01 March 2023

When thinking about playing a game of golf, taking out insurance may not be the first thing that comes to mind.

However, if you take a shot that injures someone, you may be found to blame for their injuries and if you do not have insurance, then you could be asked to pay the injured person’s compensation yourself, as well as any legal costs they may incur in pursuing a claim for compensation.

When could you be liable?

When playing golf, you are expected to take reasonable care and use reasonable skill to avoid injuring fellow players or spectators.

If you take a shot that injures someone, a debate may begin as to whether you have been negligent in your play and whether you are therefore to blame for the injuries that have been suffered.

For example, you may be in play and notice other players or spectators in close proximity. You think you have a clear shot, you hit the ball, but it hits someone and injures them. It is likely in that instance that you would be found to blame.

Could the Golf Club be found liable?

The Club are unlikely to be found liable, unless something they have done or not done, but should have, has resulted in someone becoming injured.

For example, there could be a lack of policies or procedures to ensure player safety, warning signs are not present to warn of the risk of being hit by a ball or adequate fencing has not been erected to avoid the risk of balls straying outside the course and striking passers by.

What do I do if I am injured when playing golf?

If you suffer an injury while playing golf, it is important to think about who could be at fault.

If you are hit by a ball, you will need to obtain the details of the golfer that hit that ball and insurance information, if they have it.

If you are injured due to a defect on the course, or you think you may have been injured due to an act, error or omission on the part of the Club, then you will need the Club’s details, including their current public liability insurance information.

It is important to seek these details, or ask someone to do so on your behalf, as soon as possible, if not immediately, after your injury has occurred to avoid the risk of not being able to find the person or obtain the information later.

It is important that you then seek medical advice for your injuries and document any ongoing symptoms. You should also keep a diary of any financial losses, for example travel expenses, medication, dental treatment etc. If you are successful in establishing fault, these are losses that you can attempt to recover as part of your compensation.

If you have suffered a golfing injury, or indeed an injury in any other circumstances, contact Battens Personal Injury department on 0800 652 8373.