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Is Golf Insurance a Real Thing?

I was skeptical myself. It must be nice to insure your hobby. Is there watching the NBA Playoffs on the couch insurance for me? But until now I didn’t consider golf insurance from the perspective of those who own and manage clubs and courses who understandably want to protect their assets. The context was helpful.

So here is my unprejudiced and not-snarky breakdown of various golf insurance options.

Golfer’s insurance. Yes, your slice is funny at cocktail parties. And it is indeed nettlesome on the course when you have to pick through shrubbery 500 yards from the pin, looking for your ball. But do you know when your slice really sucks? When your errant ball hits someone on the nose and/or groin and injures him badly. You’re responsible for injuries suffered by others on the course when you are at-fault. Golfer’s insurance can protect you against having to write really big checks to cover your slice.

Golfing equipment insurance. A real craftsman only blames his tools when they break, but excuses won’t last long with this strand of coverage because you can get them replaced quickly, on the carrier’s dime.

The two types of insurance above serve individuals and are extremely inexpensive, a few dollars a month or “the price of a golf ball” as many of the marketing pitches like to say.

Commercial golf insurance policies are more intuitive, as country clubs and municipal courses want to be indemnified against damages.

Golf course insurance. Sometimes the rough really is too rough. And yes that sand trap can truly be treacherous -- to an ankle or knee that could get sprained. Such policies provide general liability for most possible damages suffered by golfers on the course.

Other, smaller policies for golf club owners include:

Golf car maintenance. Believe it or not, those things don’t always work. Also they crash. And people sometimes drink while driving them, which I assume can be fun but dangerous.

Lawns coverage. Protection for fairways and green. Something of a weather hedge.

Hole-in-one coverage. Not that I’ve ever come near one, but you know those holes-in-one that seem to make every one around feel really good -- so good that some clubs even offer a financial reward for them? Well you know who doesn’t always love them? Yeah that would be the country paying that reward. Enter hole-in-one overage, which will pay out as much as half the reward for a tiny premium every month.

Liability for golf instructors. I know all golf instructors seem like really nice guys (and yes, they are almost always guys) with really laid back jobs. But even a perfect swing can’t conceal some inner personal pain. Not a bad idea to take some precautions there.

I don’t golf enough (read: ever) to lay out the cash for these coverages. But they seem to make some sense for people who spend quite a bit of time out on the links, and total sense for anyone who owns a course or a country club. We go to such great lengths to insure our cars, but those who truly love to golf probably spend as much if not more time on the course than they do in their vehicles; it’s always smart to protect our assets and defend against liabilities.

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