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HAVERFORDWEST GOLF CLUB BUGGY POLICY

HAVERFORDWEST GOLF CLUB BUGGY POLICY

Use of Ride-on Buggies on the Golf Course

Introduction

The purpose of this document is to establish a standard for the safe operation of all ride-on buggies operated on the course at Haverfordwest Golf Club (HGC). This document also sets down the principles to be applied and conditions to be met for their use.

In researching this document account has been taken of a study which examined the surface damage to fairway turf from using a ride-on buggy or golf cart, walking with an electric trolley and carrying clubs under acceptable and wet ground conditions. The Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI) undertook these in 2009. It came as no surprised to discover that there were significant increases in soil impaction resulting from ride-on buggies during wet conditions and that damage would be long lasting and costly to repair.

Any booking is subject to restrictions that may be imposed owing to the condition of the course.

No guarantee can be given that a buggy will be available unless it has been pre-booked.

The club has a number of buggies available for hire and they can be booked, in advance, by telephoning the Professional on 01437 768 409. The Club also allows members and visitors to use their own buggies on the course subject to them obtaining permission of the Club to do so and meeting the requirements set out below.

Equality Act 2010 and Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (as amended)

These two acts address the issue regarding anyone who has a disability as defined by this legislation. In essence HGC and other such institutions have a legal duty to produce a policy that allows equal access to the Club to those players who have a recognised disability as defined within the Act(s). HGC has to ensure that all reasonable adjustments are undertaken, in respect of the use of a golf buggy to those with a disability to play golf.

Qualifications:

This policy also encompasses all members and visitors who, while not fulfilling the legislative definitions of being disabled, need the help provided by a motorised ride-on buggy to play golf or use one out of preference.

In normal conditions there is no restriction on the use of ride-on buggies provided that they have been authorised by HGC. The Club reserves the right to refuse permission if all of the conditions specified are not complied with.

Any person who operates a ride-on buggy on the golf course is deemed by so doing, to have the knowledge, understanding and skill to operate the vehicle safely and be fully accountable for their actions and the consequences thereof.

The safe operation of ride-on buggies on the course requires conscientious application and adherence to the minimum standard of care prescribed by this policy. In some circumstances however it may be necessary to restrict their use.

During periods of inclement weather Health and Safety play an important part in determining whether the course or parts of the course should be closed to both able bodied as well as disabled persons if areas are deemed ‘Unsafe”.

Restricting the use of buggies needs to be carefully considered and is subject to a ‘hole by hole’ risk assessment during these periods and their findings recorded.

It must be noted that should the entire course be closed no one, not even disabled personnel, can play the course.

Ride-on buggies must be operated in accordance with the requirements of the following documents:

  • Golf Buggy Safety Policy
  • Golf Buggy Safe Working Practice / Conditions of Use
  • Golf Buggy Safety Policy Acknowledgement Form (available from the Club Office)
  • Golf Buggy Route Guidelines (available from the Pro Shop)

It is Club policy that when normal conditions exist ride-on buggies may be used. If certain weather conditions prevail a joint decision may be made by a representative from Greens Staff, Club Professional, Director(s) or Club Secretary to restrict the use of Buggies if it is likely to cause significant damage to the course in part or whole.

Where restrictions are deemed necessary HGC will review the situation on at least a daily basis.

Where conditions dictate buggies may be permitted, but only to those people who have a disability as defined by legislation and those who have an incapacity that would prevent them from playing golf without the use of a motorised ride-on golf buggy.

Such persons must have lodged with the Club Secretary a medical certificate signed by a registered General Practitioner confirming that they are unable to play a full round of golf without the use of a buggy.

If there are two such persons in the playing group they must share a buggy.

HGC will make every effort to ensure that any restrictions placed on buggy users will be for the least amount of time possible.

 

Golf Buggy Safety Policy

The Club has a duty of care to all users of the HGC. The topography of certain areas of the course is such that the user of a ride-on buggy when crossing these areas must show caution. It is recognised by HGC that adequately safe means of access for all golfers whether in buggies or otherwise is provided. Moreover, the Club has to ensure the safety of golfers who do not wish to use ride-on buggies but who might be at risk should a ride-on buggy become defective, its driver lose control or is driven in a careless or reckless manner.

