If you run a golf course, your main concerns are probably ensuring that you have plenty of caddies, that your green is in good condition, and that you stay current with your tee to green insurance, which covers almost every kind of golf course damage. Accidents can happen on golf courses, though, and if someone else’s property or person gets hurt, you could be liable. Here are some of the top reasons why your golf course could be sued by clients or neighbors.
Stray Ball Damages
Are golf courses liable for damage that happens off their property? If the damage occurred because of an incident on the course, the answer is probably yes. When golfers use your course, you’re liable for the safety of everyone around you, including neighboring properties. If you fail to ensure that people are safe from errant balls and one strikes a passerby, he or she may sue you for medical expenses.
You may also face negligence claims if lightning hits your golfers. If you have a safety plan in place, such as forbidding play for 30 minutes following thunder or lightning, you must notify patrons about these rules and enforce them. If you don’t have a safety plan, you must warn patrons that they are playing at their own risk and should look out for storms on the course. Your tee to green insurance provider may have recommendations about how to handle this issue based on how often storms happen in your area.
If your golf course includes a restaurant or country club that serves alcohol, you could face liquor liability charges as bars do. To avoid getting sued for negligent disbursement of alcohol, always check your patrons’ IDs to ensure that they’re 21 or older. Require your bartenders to stop serving alcohol to patrons who are visibly intoxicated. Finally, offer shuttle services or access to public transportation so that customers do not drive while intoxicated.
If your golfers hit their balls into your neighbors’ yards and then go looking for them, your neighbors may sue you for trespassing. Avoid positioning holes right next to your borders, or put up nets to catch stray balls. Another option is to work with your homeowner’s association to receive a grant of easement so that golfers can retrieve their balls without trespassing.
You have a duty to follow all state and federal laws on your course, including how you maintain your green. Particularly if you’re in the watershed for a protected body of water, double-checking which fertilizers you’re using is essential to preventing lawsuits. Ask your tee to green insurance provider about the best practices for legal weed prevention in your area.
About T2Green Insurance
At T2Green Insurance, we’re dedicated to providing the golfing community with the best insurance possible. Our expansive policies cover everything from storm damage on your golf course to your liquor liability inside the club. To schedule your consultation and get your tee the coverage it needs, call us today at 844-223-9005 or email us at submissions@T2GreenInsurance.com.