Golfer gets £10k payout after being hit by ball

Bellshill Golf Course, where John Ure was hit by a golf ball. Picture: Contributed
Bellshill Golf Course, where John Ure was hit by a golf ball. Picture: Contributed
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A GOLFER won £10,000 damages today after he was hit by a ball from another player’s wayward tee shot.

John Ure was on the fairway at Bellshill Golf Club, in Lanarkshire, when he sustained a head injury following the errant drive from another hole.

His shot was, by his own admission, a bad one

Judge Lord Brailsford

Mr Ure, 46, of Uddingston, raised an action seeking compensation against fellow player Stewart Muir following the incident in March 2013.

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 per cent of golf shots fell within a 30 degree cone of the intended line but the shot played by Mr Muir fell into the eight per cent outside that group.

A golf 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 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, a warehouse worker, of Blantyre, said he had been a member at the Bellshill club since 2005. He was playing the ninth hole with two others taking part in a sweep at the club.

He told the court that another player in his group had already played “an errant shot” towards Mr Ure’s group on the tenth fairway, prompting the shout of “fore”.

He said the second player to tee off in his party hit his ball “straight down the middle”.

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

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.

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

Mr Muir, 45, 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.”

In the action, it was said that Mr Ure suffered a head injury and was knocked to the ground. It was said he felt nauseous and was physically ill later that day and went to hospital.

It was 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.