Why you need Golf Insurance – even at the Driving Range

Brought to you in association with leading golf insurance experts Golf Plan

The latest article in our how to series turns the spotlight on some of the unexpected things that can happen at the driving range – from ricochets to self-inflicted injuries – and why it pays to be insured.

With winter closing in and less daylight hours in which to hit the course the best place to keep swinging is at the driving range.

The driving range is a great hangout for golfers of all skill levels and abilities.

Given that your local driving range could be filled with hackers and heroes it’s not impossible that an innocent trip to whack some balls could end in disaster, injury or a sizeable legal bill.

driving range golf balls
Ready to hit at the driving range – photo credit Dan X O’Neill

Everyone has heard the crack and thud of a golf ball hitting the range roof or shooting back off the boards which separate range bays – and ducked for cover.

In some enclosed driving ranges golfers find themselves on the end of a nasty shock when they’re hit by another player swinging.


GolfPlan has come up with some simple tips for dodging danger at the driving range:

1)    Always look where you are going

You might be texting or tweeting, or checking out your practice schedule while you walk to an empty bay, but always look where you are going and observe who’s around you.

If “excitable Eric” is swinging away with his Big Dog extra-hot driver you’ll want to watch out for any recoil or foul mouthed ranting.

2)    Stay In-Bounds

You will have seen the signs down at the range “Don’t step outside of the bay,” and wondered what all the fuss is about. If you are running low on balls and want to hit just two or three more the temptation is to hop out onto the grass and collect up some that were topped or just chipped a short distance.

Don’t! You might not see the golfer hitting nearby and if he misses his shot you could be hit and end up with a nasty injury.

Golfing injuries aren’t exclusive to the course, so make sure you have an active golf insurance policy from Golfplan which covers you when you are down the range too.

3)    Be polite

When choosing your bay, be polite, wait for the guy or girl next to you to stop hitting and then take your place, set up your clubs and go about your practice.

4)    Keep the hitting area clear

It may sound fantastical to think that a golfer could be hit and injured by his or her own ball but it happens.

One British golfer lost the sight in one eye when he teed up too close to a board, swung and hit the board and the ball at the same time and the impact caused the ball to shoot up into his eye.

The easiest way to avoid this is to keep the hitting area clear. Your coach may have suggested that you put something close to your ball to help you swing inside or more outside the line, but upturned baskets, headcovers, tee pegs or other balls can be potential hazards – so in the interests of safety just focus on the one ball.

golf balls at a driving range
Driving range golf balls photo credit Dov Harrington

5)    Lay off the Range Boy

Everyone has done it – tried to hit golf balls at the poor soul driving the tractor or buggy around the driving range to collect the balls.

It’s fun right? They are protected by a mesh cage and wear protective clothing so there’s no harm in it surely.

You just never know, if a ball got through and caused serious damage to that person you could find yourself facing legal action, so do the sensible thing – stick to hitting at flags and distance markers not range boys.

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