When we talk about dangerous sports and leisure activities, it is common for things like rugby, boxing, rock climbing and motorsport to spring to mind. It is fair to say that it is unlikely that golf would be anywhere near the top of anyone's list – yet the truth is that golf can be dangerous and in some circumstances may even result in a no win, no fee injury claim.
There are many potential hazards of the sport, from slips, trips and falls caused by slippery or uneven golf course surfaces, to the dangers of being struck by golf clubs, golf balls, golf buggies or coming into contact with dangerous plants or animals.
Yes, without clubs ensuring that the right health and safety planning and risk assessments are in place, this seemingly sedate, middle-class sport can actually be quite risky to the health of participants.
For example, this week it was announced that a Manchester man made a no win, no fee injury claim after his eye "exploded" as a result of being hit by a golf ball on a course in Scotland.
Personal injury solicitors representing the man's no win, no fee injury claim at the Court of Session in Edinburgh said that their client had been taken to hospital immediately after being struck by the golf ball and that surgeons had been left with no choice but to remove the eye.
Although it is understood that the issue of an appropriate accident compensation settlement has been settled, the issue of liability still needs to be resolved, with both the course and the golfer who hit the shot considered potentially liable parties.
"It is common knowledge among golfers that it is the responsibility of the striker of the ball to satisfy himself that his shot cannot harm anyone," said the claimant's legal team.
However, the golfer who hit the fateful shot denies liability, instead he claims that he shouted "fore!" at the top of his voice as a warning and that only three of a party of four had ducked – according to his account the man who did not duck then received the golf ball to his eye.
This view is contested by the claimant. "I heard a shout. The moment I heard the shout my hand went up. It was that instant, there was no delay. I did hear the fore and I did duck. I didn't know where the fore was coming from. I didn't know which direction anything was. I had no idea where the ball was coming from."
It is a difficult case to resolve – the fact that it is in the court tells as much, as most personal injury cases are settled out of court. However, it is also a reminder that even the most sedate of past times can be dangerous.
Published on 1970-01-01 22:58:00
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