To assist the safe deployment of ride-on buggies all potential users (members, visitors and guests) shall comply with the following conditions:

  • HGC recognised their responsibilities within the meaning of the above legislation, which disables them from playing golf without the use of a ride-on buggy as well as to those players who may also use buggies in preference to walking.
  • Ride-on buggies must be operated with the utmost courtesy, care and consideration for the safety and convenience of other course users. They must be operated and parked in such a way that they do not impede or interfere with normal pedestrian or vehicular flow on club paths, roads and car park areas.
  • The Club will accept no responsibility for any loss or damage caused to any property arising from the negligent use of a ride-on buggy by its users.
  • The consumption of alcohol and/or the improper use of drugs are not permitted when using the ride-on buggy.
  • The Greens Staff, Secretary or any Committee Member has the authority to immediately prohibit any individual from using or being carried on a ride-on buggy should they witness abuse of these instructions.
  • Application for reinstatement of permission can only be made by the Club.

Safe Working Practice

Before use

All operators of ride-on buggies must sign a Safety Policy Acknowledgement form before they are allowed to drive the buggy.

A ride-on buggy shall only be used for the number of occupants it was designed to carry and only by people who are authorised to use one. No one under the age of 16 years is allowed to drive a ride-on buggy.

A cursory check of the vehicle should be made to ensure that it is in a fit condition to be used.

During use

All occupants must be seated while the vehicle is in motion. Hands, feet and head must be kept inside the buggy at all times while the vehicle is in motion.

Ride-on buggies must not be driven in prohibited areas, and must adhere to the buggy paths or routes as designated by the club when circumstances dictate.

The vehicle must be used to progress the game and must not be driven up and down excessively, e.g. when looking for golf balls.

The vehicle must not be driven on tees, greens or the slopes leading up to them. The vehicle must not be used within 2 metres of any bunkers, ditches or ponds or slopes leading to them except when using the designated bridges.

Check the area behind the vehicle before reversing.

Always consider the terrain, existing vehicular and pedestrian traffic conditions as well as environmental factors that may affect the ability to operate the vehicle safely.

Drive the vehicle only as fast as the terrain and safety considerations allow.

To avoid tipping over, drive the buggy straight up and down slopes.

Slow down before corners. All turns must be executed at reduced speeds.

Avoid sudden stops or changes of direction that may result in loss of control. Be extra careful when the course is wet and muddy.

Engage the brake when leaving the vehicle during the round.

After use

When the vehicle is left unattended, turn the operating key to the off position, remove the key and engage the parking brake.

Buggy Route Guidelines

Prior to play, operators of buggies must ensure that they are completely aware of any restrictions placed on their buggies during their round of golf.

In general it is expected that anyone who is given the privilege of using a motorised ride-on buggy at HGC to fully respect the course and other users.

Anyone causing unnecessary damage or driving in a manner considered reckless or careless may have his or her authority to use a buggy withdrawn immediately.

Where restrictions are placed on ride-on buggies the following principles must be adhered to by all:-

  • Use the designated buggy routes, copies of which can be obtained from the Club Professional, or to those parts of the course open because of adverse weather conditions.
  • Travel only in the semi rough or rough in the absence of a buggy path.
  • When approaching the ball to play a shot other than a tee shot, the ride-on buggy should be stopped and parked in the semi rough or rough and the buggy user should then walk to their ball to play the shot.
  • In general it is expected that all ride- on buggy users totally avoid all fairways unless absolutely necessary or due to their disability, and then only if it is safe to proceed.

For some disabled golfers this may not always be possible. In such cases they MUST precede as follows:

  • If the ride-on buggy user’s disability is such that they are forced to travel on the fairway then please respect the conditions and everyone’s safety.
  • Do not travel the same path twice thus avoiding excessive damage. Use of initiative and common sense should be paramount.

 

This policy is subject to review and amendment by the Board of Directors of Haverfordwest Golf Club