The 4 Most Common Golfing Accidents

Regarded as one of the more leisurely and relaxing games that people of all ages can play and enjoy, golf is the sporting choice for many men and women around the world seeking a non-contact sport. There are numerous health and fitness benefits to playing golf, such as spending several hours walking around a course and being to the elements, however good or bad they may be. But like all sports, golf does come with a risk. Accidents and injuries can affect even the most healthiest and fittest of golfers, regardless of age and ability. With this in mind, we look at the type of accidents that occur most frequently on the golf course.

1. Carting accidents

Golf carts, also known as buggies, are small motorised vehicles that some clubs offer to players to help them move around the golf course. They are very convenient, particularly on courses which are long or which have a number of hills and inclines. Driving such a cart is very simple, with the controls consisting of a steering wheel, a brake and an accelerator. But, this simplicity is also a hindrance for some golfers. Those with little driving experience often fail to properly control the cart and end up crashing it into other carts, buildings, bunkers, trees or other structures. Others simply drive the kart to extremes, e.g. performing sharp turns which result in the cart crashing or overturning.

Cart use is highest on golf courses in the United States, and statistics show just how many injuries and even fatalities occur. In 2010, some 15,000 people in the U.S. suffered a cart-related injury, while dozens were fatally injured. Forty percent of all accidents resulted in individuals falling out of the cart, so care is needed when driving one. Seat belts should also be used at all times, if provided.

2. Club related injuries/accidents

Despite being light in nature, golf clubs are very durable, strong and naturally very effective in striking a small golf ball long distances. Similarly, they are capable of causing considerable damage and injury to the body if struck by accident. One of the most regular golfing accidents occurs when players walk behind or too close to another player who is striking the ball, with the result that they themselves are hit by the club. While a strike to the upper body or arm, albeit sore, will most likely result in a severe bruise, a strike to the head is another matter. Accidentally being struck by a club in the head can cause serious injury and can even prove fatal.

It is a common accident among new players and in younger golfers -- two groups who aren’t quite sure of golfing etiquette and who tend to walk close to the player who is attempting to play their shot.

3. Lightning

Braving the elements is an important part of the golfing mantra. Muggy temperatures, blazing sunshine, torrential rain or gale-force winds will all cause golfers to re-think their strategy as they battle the weather as well as the course. It may come as a surprise, then, to hear that one of the most common accidents golfers experience is being struck by lightning. In fact, in 2012, golfers accounted for some 28 percent of all sports-related lightning related fatalities worldwide.

During thunder or lightning storms, golf courses can quickly become a dangerous place to be. They are, by definition, wide open spaces dotted with trees and the occasional water hazard. It also doesn’t help that golfers use trolleys, clubs and shoes that all contain metal. At the first sign of a storm, most golfers will run to a tree for shelter, yet this is exactly the place where most get struck by lightning. The best advice is to leave the golf clubs and trolley where they are and return to the clubhouse as quickly as possible.

4. Back injuries

Lower back pain is a regular complaint among golfers. Frequently swinging a club and striking a ball at great speed places great strain on the lower back area. While these injuries are predominantly muscle-related and will heal naturally after a period of rest, some injuries can progress to tendon or even disc problems. Such an injury can be quite serious, and will generally require medical treatment to resolve.

Stretching before and after a round of golf can help prevent lower back pain. Golfers are also advised to stop playing immediately if they experience pain in the lower back or elsewhere.

Golf Insurance

Golfers around the world will be pleased to know that specific insurance cover is now available to players, providing coverage no matter where they may be playing. This coverage extends to accidents and injuries, damage to golfing equipment and protection from potentially high medical expenses. Contact us today for a free quote!

The above information is for reference only. Kwiksure takes no responsibility for the accuracy and timeliness of the information. For the coverage, mode of compensation, benefit limit and premium levels of any specific insurance plan, please refer to the relevant policy terms.