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How to safely plan a corporate golf day

Row of golf bags
It may seem ridiculously simple. It is, after all, just a game between like-minded individuals. But the fact is you will be inviting your clients, colleagues and suppliers. If one of these invited guests is injured at your event, they may pursue your business, or another of your guests for compensation – or both. If you do not have the policies and paperwork in place to show that you have done all that is reasonably practicable in protecting your guests at your event, the claim for compensation could be very high. A court case in April 1998 paid out £87,000 for a head injury. According to Golfplan Insurance, 12,000 injuries a year are recorded. 3,530 are head injuries.

So in keeping with the golf theme, here are 18 tips to keep your event on par. (Sorry!).

  1. If you use an agency to organise your golf day, have them assessed for their health & safety and insurance policies.
  2. Ensure that whoever organises your corporate golf day includes `risk management’ as a topic in their planning documentation.
  3. Review the golf club’s own safety policies. These should include course safety, adverse weather announcements, any public right of way issues, warning bells, any road crossing issues, green staff priorities, chemical on course notices, buggy use and safety policy.
  4. Review the golf club’s insurance policies. Who is going to be responsible if a car belonging to one of your guests gets damaged by an unknown player’s golf ball?
  5. Assess the insurance responsibility for personal effects left in the locker/changing rooms.
  6. Assess if personal liability and personal accident insurance is included within the golf day package. If yes, review the level of cover and exemptions to ensure it is appropriate for your guests. If it’s not, speak to your insurers to ensure you and your guests are appropriately insured.
  7. Communicate safety policies to all participants, ideally in advance.
  8. Communicate insurance policies (and exemptions) to all participants, in advance of the event.
  9. Ensure you check and record handicap certificates. This may be a pre-requisite for your insurance policy.
  10. Undertake a risk assessment on the day of your event to determine whether any other risks exist and keep a record of your findings.
  11. If you are providing buggies, ensure the driver meets the licence requirements. Many buggy policies ask for a full UK driving licence.
  12. If you are serving alcohol, ask buggy users to either abstain or drink no more than the buggy safety / insurance policy allows. Normally, it is no alcohol allowed.
  13. Be aware of who is the on-site first aider, and keep their contact details at hand. Make sure you keep records if your day is covered by two different people’s shifts.
  14. Take a few minutes to announce key safety messages to all guests prior to the matches commencing.
  15. Reiterate the absolute need to shout a warning if a ball is going off line. `Fore’ is the norm. And for those hearing the shout, to crouch or hide and not to look to see where the shout is coming from.
  16. Clarify in simple terms the rules of golf, to encourage quick and safe play.
  17. Keep the list of guests and their personal data safe and secure at all times.
  18. Include `risk management’ as a topic in your event evaluation document.

Hopefully, every golf day you organise will be a fantastic success and your guests will be talking about the long shot into the 3rd green that set them up for a birdie. If they end up having to talk about someone being evacuated by air ambulance, you want them to do so with the knowledge that you put in place every precaution and policy to protect them, your colleagues and your business.
 

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