Golf is usually a healthy way to relax, socialise and get some exercise. But injuries suffered on the golf course are common, and can be extremely serious. Around 12,000 golfers and golf fans each year suffer an injury which requires hospitalisation. Almost a third of these are injuries to the head. Find out more about making a personal injury claim.

Many injuries to golfers are suffered by junior golfers. Around 25% of all golfing injuries are suffered by those in the 5-14 age bracket, and almost 40% of all sporting injuries to children are golf-related. Their relative lack of experience and nous places them at greater risk than a more experienced golfer, who understands course etiquette and how to minimise risk. Obviously, the same can't be said of novice golfers.

The majority of golf injuries requiring treatment are impact-related, with either the ball or club (usually driver, 3-wood or long iron) impacting the head or face of the sufferer. Golf balls impact with a force of about 1/10th of that suffered in serious a car crash. Such an impact can cause a fracture, internal bleeding (haemorrhaging) or concussion.

We would suggest getting every serious blow to the head checked by a medical professional, especially if the following symptoms eventuate: headaches, blurred or double vision, sickness, nausea or vomiting or ringing in the ears (tinnitus).

Even seemingly minor injuries with no immediate symptoms can develop into something more serious after a few hours or days.

Compensation for the Most Serious Golf Injuries

Among the most serious of all golf injuries are eye injuries. Many golfers, hearing the obligatory shout of ‘Fore!’ glance skyward to track the ball, exposing the eye to serious injury. In one landmark case, our golf injury solicitors secured compensation of £400,000 for a novice golfer who lost an eye whilst playing golf on an unfamiliar course.

Even shots which do not hit the head can cause serious injury. Being struck by the ball on the torso, arm, hand or leg can cause broken bones and internal damage.

While Tiger and Rory could send a drive along Princes Street without hitting a bystander, beginners, amateurs and even semi-professionals do not possess such skill and accuracy. There will always be wayward shots on the golf course. It does not even take a particularly bad shot to put bystanders at risk. Even a mediocre golfer will generate a club head-speed of over 100mph and a ball speed of upwards of 150mph while driving, enough to cause serious injury.

Golf Injuries and the Law in Scotland

All golfers in Scotland are obliged to take reasonable care to guard against injuring anyone who may foreseeably be injured, including spectators, bystanders, fellow golfers and anyone using the course or surrounding area. Clearly, there is always some risk, however small, that the ball may strike another person on every shot. Following the decision in the case mentioned above, all golfers now ought to be on guard against the possibility of a wayward shot and only play when they are as sure as can be that it is safe to do so.

There is a legal principle in Scots Law which states that, in negligence cases, a volunteer cannot be wronged. Or, to put it another way, a person who runs the risk of a certain harm cannot then sue if the harm befalls them. In sport, this principle applies to all participants, to some extent. In Golf, etiquette demands a cry of ‘fore’ if a shot is wayward or a person is in the ball’s flight path, to allow evasive action to be taken. In the case mentioned above, even a shout of ‘fore’ was not sufficient to allow the defender to escape liability.

On the part of the golf club, there should be appropriate warning signs placed on or near areas which adjoin areas of play, or are otherwise at risk becoming a landing area for an erratic shot.

Compensation for Golf Injuries Scotland

If you have suffered an injury on the golf course in the last three years, and you think that someone else (including the golf club themselves) are to blame, we can help. Contact our expert golf injury solicitors today for no win, no fee legal advice on pursuing a golf compensation claim in Scotland. Remember - you keep 100% of any compensation you are awarded.

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