Injured by a Golf Ball: Is the Golf Course Liable?

While golf injuries are not as common as injuries related to contact sports, they do occur. In some cases, a golf course may be liable for a golf injury involving an errant ball. Victims may be eligible to receive compensation as a result of a course owner’s failure to act in accordance with proper safety requirements.

What Course Owners are Required to do

When a golf injury results because of a golf course owner’s failure to properly secure the course, victims may be entitled to compensation from the course. The types of things courses should do to prevent a golf injury from arising related to balls in play include:

  • Ensuring proper design of a course – If a course is poorly designed and lends itself to errant shots that may injure a player, the course can be held responsible for accidents. It is a golf course owner’s duty to make sure the playing area is as secured as possible.
  • Making sure safety netting is placed in high-risk areas – If drives are likely to fly into areas where other players are present, a course owner should install safety netting to catch runaway shots and prevent a golf injury from happening before it does.

When Owners are Not Responsible

Golf course owners do accept a certain amount of liability for some accidents that occur on the greens. They are not responsible, however, when players fail to follow the rules. If a golf injury occurs because a player failed to alert others on the course about an incoming drive, for example, the course would not assume liability. The course’s exposure to liability is typically limited only to conditioning of the course itself or equipment failure.

Contacting a Lawyer

When a golf injury occurs that could have been avoided if a course owner took precautions, the victim may be entitled to financial compensation. It is best to contact an experienced accident lawyer for guidance in this circumstance.

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