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Unlucky Hole In One

Part of the Human Comedy series
Making a hole-in-one in golf is one of the rarest and most exciting plays in sports. In tournament play, a pro would win a big prize (most likely a brand-new car) for her effort. In casual play, the achiever earns a round of applause from his mates and possibly a free drink afterwards. This is true in most countries except for quirky Japan. If you made a hole-in-one there, you will have to pay your playing friends in gifts and drinks. Really? Yes, you will have to pay your Japanese friends and not the other way around. Tournament pros are exempt, because that's what they do for a living. 

What’s the reason behind this?


Japan is a land of uniformity. Making a hole-in-one is considered to be more luck than skill. Consequently, you will have to pay your playing friends for having suffered from your extreme luck. Since the cost could be substantial, many Japanese insurance companies offer coverage for hole-in-one. This is confirmed by our friend Takagi, who was a sales manager for a major insurance company in Japan. So next time you tee up in Japan, make sure there's enough cash in your wallet. You never know when bad luck strikes.

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