Q: At the golf course, someone called “fore”, and a golf ball struck me in the head.  I think I was about 200 yards away from the tee box.  It is elevated.  The other golfer must have been able to see my group.  But he hit his ball straight down the center of the fairway.

The other golfer says that two of his partners had teed off before him, and that those drives landed 150 yards short of my group.  A third golfer says that, no, the other golfer was the first to tee off in his group.  Personally, I had heard no other balls being hit.

A: Under the doctrine of ‘assumption of risk’, a person who chooses to participate in a sport or recreational activity consents to certain risks that are inherent in and arise out of the nature of the sport generally and flow from such participation.  However, you are not deemed to have assumed the risks of reckless or intentional conduct or concealed or unreasonably increased risks.

The object of the game of golf is to drive the ball as cleanly and directly as possible toward its ultimate intended goal.  But the possibility that the ball will fly off in another direction is a risk inherent in the game.  While a golfer owes a duty to use due care in striking a golf ball, the mere fact that a golf ball did not travel in the intended direction does not establish a viable negligence claim.

You were in the fairway on the same hole.  The other golfer teed off when you were positioned well within the typical range of a drive.  Your attorney will argue that the other golfer hit his ball so irresponsibly as unreasonably to increase the risk. 

By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial

The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.

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