Another golfer receives huge payout after being hit by ball

Martyn Clapham
By Martyn Clapham July 9, 2015 16:29

An amateur golfer has become the latest to receive a large payout after being hit by a ball.

John Ure has received £10,000 after a judge ruled that a fellow amateur player’s drive was so wayward that he deserved a payout.

money petras gagilas

Image by Petras Gagilas

The incident happened at Bellshill Golf Club in 2013.

Mr Ure, 46, raised an action seeking compensation against fellow player Stewart Muir, when he sustained a head injury.

Following a hearing at the Court of Session in Edinburgh, a judge ruled in his favour and accepted liability had been established.

Lord Brailsford said that in the circumstances, the risk of an errant shot creating a danger to a person in Mr Ure’s position was “reasonably foreseeable”.

One of Mr Muir’s playing party had already struck a drive which prompted a warning cry of “fore” before he teed off.

The judge said this should have alerted him that the group in which Mr Ure was playing was in range of an wayward drive.

“His shot was, on his own admission, a bad one,” said the judge.

The court heard that a study had shown that 92 percent of golf shots fell within a 30 degree cone of the intended line but the shot played by Mr Muir fell into the eight percent outside that group.

An expert who gave evidence said he considered there was “a material risk” of a bad or poorly struck shot from the ninth tee impinging on the tenth 

Mr Muir, who had been a member of the club for the previous eight years, told the court that he would not have played it if he considered there was a risk. He described the shot as a slice and said: “You just wouldn’t surmise your ball going that far right.”

Mr Muir said he would normally hit a drive about 200 yards and was aiming to hit the middle of the fairway.

He said two players on the tenth took cover, but Mr Ure did not and the ball struck him.

He was asked if he had thought about the people on the tenth fairway before he took his shot. He replied: “I wouldn’t have thought of any problem arising. I wouldn’t have surmised anything that far right that would create a problem.

“It never came into my mind as any sort of risk. If it came into my mind as a risk, I would not have played the shot.

“I was conscious there were people over there but they were not in my line.”

According to The Scotsman newspaper, Mr Ure said he suffered a head injury and was knocked to the ground. He said he felt nauseous and was physically ill later that day and went to hospital.

It was also said that he suffered intermittent severe headaches and nausea and lost enthusiasm for playing the game.

Mr Ure’s counsel Geoff Clarke QC told the court that damages in the action had been agreed at £10,000 if liability was established.

But when he struck his shot, he noticed “the ball was going out of control”. He said he shouted “fore” and put an arm up. One of his playing partners also made a warning call.

Last year Mary Brennan was awarded nearly £200,000 after she suffered a stroke when a golf ball hit her on the head, while she was standing on the clubhouse balcony at Old Conna Golf Club.

In 2013 golfer Anthony Phee was awarded nearly £400,000 when he lost an eye after being struck by a golf ball at Niddry Castle Golf Club. Both the golfer who hit the ball and the club were ordered to pay the sum.


Martyn Clapham
By Martyn Clapham July 9, 2015 16:29
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