prize than ten grand in their bank account. If you're looking to pique the interest of golfers, sometimes a unique, once in a lifetime prize can be a little more effective.

But what about the car option, you ask? Well, whenever you purchase hole in one insurance for a car, you need to make sure that the car fits your golfers. For example, if you are hosting a high-end, $350/golfer-type event, you don't want people getting up to the tee box and seeing that they have the opportunity to win an '86 Fiat. Understand where we're going with this? You need the car to match the tastes of your golfers.

So put your thinking caps on and imagine what type of hole in one prize would interest you. 9 times out of 10, any prize you select will be well-received by your participants. But that doesn't change the fact that hole in one insurance is an important expense for your tournament, and the associated deserves to be well-thought out. Should you need a little assistance choosing a prize, don't hesitate to give us a call. Any one of our tournament consultants would be happy to brainstorm with you to devise the perfect hole in one contest for your event.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Riviera's Unique 6th Hole

Well, it's that time of year again. The PGA Tour has played its two tournaments in Hawaii. It's wandered to the coast of California for the Buick in San Diego and the Pebble Beach Pro-Am (sans Bill Murray this year though), and this week they're in L.A. for the newly-named Northern Trust Open. Where are they playing this event, you may ask. At none other than Riveira Country Club, home to one of the most interesting par three holes in the world.

At first glance, the 6th hole at Riviera doesn't seem all that interesting. It's a par 3. It measures 199 yards for the pros this week. And it has a two-tiered green. Oh, and did we mention the bunker in the middle of that green?!? That's right, there is actually a sand trap smack dab in the middle of the green!

This interesting little nuance has created some nail-biting times in the past, particularly when a golfer's ball comes to rest on the other side of the bunker from the flag. In a moment that makes every greenskeeper in the world cringe, many of the pros this week will actually take a wedge to the pristine grass on the 6th green, hoping to chip, flop, lob or pitch the ball over the offending sand. It is definitely an exciting golf shot.

If your event was at Riviera and you held a hole in one contest on the 6th would the bunker affect your ability to purchase hole in one insurance? Nope, not in the least. Just as long as nobody claims to have hit it a hole in one by landing it in the sandy crater located in the center of the green.

ADDITION: Well, congratulations go out to Jeff Quinney, runner-up in the Northern Trust Open, who successfully tamed the par 3 sixth hole on Saturday by making a spectacular hole in one! Truth be told, Quinney apparently pulled his tee shot terribly, and though it appeared headed straight for the island bunker, the ball landed just to its right, and rolled back toward the cup for an ace. Who ever said making a hole in one didn't involve a little bit of luck!

USGA Amends Rules On Hole In One Prizes...Again

A little while ago, we outlined some important changes to the Rules of Golf that the USGA instituted in 2006. Before that time, amateur golfers who accepted hole in one contest prizes valued above $750 lost their amateur status. Recognizing how silly this rule was, the governing body of golf amended the rules to allow hole in one prize winners to keep their prizes and their amateur status as long as the hole in one took place during the normal course of play (i.e. no driving range contests or post-round shootouts).

Well, for 2008, the USGA has made a slight amendment again to this important hole in one contest ruling. It seems as though in changing the rule in 2006, the USGA failed to indicate that accepting cash prizes was acceptable. Cars, boats, houses, planes: these were all alright because they were physical prizes, but cash itself was a bit of a question mark. Well, to satisfy the calls of every 'legal eagle-eye' out there, they changed the rule again to include the popular cash prize as an acceptable form of reward as well. Hooray!!!

Truth be told, we here at Foresite Sports didn't even notice this negligable omission the first time. We know, we know, some hole in one insurance provider we are, right? Well, thankfully the USGA has corrected all ills with regard to this important rule. So, rest assured, that cash prize you accepted sometime between 2006-2007 didn't terminate your amateur status!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Hole In One Contest at Driving Range?

