Do you need golf insurance?

Do you need golf insurance?

Tiger Woods signs a glove for a fan the he hit in the face with his drive during the 2013 Presidents Cup . Photo: Kenneth E Dennis /

A lot of people think that golf insurance is just about covering that expensive driver from damage or theft but there’s much more to it than that.

Ever wondered who pays for the damages when a golf ball flies through a car window? It certainly isn’t the car owner’s insurance company. A golf ball hit by an average golfer travels at around 150kph and can do serious damage to property and, more seriously, to an individual if struck.

Most UK home insurance policies do not cover personal accidents while playing sports and, with golf being a non-contact sport, insurance is not the first thing that comes to mind when heading off to play a few rounds at the local course. It is estimated that around 12,000 golfers are treated for injuries sustained on the golf course every year in the UK. 

In 2011 Anthony Phee partially lost his sight whilst playing at Niddry Castle Golf Course in Winchburgh, West Lothian and was awarded damages of £400,000. Serious injuries like this are rare on golf courses in the UK but that sort of expense is not something that anyone would budget for when they step out for a quick nine holes with some friends on a weekend. 

When asked about shots that go wildly wrong, former Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher stated after Anthony Phees case that golfers should: “Make sure you still shout ‘Fore! and, for complete peace of mind, get yourself covered by a specialist golf insurance policy. You dont want that one shot to cost you a fortune.”

Shouting “Fore” doesnt cover you legally for a bad shot or give you any exemption from what happens next. The only thing that can give you complete peace of mind is a specialist golf insurance policy from a specialist golf insurer. 

Its not just injury to others either that golfers need protecting from. For a non-contact sport the chances of injury are incredibly high with most golfers needing treatment for back pain, golfer’s elbow, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, DeQuervain's tendinitis, knee pain, trigger finger or wrist impaction syndrome at some stage of their career. 

The aim here isn’t to make golfing sound like a minefield of potential hazards and legal headaches but with golf being the slow paced, relaxing, non-contact sport that it is the last thing that many people consider before taking regularly to a golf course is golf insurance.

The facts are that there are a lot of injuries, damages and accidents on the UKs golf courses every year and without proper insurance golfers can find themselves on the wrong end of a very bad round of golf. On the plus side, most specialist golf insurers can pay up to £150 back to a policy holder if they manage to hit the ever elusive ‘hole in one at an official, competitive match so theres an excuse to play more if ever there was one. 

Bluefin Sport is one of the UK’s leading independent insurance brokers, providing specialist insurance and risk management services to individuals and businesses.