Do I need specialist travel insurance for a golf holiday?

April 14, 2015

With the first major golf tournament of the 2015 season, the US Masters, just finished, one of the world’s most popular sporting pastimes again finds itself generating a huge amount of interest around the globe after viewers were inspired by seeing Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickleson, Bubba Watson and Henrik Stenson et al battle it out to claim one of the most prestigious trophies in the game.


This timely intervention will subsequently kick-start the golf season closer to home, as British fans of one of the oldest sports still being enjoyed today receives its first mainstream exposure of the year. And with many golfers minds quickly turning toward not just arranging a round at their local club in a bid to emulate eventual Masters winner Jordan Speith, but organising a golf-orientated holiday or mini-break somewhere of warmer climes this coming summer, then the question of insurance will be certain to crop up in excited conversations.

Therefore with the subject of travel insurance at the forefront of many people’s minds over the weeks and months ahead we thought it high time that we addressed this much mused over issue head on.

You don’t necessarily have to be a golfer to appreciate that the equipment doesn’t come cheap these days, with participants paying out anywhere from a couple of hundred pounds to in excess of four figures to get their hands on even the rudimentary requirement of the game, a set of golf clubs.

Figure in a bag in which to transport them, a trolley (to make life easier out on the course), the specialist shoes (trust us when we say trainers just don’t cut it; plus they aren’t deemed acceptable footwear in many clubs) and any other kit and caboodle (garishly-patterned argyle-knit sweaters and those peculiar half-mast trousers golfers often sport don’t come cheap either) considered pre-requisitional by the average golfer.

Hence the importance of ensuring that all the aforementioned is suitably covered by specially tailored golf holiday insurance policies.

Unforeseen Damage, Loss or Theft of Expensive Golf Equipment is Often Par for the Holiday Course

Whilst you don’t need specialist travel insurance for a golf break per se, we would strongly advise golfers planning a sport-themed holiday to take out one of the multitude of deals out there so as to afford yourself peace of mind from the start of the journey, as there are numerous unforeseen eventualities which could easily lead to damage, loss or even theft of your prized golf equipment which would effectively ruin your break before it even began.

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You never know what could happen to your clubs in the taxi, at the airport, on the plane (or coach if you’re travelling by other means), at the hotel/golf resort or in transit between the location where you’re staying and the course to name but a few scenarios.

This headache can be avoided simply by arranging suitable golf-specific travel insurance before you even clean and pack your equipment in readiness for your well-earned break. In terms of the golf holiday insurance packages available to you, as hinted above, there are a raft to choose between, yet for the most part the following basic criteria are taken into account with all individual deals.

Like for example providing cover for loss, theft or damage of your equipment from the outset of your holiday, as well as covering non-refundable green fees which you will have paid for in advance prior to your trip and can’t get back should you cancel your break for any reason.

Elsewhere and business insurance (yes, golf often forms the backbone of many a business jaunt as you’re probably aware), personal effects (whose going to buy the next round at the 19th hole if your wallet has been stolen?), hospital benefit (golf can be a dangerous game, didn’t you know?) and missed departure (please see 19th hole comments) are also well starred by a host of specialist golf holiday travel insurance-purveyors.

However in addition to these more conventional policy features increasing numbers of dedicated golf holiday insurance providing companies now offer the more outside-the-box elements which you might not have otherwise thought too long and hard about.

These include what’s colloquially referred to in the industry as ‘financial failure protection’ and to get straight to the point relate almost entirely to the provision of an insurance-backed safety net should an end supplier (e.g. travel company, hotel, airline) go into administration once you’ve arranged and paid for your golfing holiday.

Golf Holiday Insurance Putts the Golfer in the Driving Seat in Event of Unfortunate Circumstances

Despite hinting at golf’s potential to injure the willing participant, the truth of the matter is golfers very rarely experience serious injury between tee and green, yet it’s imperative that you make sure that nothing is left to chance when it comes to your golf insurance cover.

Although insurers generally agree that golf is a low risk sport compared to other leisure pursuits (classed as a Grade 1 category), it doesn’t harm to double check with your provider that any injuries sustained while playing are covered by your standard travel insurance policy. What’s more, there’s sometimes the likelihood that you could unwittingly injure someone else with your erratic swing and/or wayward drive, so well worth asking the questions before signing on the dotted line.

Money-wise, and industry-wide specialist golf holiday insurance policies typically offer in the region of £1,000 – £1,500 when it comes to accidental loss, theft or damage to golf equipment, with some specifically-tailored policies replacing individual clubs up to the value of £500 in the event of damage or misplacement.

If, unfortunately your clubs go missing or are irreparably damaged for whatever reason, then most insurers provide between £150 – £300 for golf equipment hire. Meanwhile golf holiday insurance policies tend to set aside a sum of up to £300 to cover non-refundable green fees should an accident, sickness or adverse weather stop play.

Again, dependent on your insurer, there are selected golf travel insurance companies whose benefits include up to £10,000,000 of medical expenses in addition to 24 hour, 365-day emergency medical assistance.

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