Insurance Expert Q&A: Hole-in-One U.S.A.’s Andrew Workman

The odds of an amateur golfer making a hole in one are about 12,500 to 1. But, should a hole-in-one happen at a charity golf event, the odds are much higher that the sponsor wouldn't be able to pay out such a large prize without insurance coverage. This is exactly why Andrew Workman and the Hole-in-One U.S.A. team work on thousands of policies annually, paying out many hole-in-one winners throughout the year.
Hole-in-One U.S.A.’s Andrew Workman
Hole-in-One U.S.A.’s Andrew Workman Source: Getty Images

Founded in 1991 and acquired by NFP in 2017, Hole-in-One U.S.A. takes pride in providing insurance coverage for golf tournaments and paying out many hole-in-one winners. It is the exclusive administrator of the Toyota and Lexus Financial Services hole-in-one program and is dedicated to educating potential clients about its services and making coverage available to a wide variety of clients.

ValuePenguin had a chance to speak with Andrew Workman, the marketing director at Hole-in-One U.S.A., who is also a certified PGA professional and a member of the board of directors for the Northern California Section of the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA). We wanted to understand more about tournament insurance and how Hole-in-One U.S.A. is continuing to be inventive in the industry.

Can you briefly explain the insurance implications of golf tournaments and contests and why coverage for tournaments is so important?

The addition of a hole-in-one contest can help increase tournament participation 10%–15%, year to year. With the increased popularity of hole-in-one contests at PGA Tour events, there has been a trickle-down effect, and almost every charity event includes a hole-in-one contest, including the PGA Tour experience of offering a high-dollar prize to their event participants.

With charity golf tournaments, the main goal of their event is to raise money for their cause, and they are unable to take on the risk of having to pay out that high-dollar prize if someone makes a hole in one. That's where we come in. For a nominal fee, Hole-in-One U.S.A. takes on the risk of paying out the prize value, and the tournament gets the benefit of offering the contest to their participants.

How has golf-industry insurance evolved with the advances of technology? What are Hole-in-One U.S.A.'s plans to continue to grow in the space?

The biggest change that we have seen through the years is how the internet has made our services more known and available to a much larger audience. When the company started in 1991, the majority of the contests were booked through auto dealerships. Fast-forward to today, and our clients could be a Rotary Club, a ladies’ golf association at a golf course, a high school booster club, etc.

Our services have always been available for anyone to use, but there has definitely been an increase in the variety of clients who find us on the internet. In order for us to continue to grow in this space, we plan to continue educating people through the Internet about our services and making the process as easy as possible for people to take advantage of our services.

What types of prizes does Hole-in-One U.S.A. provide?

If you name it, we can cover it. The most popular prizes that we work with are cars, trucks, motorcycles, golf carts, boats, jewelry, vacation packages and cash prizes. Some clients are very creative and offer prizes specific to their industry: A trucking association offered a big rig/semitruck; a restaurant association offered industrial refrigerators; an alcohol distributor offered a barrel of whiskey; an agricultural association offered a tractor; and there are many more great examples.

When it comes down to it, we are covering the cash value of the associated prize, so we are able to cover anything that a client wants us to, as long as we can determine the value.

One exciting option that has become increasingly popular with charity golf events is a cash split. We will choose a cash value, and 50% of that value goes to the golfer making the hole in one and 50% is donated back to the charity, truly making it a win-win situation. We had a hole in one recently for a Folds of Honor foundation tournament, where the winner received $8,513, and $8,513 was donated to the foundation. They chose this specific and special value, because that was the amount raised at the very first event that started the Folds of Honor in 2007.

What other types of events or tournaments could benefit from Hole-in-One U.S.A.'s coverage?

In addition to hole-in-one contests, we also provide coverage for putting contests, chipping contests and shoot-outs at golf tournaments.

Outside of golf, we provide coverage for contests for other sports, including basketball, football, hockey and bowling. The most popular contests are at basketball games because of the ease to do a half-court shot or timed competition at halftime, and it's a great audience for a sponsor to gain exposure.

We have also provided coverage for a variety of promotions, including dice rolls, guess the number of items, match the VIN and win, and weather promotions. If you have an event where there is a probability of there being a winner, then we would more than likely be able to provide coverage for the event.

What is one thing that may surprise people about tournament insurance?

Hands down, the biggest surprise that people have is how affordable the coverage is and how much is included in the package. When a client purchases [coverage for] a hole-in-one contest, they receive the coverage on the main prize hole, bonus hole-in-one prizes on three of the remaining par-three holes, and prize signs for each of the par-three holes. The additional contests and signage are a great perk for a sponsor, because they are able to get four times the exposure of a basic hole sponsorship for around the same investment.