Protect Your Birdies & Eagles: A Carrier You Can Trust On & Off the Golf Course

Birdies & Eagles

Environmental pollution incidents should never be par for the course. Unfortunately, essentially every industry experiences some degree of environmental exposure – golf courses and facilities are no exception!

Securing protection through Great American allows insureds to focus on what truly matters: upholding superior hospitality while protecting the reputation of a premier golf course.

Golf Course Environmental Coverage

How can we help? Great American Environmental is proud to offer an enhancement endorsement that can protect your clients against the hidden risks that are inherent within golf course operations. Not only does the Golf Course Environmental Policy fill the gaps that are left by standard casualty lines, but it also provides enhanced environmental coverage specifically for the golf course and ancillary operations.

View our golf course-focused webpage and enhancement guide for policy information and features!

Let the experts of Great American’s Environmental Division provide the best by par coverage to help protect against costly financial burdens that can damage a course’s reputation and negatively affect your client’s bottom line. Have you considered the environmental risks below that are inherent within golf courses’ operations?

Environmental Pollution Exposures

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Onsite Storage Tanks

Does your client have storage tanks onsite for golf carts or other landscaping vehicles and equipment fueling?

An operator error such as forgetting to detach the transfer equipment from the fueling truck before driving off can break off valves or connectors and release the fuel outside the tanks, resulting in costly clean-up. Storage tanks must be in compliance with current governmental regulations in its area of operation. Large amounts of fuels or other chemicals may be stored in bulk storage tanks (i.e., those that hold 55 gallons or more, and can be located above ground, or be partially or completely buried). Releases from these tanks often go undetected for long periods of time which can also result in costly clean-up costs and other damages.

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Groundwater Contamination

Is your client’s golf course or facility located near a body of water?

Turf maintenance activities, including application of nitrogen-rich fertilizer or weed killers and pesticides, can leach down into the soil causing contamination to groundwater, ponds, waterways and nearby drinking water supplies. An insured may also face claims for misapplication and overapplication of pesticides and fertilizers (particularly those containing nitrogen, phosphates, nitrates, and potassium) to both nontarget and target sites. Overusing fertilizer with nitrogen can kill fish and other aquatic life, especially if an algae bloom results, or potentially cause methemoglobinemia (i.e., oxygen starvation or "Blue baby syndrome") in babies, elderly persons, and some livestock.

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Airborne Pesticides and Other Chemicals

Is your client’s golf course or facility located near a residential area?

High winds can increase drift and cause the unintended application of pesticides to nontarget areas, while high temperatures and humidity can cause pesticides to evaporate. Courts have held both golf and country clubs and pesticide manufacturers liable for drift. Moreover, any chemical exposure increases the possibility of children, bystanders, or domestic animals inhaling pesticides.

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Disposal of Electric Batteries and Other Waste

Do the golf carts run on gas or electric battery power?

Golf cart batteries have the potential to leak acid into the ground or water. The insured's disposal methods for batteries and other golf course associated waste must be in compliance with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), and other regulations. In the case of pesticides, containers that were used for pesticides must be triple-rinsed and marked as such before disposal. If the triple-rinsed containers cannot be recycled or are not burnable, they may be crushed, broken, punctured, or buried in a designated disposal site (which has EPA approval) or incinerated in a specially designed, extremely high-temperature incinerator (which also must have EPA approval). Generators of waste are still liable for pollution associated with their waste even after it has been sent of for proper disposal.


As a carrier you can trust on and off the golf course, we know the only worries a course owner should face are keeping tidy fairways and lush greens. Contact us or visit our golf course-focused webpage, handout and claims scenarios to learn how to make this happen!

“We’ve built this with the needs of the golf course industry in mind. This cost-effective endorsement allows your clients to focus on what truly matters: upholding the superior hospitality while protecting the reputation of a premier golf course.”

– Kirk Davenport, Divisional Vice President and Programs Director

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