John Collier FAQ – Governance & the Impact of the Environment.


Looking at the ‘bloodbath’ caused by extreme weather events in the Weatherproofing and Environment discussions, as a medium sized coastal golf club, are there any interventions that we should be looking at, in order to mitigate the effects of these types of events?


Not having more in-depth detail about your club’s location, etc., it would be difficult to offer specific answers, but there are certainly some ‘generic’ safeguards that can be included in your preventative activities.

These include:

  • Ensuring that you have as much water in reserve as possible.
  • Keeping these dams / storage areas dredged to their maximum depth is advisable.
  • Assess hot spots in case of floods and water run-off, in terms of where the water is most likely to run and where it will pool. In this respect bunkers are particularly prone to being washed away, or damaged by floodwater. The club’s institutional knowledge should have a record of these types of areas.
  • Simple interventions, such as keeping an eye on large trees, or bush areas near buildings, or valuable infrastructure, can pay real dividends in the event of a storm, and save having a large tree fall down onto buildings, or prevent fire damage, because combustible bush and grass areas have been kept cut back from encroaching on buildings.
  • Ask yourself questions – are the equipment areas waterproof, is the cart storage secure in the event of fire or flood, etc.
  • It might seem obvious – but do you have any catastrophe insurance, and if you do, is it fit for purpose’, and or does it offer adequate cover?
  • Still on the subject of insurance, one of the worst impacts of extreme weather events can be loss of trading revenues due to the course being closed.  Income protection is an option for this, but as we saw in the aftermath of the Pandemic, it will be important to ensure that you are covered correctly, and don’t get tripped up by exclusions if there is a need to make a claim.
  • In all of these areas, which relate to insurance, using a reputable insurance broker is often the best course of action. Their inputs should ensure that you get the cover, which is most appropriate for your club’s situation and needs. Also be sure to find a ‘real’ broker, as some so-called brokers are in fact ‘agents’, who only represent or sell a single product option. This might be OK, but a true broker will look at all the insurance cover options in the marketplace, and present you with product options, which he or she thinks might be best suited for your club’s needs.
  • Planning (or often a lack of it at too many clubs), is a regular topic that comes up in discussions in BGM. In this case it will be about having a contingency plan in place to cover items such as –

  • What if the kitchen is damaged, or the bar in the club becomes unusable;
  • What if several holes are going to be out of action for some time – have we prepared routing to keep a course open albeit with less holes
  • What if the course is closed – are our current reciprocity arrangements with clubs in the surrounding area up to date, etc.

I would conclude by mentioning something BGM’s editor said to me in passing a while ago, about the modus operandi in the event management sector – ‘good event managers hope for the best but plan for the worst’ – a pretty good approach in this type of situation too!