Golf is played regularly by over 1.5 million people in the UK, with participation soaring during the past 12 months. And with good reason - the game is not only hugely rewarding but provides a welcome opportunity to get fresh air, exercise and socialise with friends.
Many people see golf as a benign, low risk sport but sadly this isn't always the case. In fact, the game comes with a significant risk factor that it’s important to understand.
To investigate and highlight the prevalence of these risks, we surveyed 1,706 UK golfers on the day-to-day incidents they experience and witness while on the course. We found that serious injuries - even hospitalisation - and issues like theft and damage are worryingly commonplace.
The research also showed only half of players currently have insurance in place to protect them in the case of these incidents occurring. This leaves them open to unexpected bills and financial hardship.
You can take a look at the full results of the survey in the infographic below.
We also spoke to golfers about injuries they’ve sustained on the golf course and received a number of harrowing tales. Here are some of the most shocking:
“I was playing in a competition and was hit in the eye with a golf ball. I was knocked out. The ambulance came onto the course and took me to the hospital. I was operated on, but I lost the sight of my eye.”
“I was hit with a golf ball and it caused a brain haemorrhage."
“I was teeing off and suddenly found myself flying through the air and landing on my back with a spiral fracture of my left leg. It shattered, and I am still suffering the after-effects of the injury. My foot will not raise beyond horizontal, so I cannot walk around the course. I have had multiple life/death operations because of a bone infection caused by the fracture, plus many other mobility problems.”
“The ball struck me on the front of my neck. It didn’t hurt and apparently there wasn’t an injury. Two days later, a large lump appeared where the ball had struck. In short, my Thyroid blew up, resulting in hospitalisation and partial removal of the Thyroid.”
“My leg was crushed between two golf carts when standing behind my cart to get a golf club. The golf cart behind didn’t stop.”
“I slipped going down a steep embankment, landed on my back and broke eight ribs.”
The importance of insurance
As these results and stories show, golf comes with a risk factor that it’s important to understand and protect yourself against. After all, even a small mishap can cause a debilitating and costly injury, whether to yourself or to another. Damage and theft of equipment is also very common and can leave you forking out hundreds, perhaps thousands, for unforeseen repairs or replacement.
It’s just not worth taking that gamble - which is why specialist golf insurance is so vital. You can compare the best golf insurance deals right here.