After Scotland’s wettest winter on record, spring is finally in the air and that means most of you will be getting ready to head back out onto the course ahead of another busy year.
Without doubt, you will have a list of things you want to get right before the season gets properly underway, including making sure your equipment is in tip-top condition, not to mention your game.
But one thing many golfers forget to do time and time again is protect themselves with specialist golf insurance. Think it’s a waste of money and something you’ll never need? Don’t be too sure.
In 2011, Scotland saw a landmark court case for golfing accidents when a player was awarded almost £400,000 in damages after losing his sight in one eye when he was stuck by a wayward golf ball on a course in West Lothian.
The presiding judge found the player who struck the ball was liable for the damages - despite him having shouted ‘Fore!’ What’s more, the golf club was also liable for having insufficient warning signs.
In another case that happened in Fife, a golfer was sued by a ball ‘spotter’ who was hit in the eye and blinded.
In fact, every year, 12,000 golf-related injuries require hospital treatment. So, keeping safe on the course and protecting yourself against liability should be at the top of every golfer’s list of priorities.
"You don’t want that one shot to cost you a fortune.” - Bernard Gallacher
Former Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher is an ambassador for leading golf insurance provider Golf Care and firmly believes that stepping out on the course without specialist cover is a major mistake.
“No matter what level of golfer you are, everybody has a bad day and hits a poor shot so accidents can happen to anyone,” said Gallacher.
“It’s common sense but always look around you to check where your fellow golfers are, particularly checking on the whereabouts of novice golfers or anyone that may be slightly hidden from view, such as by a golf buggy or trees.
“Remaining calm and focused can help avoid mishits. I know from experience that, when we get frustrated with ourselves, mistakes can happen. But I assure you that you’ll play better if you can keep relaxed. Of course, if not all goes to plan make sure you still shout ‘Fore!’ and, for complete peace of mind, get yourself covered by a specialist golf insurance policy. You don’t want that one shot to cost
you a fortune.”
Incredibly, nine out of ten golfers don’t have adequate insurance and that’s something Golf Care managing director John Woosey is keen to address.
“Golfers playing without adequate insurance are putting themselves at unnecessary risk,” he said. “It’s not just with regards to personal liability and accidents but also protecting against property damage a golfer may cause or even having their equipment stolen. The majority of calls we get from golfers is in regard to the theft of their equipment. It seems crazy golfers take the risk when insurance is available from just £22.99 for a full year’s protection.”
So, the message is simple: keep the traditions of safe conduct on the course, shout ‘Fore!’ when you hit a wayward shot, but, for complete peace of mind, make sure golf insurance is ticked off your checklist.
On that note, Golf Care is offering bunkered readers a special offer which includes 30% off the regular price of a policy, three FREE rounds of golf, three TaylorMade Superdeep balls, plus a limited edition ‘Poker Chip’ ball marker for just £22.99 a year.
Visit www.golfcare.co.uk/bka to buy online, or call freephone 0800 158 5515 for instant cover.
SOME CASES FOR THE DEFENCE
• In the process of reversing a buggy, a golfer runs over his playing partner’s leg, causing ligament damage. Claimed under ‘personal liability’ for £12,000.
• Golfer puts his clubs in the boot of his car after a round, along with his trolley, and locks car. Player goes into clubhouse, returns an hour later to find his car has been broken into and all his golf gear is gone. Claimed under ‘theft’ for £2,000.
• A golfer tries to pull a club out of his bag but can’t because it is wedged in. He keeps pulling until the club comes flying out, hits him in the mouth and chips his teeth. Claimed under ‘dental’ for £350.
• A golfer shanks into a conservatory in a neighbouring house. Claimed under ‘third party property damage’ for £700.
• A golfer is playing a par-3 next to a busy road. On the other side of the road is a row of houses. The player shanks one over the road and into the bonnet of a car parked on a driveway. Claimed under ‘personal liability’ for £650.
WHAT GOLFERS ARE COVERED FOR WITH GOLF CARE
You can be covered for up to £5m if you injure another party or their property.
In the UK, clubs purchased new and up to three-years-old are repaired or replaced on a ‘new for old’ basis up to £5,000. A ‘new for old for life’ option is also available.
Third party property damage
Golf Care covers damage to third party properties to as much as £2,500.
Playing overseas? You’ll still be covered if you take out a worldwide extension cover.
Golf Care insurance covers you for up to £200 on that celebratory bar tab.
Golf Care policy covers you for up to £50,000 for personal injury or, in extreme cases, death should you beinjured by another golfer’s lack of awareness.