At Foresite Sports, we're frequently asked whether hole in one insurance can be purchased for contests taking place at driving ranges. While the concept of giving every golfer who strolls by a chance to win a hole in one prize sounds like a great idea, unfortunately our underwriter prohibits us from providing that kind of coverage.

The problem lies in the accounting of all those golfers. Unlike standard hole in one contests that take place during outings or tournaments, there is no way to know ahead of time how many golfers will be participating in the contest. Without this knowledge, it is impossible to properly quantify the risk involved in covering the contest and thus an accurate coverage cannot be provided.

Furthermore, a great number of driving ranges do not set up their ranges in a way that really replicates a true golf course green. Some have larger than normal cups, some do not mow the area around the flags as closely as a real green, and other don't even have holes at all. Since the concept of hole in one coverage is predicated on someone making a hole in one under conditions found during the normal course of play (i.e. while playing 18 holes), running a hole in one contest under conditions not found at an average golf course is simply not something that we can accommodate.

Should you have any further questions regarding this answer, please don't hesitate to give us a call and speak to one of our tournament consultants.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Hole In One Insurance & Free Golf Clubs

Following a tremendously successful year last season, Foresite Sports is again proud to announce the continuation of its partnership with Upswing Golf. As in years past, any customer who purchases hole in one insurance (or putting contest coverage) from Foresite Sports will receive certificates for each golfer in their event, redeemable for a free golf club from Upswing.

Golfers who choose to redeem the certificates need merely call Upswing's toll-free 800 number. Their customer service reps will conduct a customization session right over the phone, taking into account gender, dexterity and the height of the golfer. A brief time later, the golfer will receive their brand new golf club in the mail. The club itself is completely free, the only responsibility of the golfer is a nominal fee to account for shipping, handling & customization.

New for 2008 is the inclusion of Upswing's hybrid club in the program. After receiving the "Seal of Excellence" from GolfTestUSA.com, the hybrid is one of Upswing's most popoular clubs. Perfect for those difficult golf shots out of the rough, fairway bunkers, or even from chipping around the greens, the hybrid is a must-have for any golfer looking to improve their game.

So, if you are thinking of purchasing hole in one insurance for an upcoming golf tournament that you are sponsoring or hosting, don't forget that you will also be receiving these fantastic tee favors for all of your golfers! All of us here at Foresite Sports look forward to working with you on your event, and hope you will find our hole in one prize coverage to be the very best around.

Hole In One Contests & the USGA

In 2006, the USGA, golf's governing body, made significant changes to the treatment of hole in one contest prizes and one's amateur status. As a leader in hole in one insurance, Foresite Sports followed the proceedings closely. However, two years after the initial declaration, questions regarding how hole in one prizes affect one's amateur status are still asked, so we thought we'd revisit the issue today.

Pre-2006, any golfer who accepted a prize valued above $750 was immediately considered a professional, and could no longer play in competitive, amaetur-only tournaments. Hole in one contests, putting contests, closest to the pin contests, you name it. If you accepted the prize, you bid farewell to your amateur status. Seeing the problems with this strict interpretation of the "play for pay" rules in the game, the USGA altered the rules regarding hole in one prizes several years ago.

Since 2006, the rules have been such: if you are playing a round of golf, and make a hole in one that awards a prize of any value, you do not risk losing your amateur status by accepting it. However, in this statement lie several critical areas for confusion. First and foremost, the hole in one contest must take place during the course of play. This means that hole in one contests at driving ranges, in simulators, or even the popular 'shootouts' for which Foresite Sports and its competitors sell hole in one insurance are not covered by the new ruling. Accept a prize from a contest under these circumstances, and you're a pro in the eyes of the USGA. Addtionally, if the contest allows multiple shots or mulligans, the new rule does not apply; again, only if the contest takes place during the normal course of play for which the rest of the USGA rules apply. Finally, for those select few who receive closest to the pin prizes valued above $750, you're a professional golfer now.

