Golf Industry News

Three Keys to Success

It is a good idea to combine elements of instruction regarding your golf swing with elements of instruction on the mental challenges presented by golf, and the fitness requirements of the golf swing. We call this the “golf triad” of success. And, one element often has a signficant affect on the others. For instance, you may wonder why you always slice the ball. It could be a matter of your grip, or ball position, or the position of your feet in relation to the target.

But, it might also be a lack of a shoulder turn. And, you may not be able to turn your shoulders properly due to a limit in your flexibility. It then becomes paramount that you increase your flexibility through stretching exercises, which will then make it easier to turn your shoulders, get into the right position with your club in your backswing, and avoid a swing that creates a slice.

From a mental standpoint, a lack of swing keys often contributes to an inconsistent swing. We always advise players to have one or two thoughts and a routine, prior to hitting a shot. Then, go through this same routine every time. In addition, you should breathe and count your breaths while playing, in order to regulate your response to pressure.

By Steve Eisenberg - 04/03/2017

Five Critical Steps to Managing an Accident at Your Golf Facility

As wonderful and frustrating as the game of golf is, ponds and trees aren’t the only dangers at the country club. According to a Golf Digest Field Test, nearly 40,000 golfers are admitted to emergency rooms every year after being injured at play. Errant golf balls and flying club heads account for the bulk of golf related injuries, but an additional 10,000 are injured during the operation of a golf cart every year. And the Bureau of Labor Statistics confirms that serious accidents aren’t limited to players, the maintenance workers that make our sport possible represent a disproportionate percentage of fatal accidents at nearly 14 a year. Combine these numbers with the risks inherent in running a restaurant and a clubhouse, and the hazards are clear.
There are 15,372 golf courses in the United States, and while your facility may be impeccably managed and well-designed, the numbers are against you: You’re going to have to deal with an incident. Proper management of that incident can both limit your liability exposure, and ensure the safety of your members and guests. Below we’ve outlined steps you can take to navigate an incident efficiently.
Most of us who work in the golf business do so because we love the game, are committed to growing it, and believe in the services that we provide. Golf is thought of as a peaceful and challenging sport, but even golf is not immune from accidental injury. We hope this guide will help position you to deal with a potential incident efficiently, and confidently.
Step 1
 Call 911 and summon medical attention; Immediately provide all of the help you’re qualified to provide to the injured party.

Many golf club personnel take medical training in order to be in a position to help their guests with events like choking or a cardiac episode. It’s crucial that your staff not improvise assistance beyond their training. Your priority should be to ensure the immediate safety of the injured party and to contact Emergency Medical Services. Ideally, multiple staff members are helping at once, and these things happen simultaneously.

Step 2
Close off the area where the injury took place and take pictures. Take many, many pictures.

Once the injured party has been attended to and transported for treatment, rope off the area of the incident and take pictures. While cell phone pictures can be effective, using a camera with higher resolution is preferable because it captures greater detail. (Tip: make sure the date and time are set properly on your camera before you start.) And don’t take pictures from only one vantage point, vary perspective and distance to ensure that you get every pertinent detail. Should an incident become a contentious civil matter, liability can sometimes be decided by a single blade of grass.

Step 3
If you don’t already retain legal counsel, do so immediately.

According to AVVO, in February 2009, a 67-year-old golfer sued Candia Woods Golf Course in New Hampshire after his own golf ball struck a yardage marker and ricocheted into his own eye. The point is, you never know what constitutes liability from the perspective of an injured party, and you’re always better off being prepared than to risk being blindsided. Having a retainer agreement with pre-vetted counsel can speed this step, and ensure that you’re not spending time searching for the right lawyer, at the wrong time.

Step 4
Establish a dialogue with the injured party. Understand their perspective and needs.

In most cases, our members and guests are friends. We see them every day. We know a great deal about them, from the condition of their golf games to the details of their business dealings and personal lives. While it may be tempting to volunteer sympathy and even a “mea culpa” after an incident, your staff should be trained not to volunteer perspective on the incident or its cause either to the injured party or to other members or guests. We’ve placed this step after retaining legal counsel intentionally, while it may seem cumbersome to run every interaction through counsel, it can be disastrous not to.

Step 5
Engage, or have your counsel engage, an expert witness in the field of golf.

Golf accidents aren’t quite like common accidents. The range of acceptable behaviors on a golf course is narrower than in other places, and common understandings among golfers can sometimes preclude liability on the part of the facility owner. The act of walking onto a golf course is an acceptance of some of the hazards implicit in participation. Inexperienced witness analysis can omit these and other material details.

If an incident at your facility becomes a civil matter, a golf expert witness with a long history of analysis in the area of golf specific accidents can help your team capture the nuances of that incident, and properly communicate those nuances in a court of law. Proper analysis of a golf incident requires expertise in several disciplines, from facility planning to course design, from agronomy to the rules and etiquette of golf. Enlisting the help of an expert witness in the field of personal injury rather than a golf specific witness can be a potentially costly mistake.

Coming Soon: A Second Look – What is a Complete Facility Consultation, and How Can I Benefit?