Golfer suffers two serious golfing accidents, proving the need for golf insurance

Golf Care, 29th June 2016

This story is the latest in our series of real-life golfing accidents and incidents illustrating why having golf insurance is so important.

The background

Golf Care policyholder Ian Ringwood has had two injuries on the golf course in his lifetime, but was only in possession of a Golf Care insurance policy at the time of the second incident. He benefited from Golf Care’s Hospitalisation Cover after his second incident.

Incident 1

Ian didn’t have golf insurance when he suffered his first incident on the course, when a golf ball hit him in the ear. “It was around the time of my Ruby wedding anniversary and we were supposed to go to America – but I ended up in hospital instead,” he explained. He was playing with the Portland Society, a BT employees’ sports and social club, at Worsley Golf Club and was teamed with a couple of inexperienced golfers. One of them was particularly wayward and badly sliced a shot that hit Ian in the ear.

“I felt this almighty thump and hit the floor,” he explained. “There was blood pouring out. I picked myself up and, although I was a little bit dazed, I carried on, thinking I’d be alright. I carried on for another two holes, but then the headache came and I couldn’t go on. I was sickly and unfortunately everyone was out when I got back to the clubhouse, so there was no one there to help. I had to drive myself home.”

He started vomiting when he got home and was taken by his wife to Trafford General Hospital, where he was diagnosed with a subdural haematoma, also known as bleeding on the brain.

Incident 2

Ian’s most recent accident happened last Christmas. He was playing at Styal Golf Club on a very wet day and it was when he came to the par-3 fifth hole that things went wrong. “I had a hopeless shot to start with – it had gone way over,” explains Ian.

“I chipped back onto the green again and went off on the other side. I chipped back up onto the green and then putted for a four, so I was quite euphoric at rescuing a respectable score when something much worse appeared likely. Leaving the raised green, which was three or four feet up a sloping bank, I went to walk down and my right leg slid, with my left leg falling underneath me. I sat on it and I heard it snap. I’d snapped my quadriceps tendon. My kneecap ended up half way down my shin.”

The club had done a risk assessment. It says that you’re supposed to approach the green from the playing end, where it’s a shallower approach, then walk back that way. “You’re not supposed to walk off like I did,” admitted Ian. “I’ve walked down much worse hills and things in the course of playing golf than that. It was just one of those things.”

The result

Ian only took out a policy from Golf Care after the first incident, so he wasn’t covered that time. However, he successfully claimed for Hospital Cover after his second accident. “The reason I got the cover was not so much to cover myself from injury, but more about covering damage to someone else,” he added. “When I first started playing, I was pretty wayward and that was the main reason. There had been stories in the paper about cases that had involved lots of money being paid out, so that’s why I took out Golf Care’s cover. It was not so much because I’d need it from my point of view, but to be on the safe side from everybody else’s.”

The need for insurance

Golfing accidents can and do happen, from something as simple as being struck by an errant ball to even the most innocuous thing, like slipping on uneven ground and badly injuring yourself. With a Golf Care insurance policy, you can be protected against such misfortunes. As for Ian, he is hoping to get back on the course again soon after six months of rehabilitation. “I’ll be careful,” he added. “I haven’t got the flexibility back that I had before the second incident, so it’s going to be a bit of an adventure.”

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