So that's the "new" rule regarding hole in one contest prizes and a golfer's amateur status. Also important to note is that the R&A still has not modified its rules on the topic, so if you're playing in any events overseas that are sanctioned by this governing body, remember the magic number is $750. Of course if you happen to become a "professional" by accepting a hole in one prize outside of this ruling, and don't make a habit of it, you can always apply for reinstatement of your amateur status a year or two after taking home a prize.

For all of our tournament directors who are reading this, never fear; you should certainly still purchase hole in one insurance for your upcoming event. Few if any golfers at your tournament are likely affected by these rules, and those golfers who are serious about their amateur status usually know the rules and voluntarily abstain from participating in hole in one contests for fear of jeopardizing their coveted status as an amateur golfer.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Odd Hole In One Odds

What are the odds of making a hole in one on the 15th hole at the Cavendish Club in Buxton, Scotland, and then making another ace at the exact same hole the very next time you play there?

That's the question Howell Hawkins may be asking himself as he accomplished this unique feat recently. According to a report published in the Buxton Advertiser, Hawkins, a 27 handicap, played at Cavendish on December 19th and made his first ace. After buying a few rounds of drinks to commemorate the feat, he went home and wouldn't return to Cavendish until January 23rd. In ugly weather out on the course, Hawkins repeated his feat by making another ace on the same hole.

Interestingly enough, Cavendish was designed by famed course designer Robert Mackenzie, the same man who sculped Augusta National, home to The Masters. In fact, the infamous par three 12th hole at Augusta is purported to be based on his previous design of the 15th at Cavendish.

Of course, here at Foresite Sports, as leaders in hole in one insurance, we're interested in what the odds of this fantastic feat would be. Well, without further ado, the odds of Mr. Hawkins' accomplishment are 1 in 156,250,000. You would actually have a better chance of winning the Powerball lottery than repeating the feat.

Muniyappa Makes Ace In India

This week, the European and Asian tours join up for the inaugural Indian Masters. Following Tiger Woods dramatic come from behind victory last week in Dubai, golfing superstars like Thomas Bjorn and Ernie Els are teeing it up this week at the Dehli Golf Club in New Dehli.

During the opening round, in which Bjorn and India's Shiv Kapur both lead after posting four-under par 68s, India's C.Muniyappa scored the tournament's first hole in one. Muniyappa made his ace on the par three 12th hole. Unfortunately, like Miguel Angel Jimenez's hole in one last week, there was no hole in one contest prize at the 12th hole this week, leaving the 31-year-old Muniyappa with just a pat on the back for his achievement.

Foresite Sports congratulates Mr. Muniyappa on his ace this week and wishes him the best of luck for the rest of the Indian Masters!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Charities Win with Audi Hole In One Contest

A lot was going on this past week in Phoenix. There was a little football game called the "Super Bowl" being played. A PGA Tour golf tournament called the FBR Open was being contested down the street, and Audi, the luxury car manufacturer, was right in the middle of things with their Audi Forum Phoenix.

With so many celebrities in town for the big sporting events, Audi decided to host its own fun-filled event. The premise, hit a hole in one and win a brand-new Audi R8 sports car. The contestants, a group of celebrities in town for the big game on Sunday. Molly Sims, Jerry O'Connell, Adrian Grenier, Ronnie Lott, Donovan McNabb, Jim Brown, Dontrelle Willis, Gabrielle Union, Darnell Dockett, Elbert "Ickey" Woods, Braylon Edwards, Jason Biggs, Craig Sager, Darren Sharper, Kevin Sorbo, Ovie Mughelli, Reggie Miller, Tommie Harris and Marcellus Wiley all took their best shot at the hole in one prize.

Each golfer was given a Callaway wedge and one chance at making an ace for the R8. Ultimately, Ronnie Lott and Jason Biggs came closest, deciding to split the second place prize by directing Audi's $15,000 in funds to Lott's charitable foundation and Donavan McNabb's charity. Alas, no one walked away with a shiny new sports car, but at least some important non-profits benefitted from the fantastic golf event.