Golfer Hit In The Face Stars On 24 Hours In A&E

Channel 4 Documentary 24 Hours in A&E recently featured a golfer who was rushed to hospital

24 Hours in A&E
Golfer John Willoughby suffered a serious head injury after being struck by a club

Channel 4 documentary 24 Hours in A&E recently provided the story of a retired fireman who was rushed to A&E after being struck across the face with a golf club

Channel 4 documentary 24 Hours in A&E, which aired on January 20, featured a retired fireman who was struck in the head by a golf club, and has since proved a wake-up call for many players who didn't have specialist golf insurance.

The programme - which is still available on 4 On Demand - tells the story of John Willoughby, who was accidentally hit in the face by a golf club at Deangate Ridge Golf Club in Kent.

Willoughby was hit by the club - thrown by a playing partner after an errant tee shot - so hard that that it snapped and he had to be given emergency treatment at the scene by a Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance doctor and paramedic.

The 53-year-old was put in an induced coma to prevent his brain from further injury, before being flown by the charity helicopter to St George's Hospital in London.

The documentary showed the father-of-two arriving at the specialist neurological unit where he was immediately sent for a CT scan with a suspected critical head injury.

Allison Willoughby, John's wife, said: "John was in the fire brigade for 32 years. He loved the adrenaline, the excitement of what was going to happen next. So much has happened to him, he went to the bombings in London, and he saw such horrific things.

"To him it's part of the job. He would put his life on the line to save someone. And then he goes off to play golf and this happened."

Willoughby's accident goes a long way to emphasise the risks that golfers take when playing on the course, and since the programme aired Golf Care have been inundated with golfers talking out policies.

According to Golf Care stats, every year over 12,400 golf injuries need hospital treatment. John Woosey, Managing Director of Golf Care told GM: "We know that 9 out of 10 golfers still don't have insurance. It's extremely important that golfers are aware of the risks and that they're properly protected every time they play."

Golf Care, the UK's leading specialist golf insurer provides extensive care for golfers. It also includes personal inquiry and personal liability, as well as the reliable 'New For Old' cover against theft, loss or damage to your golf clubs and equipment, as outlined in the video above.

Cover starts from £22.99 a year and offers a range of additional benefits, including three free golf rounds at a choice of over 70 courses UK wide.

Tom Clarke
Tom Clarke


Tom Clarke joined Golf Monthly as a sub editor in 2009 being promoted to content editor in 2012 and then senior content editor in 2014, before becoming Sports Digital Editor for the Sport Vertical within Future in 2022. Tom currently looks after all the digital products that Golf Monthly produce including Strategy and Content Planning for the website and social media - Tom also assists the Cycling, Football, Rugby and Marine titles at Future. Tom plays off 18 and lists Augusta National (name drop), Old Head and Le Touessrok as the favourite courses he has played. Tom is an avid viewer of all golf content with a particularly in depth knowledge of the pro tour.