Yes, golf courses are open again today! But it’s not all fun and games, there are some risks to think about and we’re not just talking about bumping into Prince Andrew. An expert from Golf Care is urging new and returning golfers to ensure they are fully insured against issues such as injury, theft and damage when courses reopen across England today and Wales next week.
It comes following a government statement on Sunday 10th May, which outlined plans for the sport to resume, provided players and clubs follow to a number of safety measures.
The announcement is set to drive thousands of returning players to clubs across the country, many of whom will have let their insurance lapse during the lockdown.
And it’s not just existing players. Golf Care recently surveyed 500 people who regularly played another sport before the lockdown. It found that 71% would now consider taking up golf, given that it’s one of the very few sporting activities permitted under current restrictions. However, just 24% of those would think to take out insurance – leaving them at risk.
The two-month hiatus means that regular players may be rusty, whilst novices will lack consistency and awareness. Both increase the likelihood of accidents occurring on the golf course, which is already a dangerous place.
This danger was highlighted when a golfer’s wayward shot caused another player’s eye to “explode” in its socket. The non-insured golfer in question found himself at the centre of a court case which could have left him liable to pay £397,000 in damages out of his own pocket.
Many golf courses have also been used by walkers during the lockdown. Whilst welcomed by many councils and the general public, this creates an additional hazard and potential for injury that golfers and walkers will not be used to dealing with.
Anyone playing golf should take out specialist insurance to cover these risks, whether a competent amateur or a complete beginner.
John Woosey, Founder and Managing Director of Golf Care commented: “The loosening of golf’s lockdown restrictions will be welcome news for many, whether seasoned players or first-timers to the game. But, in the rush to get back out on the fairway, we can’t stress enough how important it that everyone is 100% protected on the course. Golf is often mistaken as a low risk sport, but it can be extremely dangerous, hence why specialist insurance isn’t just a luxury; it’s a necessity for all.”