Keep your retail premises safe this festive season

Is the lifeblood of your golf course or bowling club insured correctly?

Water is the lifeblood of golf courses and bowling greens. The lush green, well-maintained grass is one of the most important reasons why these two sports are so popular.

A typical golf course in South Africa requires 1,2 to 3 million litres of water per day to stay healthy and green. This means that in summer the turf must be watered at least two times per week. When rainfall is low, irrigation must do the trick.

The same principle applies when it comes to watering a bowling green. Whether you use an automatic sprinkler system or simply a hose, the rule is to water deeply not daily. Heavy watering twice or three times a week is a good rule of thumb.

Irrigation systems do not come cheap and according to a recent article by Worldwaterpumps irrigation expenses make up a large portion of maintenance costs, including the cost of the irrigation system. According to an article on, a golf course irrigation system can consist of 2 500 sprinklers, about 482 km of underground wire and can cost some R15 million or more to install or replace. A sprinkler system consists of various components, including sprinklers, controllers, swing joints, pipe, fittings, wire, valve boxes, and isolation valves.

Because of climate change, droughts and an increase in the conservation of water regular maintenance and optimal efficiency of sprinkler systems are more important than ever. Randwater’s environmental brand Water Wise published a brochure to help golf courses reduce water consumption here.

Says Juan Coetzee, managing director of Hospitality and Leisure Underwriting Managers, “South Africa has about 532 golf courses with 400 under irrigation, and each golf course has 3 to 16 pumps, but it can be as high as 38. Also, there are almost 513 bowling clubs with 23 000 registered members in the country. These are obviously popular sports among our people. It is important to make sure they stay open!”


According to Coetzee, there are any number of things, which are usually out of our control, that could happen to damage irrigation systems and greens at golf courses and bowling clubs.

“It could be damaged by a vehicle, animal or falling tree. Mechanical equipment and weather events like an earthquake could also cause these systems to stop working effectively.

“And when it comes to the greens, fertiliser or chemicals, contaminated water or failure of water supply could have a detrimental effect on your sporting facility.”

H&L has developed a product specifically for this type of risk. “Our leisure sport facility short-term insurance solution caters for golf courses and bowling greens, golf estates, club houses, as well as plant, equipment and golf carts. This policy covers amongst others, greens, irrigation systems and business interruption.”

As a specialist underwriter, H&L employs a team of underwriting experts and works through competent intermediary partners to provide our mutual clients with the best possible solution for their needs and unique risks.

Call us today on 0861 726 526 or email for more information.

You can also download our Leisure Sporting Facilities brochure here.

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